‘Mythbusters’: All gifted children are socially inept nerds

inept nerds

 The purpose of this project was to deconstruct a myth that exists within education and wider society that hold implications for gifted and/or creative learners. Note: this post also appears here.

A misconception exists that all gifted children are socially inept nerds. This myth has been brought to the fore as a stereotype appropriated by the media and popular culture. In contemporary times there has been a significant increase in the portrayal of ‘nerds’ in television, film and comic books. Kendall (1999) remarks that in popular culture “[a]spects of the nerd seen as asocial and incompletely adult (sartorial disregard, bad hygiene and lack of social skills) create a category of human partitioned off from the rest of humanity” (1999, p. 263). These characters have appeared in comic books such as DC Comics’ Superman, television programs such as CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FOX’s The Simpsons, and films such as Jeff Kanew’s Revenge of the Nerds. Kendall (1999) stipulates that “[t]he nerd stereotype includes aspects of both hypermasculinity (intellect, rejection of sartorial display, lack of ‘feminine’ social and relational skills) and feminization (lack of sports ability, small body size[)]”(p. 264). The myth has permeated in to society’s view of cultural norms, and it is clear that through the appropriation of the nerd stereotype, the view that all gifted individuals are ‘socially inept nerds’ could easily be misconstrued as the truth. This viewpoint would be further maintained through lack of education towards, and exposure to real life learners identified as gifted.



There are several ways this misconception disadvantages a gifted learner. Labeling a child with terminology that holds negative connotations towards their cognitive, physical, social or emotional development can be extremely damaging to the irwellbeing, and have significant implications for their self-concept, self-esteem and sense of identity. Kenny and McEachern (2009) note that “[p]ersistent low self-concept has been linked to depression, eating disorders, suicide, adjustment problems, and later alcohol use” (p. 207). By classifying gifted students as socially inept nerds there is potential to cause sustained damage to all three domains of self-concept: physical, academic and social self-concept (Kenny & McEachern, 2009, p. 207). Students may respond in a variety of ways, for example a gifted student may deliberately underachieve to meet the social expectations of peers. Reis and McCoach (2000) suggest “negative peer attitudes can often account for underachievement” (p. 160). Conversely, students may isolate themselves, modify their behaviors, interests and mannerisms, or put unnecessary pressure on themselves to achieve in an attempt to conform to the stereotype being projected on to them. Finally, the myth disadvantages students in the sense that is does not provide a complete picture of giftedness, particularly with the connotations of the nerd stereotype failing to represent all gifted students, as a result these children will not receive appropriate support and challenge.


The truth is, gifted students have the capacity to be socially skilled individuals, the definition of the term ‘nerd’ does not encompass all forms of giftedness, and it is possible that gifted learners may experience social exclusion or isolation rather than ineptness. That is to say, gifted students are far from socially inept nerds. These key points form the basis of evidence in refuting the myth.


Students may be highly competent in their social skills; Lovecky (1995) notes “highly gifted children who are most successful with peers are those who are able to go along with group goals, be flexible and be able to assume multiple social roles… Many gifted [children] do these things very well” (para. 10). It is possible for gifted children to demonstrate an advanced social conscience and the ability to communicate with others in sensitive, eloquent and thoughtful ways. Lovecky (1995) remarks that gifted students often require “contact with older gifted peers at similar levels of social development” (para. 12), and Piirto (1992) adds that they “are often eager for acceptance by adults” (p. 265). It is critical to analyse gifted learners and their interactions with not only age peers, but also older students and adults who share similar interests and intellect. Many gifted students are emotionally advanced and are able to show empathy, as well as an ability to take on important social roles including speaker, active listener and showing flexibility in connecting with others.


It is possible that social exclusion and isolation is being inaccurately referred to as ineptness. Neihart, Reid, Robinson and Moon (2002) point out that gifted students “may have difficulty finding friends who share their understandings, and far too often they endure not only the burden of loneliness, but also enormous peer pressure to “be like everyone else”’ (p. 268).  Gifted students may have a unique set of interests and abilities that are highly different to those of their peers; as such students are unable to bond with others on a social level. Lovecky (1995) notes that students may “exhibit inappropriate behaviors that elicit ridicule and rejection from peers” (para. 7). Fundamentally, gifted students operate at a level of high-order thinking, and may have intensely focused interests; resultantly, students are not socially inept as the ‘myth’ would have us believe, but rather, students are excluded or isolated from peer groups due to discrepancies in their social and emotional development.


