I am a secondary school teacher at a low SES school in Queensland. Before entering the Public School System I worked in a number of private secondary schools. Working in a low SES community has a number of distinctive highlights when compared with more affluent communities. Observing and assisting students make positive connections with community businesses in order to bring an authentic, meaningful experience to their education provides reassurance to both students and teachers, gaps in socio-economic status can be improved as well as academic achievement. Many of the students I work with prefer to be outside classroom walls however these students share common online interests with many other youth their age; they participate in online communities, share common interests in movies, games and text choices.

I am currently completing a Masters in Education (Diversity) at Queensland University of Technology. In August 2012, I was invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society. My prior educational achievements include an Associate Degree in Law, Bachelor of Education and an Associate in Music Australia.

My areas of expertise within the teaching field includes: Legal Studies, Accounting, Business Studies and Maths. Personally, I am passionate about instrumental music. I appreciate both performing and listening to a wide variety of classical music from the Baroque period through to the Contemporary period as well as Popular music.

Selecting Youth, Popular Culture and Texts was a choice made to enhance my education experience and as a result also provide a more enriching, animating experience to my students. What the unit offered was something different from the core studies within the Masters of Education, Diversity major. Resulting from a number of circumstances my own childhood was devoid of Popular Culture. My childhood was steeped in isolation in a rural location and poverty. The family home possessed a radio but no other form of media until a television was introduced when I was fifteen. My first school experience with peers my own age began when I was twelve.

In the future I would like to continue to work with marginalised groups as part of my work responsibilities as well as in a volunteer capacity both locally and eventually abroad.

3 thoughts on “Brenda

  1. Brenda, it’s interesting to think about any differences there might between your early life as described here and the lives of children today who grow up in similar circumstances. By that I mean it would be interesting to know the degree to which contemporary children living in rural poverty are as isolated from other children and from forms of popular culture as you recall yourself to have been. I’m not sure what research has been done on this.

  2. I imagine collecting a sample for research wouldn’t be easy. However the same circumstances still exist for some children. My school had a recent enrolment of a year 9 student entering school for the first time and is now just beginning to learn to read and write. The family home does not own a computer, they do have tv. The child has never been to the movies or experienced many other things other teenagers his age have. I found only one common experience he had with his peers with digital media and that was video games. The only words he was readily familiar with were those he encountered playing games.

    • Brenda that is extraordinary to think within our relatively wealthy and highly controlled society that you have a student enrolling and learning to read and write in year 9! When you think that this can still occur, I understand and really appreciate your motivation to work with marginalised groups. It is fascinating that many young people today are overwhelmed with seemingly limitless opportunities to participate in technology and communicate together, yet adolescence can still be a very isolating experience.

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