Every fortnight teachers and administration staff at Bethany Lutheran Primary School come together for a “Tech Brek” lead by Joshua Pacek. Here colleagues engage in professional development to boost their skills and understanding of digital technologies over breakfast.
Joshua’s innovative ideas and practice have seen the “Tech Brek” concept named as a finalist in the Australian Education Awards for Best Professional Learning Program.
Joshua has supported his colleagues to achieve their Apple Teacher certification, and he has also led the whole school through the implementation of SeeSaw; a student portfolio digital-tool.
Deputy Principal Rebecca Fong said since Joshua joined the school’s teaching team over two years ago, he has led by example and made outstanding efforts to develop and enrich their capabilities.
Currently completing a Masters of Education (Innovation and Change) program through Torrens University, Joshua is always seeking to learn more and develop his own education as well as that of others.
After being recognised as the State Winner of the Learning Environments Australasia (LEA) – Mayfield Research Project, Joshua presented to a massive audience at the LEA Conference in Sydney.
As a means of supporting newly qualified teachers with less than five years’ experience, Joshua also developed a program designed to make beginning teachers feel less overwhelmed and better equipped. Pairing them with a more experienced ‘mentor’ staff member, Joshua supports these new teachers as they move from provisional to full registration, helping to develop their portfolios along the way.
Joshua’s passion for innovation carries across all areas of staff professional development, with the school being a finalist for the award of Innovation in Learning Environment Design. He has been the lead teacher as the school has developed and extended their Agile Learning Framework, creating a transition program for the Year 3 students as they ease into the ever-changing learning environment.
Every week Joshua sets aside forty minutes for aptly titled ‘Innovation Time’. Joshua demonstrates specific skills in the teaching role as well as supporting teachers to lead, providing them with further feedback and advice. Because of this, some teachers have been trialing new apps and devices, including Apple TV, and using LED touch screens.
Alongside the school’s curriculum coordinator, Joshua has been leading the staff at the school through moving to a Project Based Learning (PBL) model of teaching and learning. This has been a popular topic of development through weekly staff meetings that Joshua prepares and delivers in fun and innovative ways.
Unsurprisingly, the school has also been named as a finalist for Innovation in Curriculum Design, as well as being awarded as Highly Commended for Innovation in Learning Environment Design as part of the Australian Education awards.
Congratulations, Joshua, on your nomination.