The ‘nerd’ persona is not inclusive of all domains of giftedness; The Oxford Dictionary Online defines ‘nerd’ as “A foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious”. This definition paints an image that fails to include all areas of giftedness, defined by Piirto (1992) as including the following domains: high IQ, mathematicians, business/entrepreneurs, scientists, inventors, actors, visual artists, musicians, writers, and dancers (p. 262). There is a clear sense of misalignment between the image of the stereotypical nerd and a student who is gifted in a domain of talent that may not be considered ‘studious’.


In the primary school classroom, there are a number of implications of this myth. It is vital to support gifted students in developing a strong sense of self-concept. When considering Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1971), teachers need to model positive behaviours of self-conceptualisation, and provide opportunities for students to foster and observe positive relationships on which social behaviours can be modeled. Ongoing opportunities to socialise with individuals outside of age peer groups will allow for gifted students to bond with others who share intellectual and interest-based similarities. This may appear as buddy classes, lunchtime clubs and peer learning support. Educators can also explicitly teach strategies for developing positive self-esteem and self-concept.


Other implications for teachers include dispelling all varieties of stereotypes through day-to-day classroom interactions and activities, for example telling stories featuring characters that challenge stereotypes and discussing what makes these characters unique. It is important to celebrate differences in students, and in older age groups analysing and deconstructing stereotypes seen in the media. Teachers need to consistently update professional learning, becoming educated in all areas of giftedness and knowing the students in their classrooms, their strengths and weaknesses and to differentiate learning experiences. Teachers need to be aware that they are not appropriating and sustaining the myth through practice and attitudes. To reiterate, the myth that all gifted students are socially inept nerds is far from reality and has a number of implications for the affective development of students, their wellbeing and their success. Teachers play a pivotal role in dispelling this myth through classroom practice, curriculum, pedagogical approaches and positive attitudes.





Kendall, L. (1999). Nerd nation: images of nerds in US popular culture, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2 (2), 260-283.


Kenny, M. C., & McEachern, A. (2009) Children’s self-concept: a multicultural comparison. Professional School Counseling12 (3), 207-212.


Lovecky, D. V. (1995). Highly gifted children and peer relationships, Counselling and guidance newsletter, National Association for Gifted Children, 5 (3), pp. 2, 6 and 7.


Neihart, K., Reis, S., Robinson, N. & Moon, S. (Eds.). (2002). The social and emotional development of gifted children: What do we know? Waco, Texas: Prufrock Press.


Nerd. (2014). In Oxford Dictionary Online. Retrieved from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/nerd


Piirto, J. (1992). Understanding those who create. Ohio: Ohio Psychology Press.


Reis, S. M., & McCoach, D. B. (2000). The underachievement of gifted students: what do we know and where do we go?. Gifted Child Quarterly, 44 (3), 152-170.




Blog Revamp and Professional Portfolio

Well hello there fellow educators, friends, family, colleagues and miscreants,

As I am sure you have noticed (or not), I have finally found the time to give my blog a necessary makeover. All information is still stored in the same breadcrumbs format under ‘home’, ‘about’, ‘contacts’ and ‘university’, it is primarily superficial changes to the makeup of the site that has been updated. Any technologically-minded individuals would have enjoyed watching me suffer as I managed to navigate my way around using CSS… the good news is, I can change link colours, yahoo! Although, apparently my theme doesn’t like it when I try to change the visited link colour or hover link colour, so for now, boring black and grimy green will suffice.


Okay, I totally cheated there and just used the kitchen sink colour tool, but if I tried hard enough I could definitely do it with CSS. Like this! Hooray! 

CSS and blog excitement aside, I have also now launched my Professional Portfolio online. It is still incomplete however, and I am in the process of adding pages, one sub-standard at a time. This is a big step for me as I am publicising a lot of my work, with links to various blog posts, my twitter and digital information etc. Even more significant is that it is one of the final steps towards completing university and transitioning in to the professional arena. It is daunting, and also very exciting. Collating all my evidence of practice has been really quite eye opening in the sense that it has given me confidence in my teaching abilities as I review the graduate proficiencies according to AITSL. I would be highly appreciative of any feedback from educators, be it experienced, inexperienced, retired, in-service, pre-service, leadership or even those who may have general knowledge of the workforce. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any advice in regards to this site; it is due for academic submission in a week, however it is a significant, ongoing piece of work that will be constantly in flux as my experience develops.

