In this first episode, I chat about why I created this Podcast and share a little bit about myself. I have spent most of my career in secondary education, dabbled in tertiary education for a short three month stint and have spent the last ten years supporting the professional learning of teachers across NSW and Australia. The majority of my teaching journey has been as a secondary high school teacher in both Catholic and public schools sharing my love of health, physical education and wellbeing in all courses in Years 7-12 under the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education Key Learning Area with a special passion for a Year 11 and 12 course called Community and Family Studies (CAFS). My hope for The Learning Network is to support teachers in education by connecting, learning and growing together to be the best educators we can be and to make a difference with the students and learners with whom we work.
If you haven't already read 'Teacher' by Gabbie Stroud, grab a copy. 'Shake Up Learning' by Kasey Bell is also a really fab read too!
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Hey, there a huge welcome to The Learning Network podcast. This is Episode Number One. In this particular episode, I share with you a little bit about myself but also why I created this podcast in the first place. This particular podcast is for you where I enjoy you weekly to share my expertise, love and passion for a course called Community and Family Studies. So let's Connect, Learn and Grow together as we support our students on their pathway to success.
Hey, I'm Kelly Bell. Welcome to The Learning Network podcast. I guide Community and Family Studies teachers Newbies and Experienced through best practice to improve knowledge, increase empowerment and alleviate stress. To help you and your students to make meaningful connections across the course. I will share strategic and purposeful applications from my 16 years experience in the classroom that I have adopted to increase student motivation, enjoyment, engagement and results. Together, we will grow and transform your CAFS Crew to the next level without impacting your sleep and wellbeing in the process.
To join my free How to Improve Writing and Fast Track Results webinar, head to the thelearnnet.com/writing
So tune in get inspired and let's Connect, Learn and Grow together.
So a little bit about me first and foremost, I am a daughter, I'm a wife. I'm a Mum to two beautiful girls living on the sunny Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. My second love in life is education. I always wanted to be a teacher. It's in my blood. It was my calling. My uncle was a principal and six of my cousins are actually teachers, being the eldest of about 20-odd cousins on my Mum's side and the same on dad's side. I honestly believe I was destined to be a teacher. Growing up as the eldest of four children, and from a really young age, I wanted to be an educator.
Teaching, sharing my opinion, values and skills, sometimes when they're not warranted, is something that I think I've passed down from my grandmother's.
I've dedicated my vocation to teaching after graduating from the Australian Catholic University in 2003. Doing a Bachelor of Exercise Science, a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary PDHPE), and then going on to do a Graduate Certificate in Religious Education. I then decided, I had this harebrained idea to get my Master's in Educational Leadership when my youngest was only four months old. Two summer schools later, and two long winter schools were part of this madness. It was a long slog, and honestly, breastfeeding and writing 3000 to 6000-word papers wasn't ideal. But I have no regrets and it was just part of the tip of the iceberg for my leadership.
I've spent my career in secondary education, which I absolutely love. I dabbled a little bit in tertiary education for three months, and I spent the last 10 years or so supporting the professional learning of teachers across New South Wales in Australia. The majority of my teaching journey has been as a secondary high school teacher in both Catholic and public schools, sharing my love of Health, Physical Education and Wellbeing in all courses in your 7 to 12 under the PDHPE Key Learning Area, with a very, very special passion for a Year 12 course called Community and Family Studies, or otherwise known as CAFS.
So as a fresh face 21-year-old at the end of my teaching degree, I was really lucky enough to snag a four-week block at an all-girls Catholic school that was local to me. With a new syllabus to help program for, my keenness and hard work led to my appointment in my first full-time position as a classroom PE teacher. I loved our bubble in suburbia, and where to this amazing school for 13 or 14 years as a classroom teacher and 4-years as a Pastoral Coordinator, which is kind of like a Year Coordinator, but like the leader of wellbeing for a year group. I loved being able to teach young women about health to make informed decisions and to be resilient.
After moving to Killcare, on the Central Coast of New South Wales at the end of 2017. I was super lucky to land a job in the role of Relieving Head Teacher PDHPE in a large public school, working with Year 11 and 12 students, with a small stint as a Relieving Head Teacher of Wellbeing. During my time there I was also lucky enough to hold an Instructional Leadership position which saw me lead formative assessment, quality teaching rounds, literacy and online learning at the school. This was something that I absolutely thrived on.
My love for supporting the profession developed as a result of the work I probably began in about 2010 for an organisation called ACHPER. And this particular organisation has a branch all around Australia but I worked with the New South Wales branch, serving on the Board from 2014 to 2016 and then later as President, which I feel very honoured to do, from 2016 to 2018.
