Putting further study into practice

Putting further study into practice

Right across Trinity, many staff members are undertaking further study to build their educational capacity. Miss Miriam Cross – Academic Care Leader and Teacher at Trinity Grammar Junior School – is one of these staff members. 

Miss Cross commenced her Masters in Leadership and Management in Education at the beginning of 2022 a decision she said was a natural continuation of the conversations she was able to have with her Head of School, Mr Mark Dunn and other discussions surrounding her future goals. 

Through these conversations, she was able to uncover an interest in pursuing leadership in education, but she knew that if she were to take this route, she would need to be intentional and strategic. 

“I wanted to learn about good leadership practices, what the literature said about how to be a transformative leader and what that actually looks like in the context of a school. I wanted to apply for leadership roles with the knowledge, skills and understanding to be successful.” 

When Mr Dunn pointed her towards the University of Newcastle and their Masters of Leadership and Management in Education – a course that some of her Trinity colleagues were also undertaking – Miss Cross was happy to take the leap into studying alongside full-time work.

It’s an undertaking that many shy away from due to the commitment, but Miss Cross says the support from Trinity has made it easier to stay in control and avoid being overwhelmed. With a portion of her studies compensated by Trinity, the financial burden was eased and she says that the guidance of colleagues like Dr Kimberley Pressick-Kilborn has been invaluable every step of the way. 

“I have been able to reach out to Kimberley and gain her guidance and insight about the approach I was taking with particular assignments and she would always come back to me with ideas and different ways I could engage with the  topic.” 

But above everything else, Miss Cross says that the most powerful part of her experience has been being able to transfer her new knowledge immediately into practice. 

“I expected that I would be looking at theories that were very research based and writing a lot of essays and that is true, but I was able to achieve more than that in reality,” she says. “The university allowed me to be quite contextual in what I did. What I was doing as part of the assignments was actually making contributions to the day-to-day life of the School. I was able to seamlessly turn theory into practice. 

“I was also able to work alongside colleagues pursuing the same credentials. The University encouraged us to work collaboratively on assignments. We were able to meaningfully link these tasks to the school teaching and learning priorities, collectively champion new ways of thinking and make active changes to classroom practice. 

In late 2022, Miss Cross applied for the Academic Care Leader position within Trinity and was successful, something she says she wouldn’t have been able to do without her further study, even though she was only a year in at the time. 

Now, having finished her Masters – a task that took her just under two years to complete – Miss Cross is looking ahead to what’s next but she says that no matter what she decides to do next, she has Trinity’s support. 

“One thing I love about Trinity is the ability to have open and honest conversations about how you see your future taking shape. Teachers can strive to develop professionally,  knowing that there is a network of support cheering you on and celebrating your successes.”


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