Finally I would also like to take this time to apologise for the infrequency of my posts. This past year has been very intense with a combination of extensive final year university studies, practicum, and balancing multiple jobs (as well as a social life- we are all human). You may notice that the University/Assignments element of this blog has grown extensively, while my home feed has been sparse. I endeavour to change this as the new year begins, especially as I intend to use this space to help in collating resources for casual relief teaching in the new school year, as well as to reflect and share my teaching journey as a fresh graduate. So once again, my apologies, I look forward to many new adventures to come and sharing them with the digital community.




Giftedness and Creativity: questions regarding the social/emotional dimension of the classroom environment

As part of my degree I am studying gifted and creative learners. As part of the reflective process we were asked to develop five key questions to engage thinking in regards to the social/emotional dimensions of creating a classroom environment that fosters giftedness and creativity. The questions were to have reference to our extended reading, and I have provided references to the appropriate sources following each statement. I have posed the following questions to my peers and tutor, and will follow this post up with the subsequent discussion that occurs. However, I am interested in what others have to say in regards to these questions, or to gifted education in general, please post any thoughts/responses in the comments or by emailing me personally, this is an area of specific interest for me which I might pursue in the future.




1.“There is a concern that ‘Martin’s’ teacher is not facilitating the development of his gifts”(p. 5). While it is absolutely necessary for teachers to allow students opportunities to make independent, personal discoveries in learning and construct their own knowledge, how can this always be achieved when curriculum or school mandated processes/procedure dictate specific methodologies to be taught in the classroom? Is the curriculum actually limiting and confining the experiences of gifted students and contributing to underachievement? How do teachers find a mutually agreed balance?

Diezmann, C. M., & Watters, J. J. (1997). Bright but bored: Optimising the environment for gifted children. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 22(2), 17-21.


2. “Obtaining the right answer without being able to reflect on the processes that led to it would not be considered as a successful achievement” (p. 8). As teachers, what type of reflective practices should we model in our own lives, as well as to provide for students, that allow for gifted students to continue being engaged, while simultaneously creating these optimum holistic learning experiences? Following the reflection process, how do we provide students with the opportunity to expand further and create deeper meaning?

Diezmann, C. M., & Watters, J. J. (1997). Bright but bored: Optimising the environment for gifted children. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 22(2), 17-21.


3.“Social pressures to conform and achieve acceptance among peers develops early and can impact negatively on achievement oriented goals”(p. 11). Positive classroom culture appears to be a recurring thematic concern in the discussion of gifted education, and specifically in relation to the peer-peer relationships, and the impact social pressure has on student achievement. What are some specific strategies that can be employed in the classroom to a) promote a culture of acceptance and encouragement towards gifted students, and b) develop resilience in gifted students who may face pressures and social stigma from their peers?

Diezmann, C. M., & Watters, J. J. (1997). Bright but bored: Optimising the environment for gifted children. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 22(2), 17-21.

4. Ugur Sak (2004) remarks that teachers of creative students should possess three critical personal characteristics or behaviours that reflect the necessary “personality (e.g., openness), intellectual (e.g., creativity) and knowledge prerequisites (e.g. instructional knowledge)” (p. 216). With this in mind, do all teachers possess the appropriate traits to teach creative students? Can any classroom teacher be an effective educator of all students if they don’t meet or are lacking in these criteria? If a teacher does not consider themselves creative, are they disadvantaging their students by limiting their access to a teacher who is regarded as highly creative?

Sak, U. (2004). About creativity, giftedness, and teaching the creatively gifted in the classroom. Roeper Review, 26 (4), 216-222.


5. “she [the student] was at times very expressive and could hardly contain herself, frequently interrupting the teacher” (p. 219). When teaching creative students whose enthusiasm and intensity towards original thoughts and ideas causes disruption in the classroom, what management and interpersonal strategies can be employed to keep students focused, to give opportunities to all students to express themselves, and to maintain a productive climate, without diminishing students’ ideas and suppressing their opportunities for self-expression?

