The Educational Computing Association of WA (Inc.) is very pleased to announce that Ms Michelle Chomiak has been named the ECAWA Digital Technologies Teacher of the Year.
Michelle Chomiak came to the teaching profession after working for fifteen years in the IT industry as a programmer and project manager.
During 2018 Michelle was the Digital Technologies Specialist Teacher and ICT Leader at West Morley Primary School. Michelle began at West Morley as a graduate teacher and ICT specialist in 2016, then took the opportunity to teach the new Digital Technologies WA curriculum in 2017 and 2018, gaining full registration in term one of 2018. During the past two years Michelle completed over 120 hours of professional learning in Digital Technologies, giving her a solid insight into best practices for teaching and inspiring innovation in this exciting new learning area.
In 2017 Michelle produced a forward planning document to implement the new curriculum across a whole primary school from Pre-primary to Year 6. This included a term overview, curriculum descriptors, a list of applicable resources, and detailed lesson plans. This document was initially shared with two other teachers in similar roles with very positive feedback, and these schools can now use this plan to assist their implementation of the new learning area. Following this the plans were shared with the WA teacher community via my website http://mrschom.com
During the 2017/2018 summer holidays, Michelle took part in a small working group to write and peer-review supplementary documents to support the new P-10 Digital Technologies WA Curriculum. These include Key Concepts and Activity Exemplar documents. She also assisted an ECAWA colleague to create a practical programming activity and marking key (solution) in Python for their Year 12 ATAR Computer Science exam.
Drawing on her industry skills and experience in programming, Michelle is a co-founder of the Girls Programming Network Perth Chapter held once a term at ECU Joondalup for students in Years 7-12. As a mentor she assists and guides the girls with learning to code in Python. She also coaches other Mentors and contributes to the development and testing of workbooks.
Michelle believes that collaboration is essential for success in the highly dynamic fields of education and IT. To facilitate this, she has collated all her resources along with a year’s worth of planning for PP-Y6 and published it on her website for the benefit of other teachers. Michelle has also contributed resources to the Digital Technologies Hub website.
As part of her role as ICT Leader at West Morley Primary School, Michelle has worked with colleagues to use current ICT to improve their teaching practice. As part of the school’s ICT Strategic and Operational Plan Michelle developed a staff training plan for ICT learning, starting with a gradual introduction to commonly used ICT tools to build confidence. It includes various modes of delivery including Twenty Minutes of Tech workshops at every staff meeting in 2017, and helpful enthusiastic one-on-one coaching to support teachers should they need assistance for any reason.
Michelle regularly shares Digital Technologies related information on social media, using Facebook and LinkedIn, and uses Twitter to display examples of students’ work, as well as to communicate with other educators.
Michelle has found that a benefit of her career in IT before becoming a teacher, is that she is able to use her knowledge to inspire her students, set high expectations and standards for achievement, and challenge each child to take the next step in their learning.
Michelle Chomiak says that she is looking forward to her new role as Middle School Digital Technologies Teacher at St Mark’s Anglican Community School, and that she is especially looking forward to leading the students in exploring the new technologies curriculum and to implement these skills alongside her passion for anything technology related, to assist students in becoming competitive, 21st century learners. She considers this is an exciting time for digital technologies to be disruptive and a chance for her to empower school students to adopt and adapt to the digital revolution.
Congratulations Michelle Chomiak – ECAWA Digital Technologies Teacher of the Year – 2018!
This text was summarized from the award recipient’s nomination documents.