Since then, I've really loved leading professional learning opportunities for teachers across New South Wales in Australia in PDHPE and CAFS, a very special course, but also in teaching pedagogy as a writer, presenter, facilitator, project officer, exam writer, marker and resource developer for a number of different government and community organisations.
In addition to co-founding The CAFS Network, which culminated of an online sharing facility and social media pages with a couple of lovely CAFS teachers, I also co-wrote the Nelson Community & Family Studies textbook and the Cambridge University Press HSC Checkpoints for CAFS.
So it wasn't until probably the Summer break 2018, in the Christmas holidays, that my big pile of reading consisted of two very influential books. These were 'Teacher' by Gabbie Stroud, hey Gabs, which many Aussie teachers have probably read, and also 'Shake Up Learning' by Kasey Bell.
'Teacher' follows a recovering teachers' journey and her experience in education. Reading this book made me even more determined, more motivated and inspired to support educators who continue to make a difference in the lives of our students. And Gabbie is a huge advocate for teacher wellbeing. And we also have a sneaky interview coming up very, very soon.
Gabbie, was also very instrumental for me. When I decided to leave the classroom. Gabbie took time to actually have a chat to me about my journey, how I was feeling and just that that stress in burnt out. I got shingles in my first year here on the Coast when I was a Relieving Head Teacher of Wellbeing in PDHPE and I could feel it coming on again. So anyway, that's a long story and we'll probably get into that at some point in the podcast journey.
'Shake Up Learning,' when I read that it really reminded me to move past that admin of our work to really focus on the purpose and reason why we actually decided to be teachers, why we decided to become teachers, to make learning more relevant, more meaningful, more dynamic, and fun using mainly technological tools, but things that students can connect with. And I think Kasey mentioned the idea of using podcasts and blogs to actually have a further reach. And I decided to create a blog and it still currently sits at about three episodes, but as a result of this podcast, it will grow. So thank you, Kasey, for inspiring me. And thank you for really making me shake up what I was doing in the classroom. And also, to make a really big difference in education.
My hope for The Learning Network Podcast, and everything that I've brought out so far for teachers, is to connect you, to connect you with our content, to connect with each other, to learn from each other, to grow together to be the very, very best educators that we can be, and to make a huge difference with the students that we work with, as well as the teachers that we work with.
So a huge welcome to The Learning Network. I can't wait for you to join me on this journey and I feel completely honoured to be able to share my voice and my passion for especially our course, called Community and Family Studies, but also teaching and education in general.
Our professional dialogue or discussion for this week is for you guys to share your favourite way to Connect, Learn and Grow from your colleagues. So for me, it has really been the power of social media and being able to join teachers in Facebook groups, and now on Instagram, which is a growing platform obviously, for teachers to share their love and passion. But I think that all led me to developing my own professional learning network through The CAFS Network originally, which had over 2000 teachers in that particular Facebook page, but now in The Learning Network Collaborative Facebook group, but also just the connections that we are able to make with other colleagues and other teacher friends.
So don't forget to tag or share this particular podcast episode with a friend or colleague. And I'd love to see your favourite ways to connect with each other on Instagram, using the #thelearnnet hashtag, but also tagging me @thelearnnet.
Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode about why I started this podcast and a little bit about my journey. For those of you who know me, you'll know that I wear my heart on my sleeve and I'm a very open and honest person. I plan to share my experience as well as the journey of other educators and leaders in education, interviewing people in our field, teachers in the Community and Family Studies space but also other organisations that will be able to build your knowledge and understanding of our course.
So I hope that today's episode connected with you on a personal and professional level by making you think about the powerful benefits that come with connecting with like-minded people.
Please join me in next week's episode, where we chat about Building a Foundation for Success for our CAFS students. I would absolutely love for you to join me again.
Thanks for joining The Learning Network. I'd love to hear what connected with you most about today's episode, take a screenshot and tag on Instagram and Facebook @thelearnnet.
If you'd like to know more about my courses, Year 12 CAFS MasterClasses, CAFS Coaching and Mentoring and CAFS Membership you can DM me over on Facebook or Instagram or head to thelearnnet.com
Don't forget to stay connected by subscribing to Apple Podcasts or Spotify. And if you'd love today's episode, I would be so honoured if you could please leave me a review.
See you again next week. Let's continue to Connect, Grow and Learn together to make a huge impact on the students we teach.
Want to work with me one on one?
In my CAFS Coaching and Mentoring, I develop a session or series of sessions that are created with the unique needs of your school and context in mind that are completely tailored based on your experience, stage and journey in
Community and Family Studies.
I acknowledge and pay my respects to the
traditional custodians on whose land I walk, work & live.
This land was and always will be the land of the First Nations People.