Sak, U. (2004). About creativity, giftedness, and teaching the creatively gifted in the classroom. Roeper Review, 26 (4), 216-222.


Other reflections/comments:

Sak remarks that “[s]tudents displaying creative behaviours tend to be unappealing to teachers… [w]hen teachers don’t know what creativity is, how it manifests and how it is important, they may ignore teaching for creativity” (p. 216). This comment resonates deeply with personal understanding of education for gifted and creative learners, as I have observed many missed opportunities for flourishing creativity in the classroom setting. Teachers have a responsibility to develop opportunities for students to maximise their potential, and for many students this entails expressing themselves through exploration, making mistakes, trying new things and realising their imagination through the physical – that is, through being creative. I am intrigued by the impact that a lack of teacher understanding can have on transcending levels of being, that is, the impact it can have on the individual, on a class, on a school, on a community, on society and on humanity in general. Fostering creativity for lifelong success is at the foundation of societal revolution. Again, this reinforces to me the huge role that teachers can play on a global scale.


Sak, U. (2004). About creativity, giftedness, and teaching the creatively gifted in the classroom. Roeper Review, 26 (4), 216-222.




QR Codes: I am obsessed!


I am completely obsessed with QR codes. For those playing at home, a QR (or Quick Response Code) is a barcode that is scannable on most devices and holds information, in particular linking to online documents and sources.  I spent a decent portion of time trying to figure out the best way to create an online ‘to-do list’ of jobs for my older, very techno-savvy brother, just so I could plaster QR codes linking to said ‘to-do lists’ all over the house in an attempt to trick him in to doing jobs for me. I might add that my brother is a sucker for anything remotely out of the ordinary, so I thought I might fool him in to a QR code treasure hunt, that conveniently leads him all the way to the unloaded dishwasher. I’m yet to implement my wickedly devious plan, but somehow I don’t think he will fall for it, he is 24 years old after all. But it really got me to thinking, how can QR codes be used in the educational setting?

Before I take this any further, let me draw your attention to the AITSL Standards for Teachers

grad standards


This is just five standards, at graduate level, that I observe to be related to ICT use in the classroom and in the professional capacity. I thought to myself, how can I, in a short space of time, demonstrate this? There are hundreds of students graduating as teachers every year, all competing for the same job roles, from my university alone, not to mention the teachers who are already out there looking for work. How does one show to potential employers in a single snapshot, that they are competent in these standards?

I recently created an About.me online profile and I couldn’t help but think how good it would be if I could make a link to this online business card on my resume, and then I took it a step further and started thinking about how good it would be if I could attach links to my online portfolio, to my twitter account, to a digital copy of my resume, and even to this blog.

It occurred to me – my old friend the QR code.

Smart phones are everywhere, and by making my online presence available to employers at the simple scan of a code, I am demonstrating the forward thinking attitude that AITSL are desperately trying to promote within their standards.

What’s that future employer – You want to go to my blog and check out how I have been developing my PLN and staying in touch with education? You want to see my demonstration of the AITSL standards online? You want to gauge the type of person that I am? You want to read a post all about my love for QR codes? Look no further, here is a QR code linking straight to my professional blog, no messy typing required:


What I want to know, is how can I take this further? How can I use this in the classroom? How can I make my love for QR codes a valuable teaching asset that transforms learning and makes tasks engaging for students?

Some examples I have come across for QR use in the classroom include, questions and answers activities, where students can self-assess work by completing a set of tasks and are then given a QR code linked to the answers, a classroom treasure hunt, in which students can follow a set of QR codes directing them to the next learning task, for setting homework tasks, students can scan a code to discover a task to complete at home, to create digital assignments which extend, expand and exemplify physical assignments such as books and posters, to direct students to specific online sites for activities, to provide different tier groups with differentiated tasks, to attach voice recording to physical projects such as pages of a class book, and to use in displays in a class window which provides those outside the classroom with information such as ‘about this class’.

@tombarrett has put together some really great examples of using QR codes in the classroom here.

@edu_thompson also has some great ideas on her wonderful blog here.

And finally a comprehensive list of ideas by Greg O’Connor with further links here.

And of course, don’t forget Pinterest!

