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Candace Parkyn

Sheldon College (QLD)

In Empowering Educators, inspiring Aussie teachers share how they build and nurture entrepreneurial mindsets in their classrooms. Here we ask Candace Parkyn of Sheldon College about her inspiration, and how she creates authentic and connected learning experiences.

Q1. Can you give us three words (or phrases) that describe your life as an educator? 

Entertaining. Ever-changing. Efficient 

Q2: What’s one of the best learning experiences you’ve ever delivered?

I would have to say the Stinky Fish Activity. I have used this with a wide range of students. It is run at different times of the year, allowing students to look at an issue or content in a different light.

At the beginning of the year, it helps me gauge where the students are and what fears they may have heading into the unit ahead. I then use the same activity during assessment period; this way, I can plan future lessons around concepts they are yet to master.

Check-out Hyper Island Toolbox, it is a must-do! Thanks to Future Anything for including this resource in their teacher resource pack.

Q3: What’s one book, website or podcast you’d recommend to educators keen to build the entrepreneurial mindsets of their students?

I will recommend a game called Start-Ups – I stumbled across Start-Ups in a toy shop and thought it would be great to try with my Year 9 and 10 classes. It proved to be a successful lesson starter. It was a fun, engaging and fostered collaboration along with increasing student confidence levels.  The game allows students to work in small teams and use the playing cards as stimulation for their company name, company purpose and target audience. Each group is then given a hot trend at the conclusion of their turn resulting in a business pivot.

At the end of last year, the students said it was the best thing they had done because it improved their ideation and presentation skills. Some said it even helped their fear of public speaking! When Nicole came to visit our class, I was telling her about this game, and she mentioned about the cards that she is developing. I cannot wait for the Catapult Cards to be delivered.

[Ed – Catapult Cards are now here!]

Meet this week’s Empowering Educator, Candace Parkyn 

I am currently teaching Digital and Design Technologies for students in Years 1 to 10 at Sheldon College. I initially started in the IT Industry and quickly realised that everything I found fun and exciting about technology only ever gets to be experienced at school.

For this exact reason, I decided to go back to University and complete a Graduate Diploma in Education. This is where I discovered that with teaching, you could do some incredible things.

I really love getting to show students how they can create various products, whether it be an app or a physical product.

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