The point I am trying to make here, is that using a digital barcode like the QR code opens a number of avenues, particularly for graduate teachers, both inside and outside the school context. Of course, we also must consider the limitations of using these types of codes in the classroom, including access to devices (such as iPads) that can read these codes. Obviously it is vital that one doesn’t rely on a QR code when producing a resume, as not all employers will have the conceptual understanding of how to use these, or the necessary technologies available.


Personally, I am really excited by the potential these types of ICTs have in my own future classroom. For example, I can visualise a parent-teacher evening or open night, in which each student may have a QR code and password attached to their work area, linking to a series of digital work tasks displayed as an e-portfolio. These types of opportunities really emphasise the digital revolution in transformative education, and allow students to share their work instantly with their families and broader community.


And now, for your amusement:




Professional Exeprience: Why I am an emotional wreck.

Do you know that feeling of absolute elation and happiness? You know the one I mean? The one where you feel truly accomplished. Successful. Joyful. If you don’t know that feeling then I pity you. I’ve had this experience on several occasions. Many occasions. I am a happy kind of person and I find a lot of joy in simple things. And the not so simple things as well.

The end of my final year placement. Picture, a fourth year student teacher, kneeling in the centre of the classroom floor. It is the beginning of the final day. The bell has rung. Students are flooding the room, bright-faced, reader bags in hands, lunch boxes swinging by the crook of their arms. They are ready for just another day. For me, it the last day of a six week (but even longer than that since I started visits at the beginning of the year) journey. I am exhausted. But I have one last reserve of energy, and it is saved for this. One little girl makes her way up to me. She is not a shy child, but she is standing off, timid. In her hands she clutches a wrapped gift. I look at her. She looks at me. Slowly, and with gathering speed she approaches and flings her gift in to my hands. She looks at me expectantly, with excitement. Her dad calls from across the room “it’s a practical gift”.

I open the card…

To Miss Smart

it’s in her handwriting. The rest is transcribed by her parents.


She has signed the card I Love You followed by her full name. She tells me she wrote her name all by herself. I feel proud. And sad. And so much warmth. And happiness. The gift was practical indeed. A binder folder with One Direction on it and another note written by the student. This kid knows me. We have One Direction dance parties at the start of lunchtime, I am not ashamed to admit – I also convinced the kids that I was going to marry Harry Styles.


This was the first student in a whole host of children that rolled through the door bearing cards and gifts. I don’t hold much in store by presents, but to me words are everything and the thoughts and feelings behind gifts from children are everything. Dear Miss Smart, Thank you for teaching us and me and good luck. Goodbye Miss Smart. A few hand made their cards, with glitter glue, and stickers and all the wonderful things that five-year-old children view as precious. Thank You Miss Smart. Have a good time at teacher school. You’ve been a fun teacher and you are really beautiful. Thank you for teaching me. They have all tried to sign their own names. It makes me proud. We have loved having you with us this year. Good luck in the future. The pictures they have drawn are astoundingly good for their age. You are going to make an awesome teacher. We will miss you. These are little human beings. Tiny people. They make me feel successful. They make me feel accomplished. They make me feel joyful.

An accurate depiction of Harry Styles

I am kneeling in the middle of a classroom floor, at 9 o’clock in the morning, withholding tears because it is the last day that I get to be their teacher. And it makes me hopeful. I am hopeful that I get to feel like this again. When I graduate at the end of this year, I will become a qualified teacher, and one day, I will have a class of my very own. I hope they are like this class. And I hope they different because with every class comes new children with different personalities and different dynamics, and I hope that each time I finish with a class I feel like I have made a difference to them like I have with these kids.


As for my mentor teacher, I can’t begin to say what she has done for me, or begin to describe my gratitude. She trusted me with her class, and I hope that in her eyes I have done her justice. She is an incredible teacher with the exact kind of teaching style and philosophy I aim to have myself. Essentially, I want to be her when I grow up. Everything she does is built on the foundation of relationships, active play-based learning, and through integrating every aspect of the curriculum for holistic educational experiences. I will post again on my professional blog  to talk more in depth about the education and curriculum/teaching side to placement, but for the purpose of this post I really wanted to talk about the emotional aspects involved. For me, placement was incredible. It was challenging and difficult, and it was intense and overwhelming. But it was also a time that I will always look back on fondly, I was able to experiment, and to challenge the students, to try new ways of learning, to trial my own ideas and modify them, and to learn from my experiences.

Storytelling in a wildlife park – one of the many experiences I was lucky to have!

The most valuable thing I took away from my placement is how vital building relationships are in the classroom. When I first started out there were times that I questioned my ability to command control of the class. But I found by treating the students with respect, and seeing them as real people with real human needs, thoughts and feelings, and by trusting them, they in turn did the same back. They trusted me, followed me, and listened to me with respect. I made the time for them, and they made the time for me. I cannot stress enough how important giving pre-service teachers these kind of opportunities is. If you are a mentor teacher, or school leadership, all I can say is give your students a chance, treat them well, because I have fostered a wonderful, lifelong relationship with my mentor and we have learned a lot from one another. If you are a pre-service teacher, or thinking about studying teaching, do it and give placement your all. Take the time and make the effort with your teacher and with the students. It is so completely worth it. Invest yourself. And Invest IN yourself. You can do it, and you will make it!

Do you know that feeling of absolute elation and happiness? The one where you feel truly accomplished? Successful? Joyful? I know that feeling. And it is because I have finally made the transition from University student to teacher. And I took the time to enjoy the journey.




Assignment pages

You will now notice that my menu toolbar now features a “university” page. The purpose of this will be to publish my assignments and projects in an organised and logical way, without posting in the main feed of my blog. Please feel free to have a look, I will continue adding to these over the next year and a half, and I also intend to do the same for my professional experience reflections.

Thanks again,

stay tuned.

Reflection on materialism and the power of ideas.

The topic of my post today is about materialism and what we consider precious in society, and the run on effect that has in context of schools and the way we educate young people. Just recently, some good friends of mine, a couple in their thirties with a three-year-old daughter, lost something very precious to them. On September 5th 2013, at three in the morning, police knocked on their door to inform them that their Art House in rural South Australia had burned down in a devastating fire. I received an e-mail later that day telling the Art House followers the outcome of the blaze; the entire building was gutted, leaving behind only a collection of teacups that filled a single shopping bag.  Before I go further I would like to just recognize that this particular Art House was the dream project of a family who have lived through many wonderful, artistic experiences, but as is the case for many artists, it was a financial struggle to put such an inspiring project together. It is for this reason that the Art House was uninsured; the costs to insure such a project would be unimaginable, especially for a family so committed to non-for-profit community activities.


Black Cockatoo Arthouse fire


A building is just a building. But this space that had been created was somewhat of a refuge, hidden within a bustling world. I have a strong sensual memory of when I first walked in there. The family served the customers homemade organic curry, local cider and delicious pastries; the kind of smells that penetrated the very fabric of the building. I sat in the back row to watch a touring band perform – The Rising Lotus with local guitar legend Chris Finnen. Every seat was unique, arm chairs and sofas, dotted with cushions and vintage throws. The warm lights were golden and soaked in to the rich artworks that lined the walls. This was the kind of space that I felt at home in. This was comfort and belonging. But for the creators of this space, this was the embodiment of an idea, the life form of their vision. I can’t even begin to imagine how it would feel to lose something that precious in just an instant.



I suppose that brings me to what I want to say. The owner, creator, curator and father of this special place, the visionary, had lost – along with his unique space – a collection of personal items including over fifteen years’ worth of photographs, valuable DJ-ing equipment and a record collection, that he estimates was 10,000 strong, that he began compiling as a youth. When I spoke to him today he said he was sad to lose everything but that the vision will not perish in the fire. In under a week he has already made plans for alternate venues to present his performers, and a pop-up cinema to showcase indie films like the Art House once did. It got me to thinking, why is it we hold so much in store of our material possessions? If someone like this man, who has lost so much he holds dear, can bounce back and hold on to his dream, can’t we all? Isn’t that the type of ideal we want to see in future generations of young people? I know I want to inspire my students to always dream big, and to always struggle as strongly and passionately as possible to realise those dreams. I want my students to know that they might fail, and they might lose, but when they do they can hold on to the ideas, and rebuild. The phoenix will rise.



I reflect on James McTeigue’s (2005) V for Vendetta, in which the premise is that an idea can outlast man, that ideas can withstand any trial, that “ideas are bulletproof”. This is how I feel about the Art House, and about the visionary. By not letting it waste away in the fire, his idea is invincible. The entire world is materialistic, and yet our society thrives on ideas, on science and on art, on people’s visions and dreams, and on bringing our ideas to fruition by exploring beyond our perceptions of the impossible.  As educators we need to always encourage our students to explore, to be visionaries and to understand that sometimes people, or even nature, might destroy the things we care about in the material world, but that as long as we strive to always better ourselves, to always pursue our dreams and never give up when we are challenged, our ideas will truly be bulletproof. Our ideas will be untouchable.


To donate to the Black Cockatoo Arthouse Emergency Fund please click here.

Come one, come all… and welcome!

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I am so excited to be starting this new project in my professional learning network. As a University student I have found the use of ICT paramount to the success of my education, and I feel this sentiment applies to the younger generation that I will be teaching in the future. My expectations for this blog is to begin as a networking and sharing platform which will allow me to collaborate with other educators, students and the wider community. I hope that it will eventuate in to a space where I can share my own learning experiences, both at University and ultimately in the classroom. It is my belief that ICT opens many doors in connecting the global education community, and I hope to maximize this experience for both myself, colleagues, and most importantly for my students.

Here’s a little about me.


To a lot of people, I am Amelia: University student, Harry Potter enthusiast, social media addict. I come from a close-knit family and have grown up with a passion for the arts, particularly music, and performance arts. Born in the UK, I have been living in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia since I was five (1997 -yes, I’m not very old). I was educated in both the public (Government/State) and private (Independent/Religious) education sectors, and have primary schooling experiences both in the UK, and Australia, including Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales (We spent a year traveling when I was in Year 3 – age 8). I spent one year of secondary in an all-girls public school, and finally finished up my schooling at Tatachilla Lutheran College in the McLaren Vale wine region of South Australia. With that in mind, I became a very well-socialized student with a passion for meeting new people and being immersed in different school cultures. I am sure, in-part, that this added to my overall desire to become a teacher. I am also involved in a project in which I facilitate a playgroup for pre-school aged children. The relationships I have formed with the children and parents at playgroup has consolidated my desires to become a teacher.




This brings me to my second identity: Miss Smart (let’s face it, how many teachers out there wish their last name was “Smart”? It makes for a wonderful twitter handle @asmartteacher). In reflecting on my own schooling experiences, I have identified that I have always enjoyed close relationships with my teachers, from primary school, through to year 12. Ultimately, I think it was this respect for my teachers and the bonds with my own mentors that led to my decision to pursue the path to becoming an educator.

In the first assignment I ever wrote, in my first year of University I noted that “I intend to regard my students as individuals who each require to be taught in a different manner, catering to their unique learning needs. It is my opinion that by creating a welcoming and positive learning environment students will be more willing to learn, and more likely to feel enthusiastic about their education. I want to be the kind of teacher who inspires students to learn and to share their learning experiences both as youths and in the future. I believe that by respectfully approaching each student as an individual as well as a member of a cohort, students will receive a rounded education that allow them to reach their full potential.”

This statement is the basis for my personal teaching philosophy that I continue to construct through my own learning journey and the experiences I have had in schools as a pre-service teacher.

Here’s a little about this blog.


I am starting this blog in my third year of my teaching degree. I have just started an ICT topic which encourages the use of social media, digital technology and global communication. After analyzing the Professional Standards for Teaching for graduate teachers in Australia, and reading a wonderful article (who knew assigned readings were actually interesting?) about blogging in the online educational sphere, I realized the time had come to start my own professional blog. While I consider myself reasonably technologically-literate, I have never created a proper blog before (aside from a Tumblr. account I created as a teenager which is limited in its exploration of the skills needed to be successful in the “blogosphere”). I found some really great resources for enhancing the visual quality of my blog at The Blog Guidebook: for all things bloggy! Visit them here:

blogging tips and tricks

Well, this is my first official post. I apologize that it is a little scattered. I am known to deviate on impossible tangents when I let my mind wander. My love for creativity is the only excuse I can offer. I hope to update as often as possible, although I feel once I leave University it will become more regular as I reflect on my teaching practice and experiences, and begin to share the experiences of my students.

Please feel welcome to leave me feedback, comments, ideas, constructive criticism and any other tidbits you feel need adding (please be nice, I have a zero-tolerance for harassment!). Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my YouTube channel by selecting the icons in the sidebar to the right.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and for supporting me in my digital education adventures.

Adios Amigos,


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