Personal Statement

About me

I qualified as a Secondary School Mathematics teacher in December 2000, teaching Mathematics from Year 7 to Year 13.  I have taught Mathematics ever since and I have a passion for educating young people.  My main aim as a Mathematics educator is for students to leave school having enjoyed Mathematics, feeling confident with their abilities and knowing how to apply what they have learned.  My second subject is Accounting and I have had over six years experience teaching A-Level Accounting in the UK.  I was accredited and worked in the UK for six years, until 2012, as an Advanced Skills Mathematics Teacher. In this role I supported Secondary School Mathematics Teachers across the city of Bradford in improving their practice to help improve learning and outcomes for students. My main role was working at and with under performing schools in ‘special measures‘.

In 2013 I was appointed at Westminster School, where I initially worked part time, became the Curriculum Leader of Mathematics in 2016 and most recently, in 2019, became the school’s first ever Pedagogy Coach.  At present I am the Pedagogy Coach and the Curriculum Leader of Mathematics.  I have taught a range of ages and abilities, from implementing the specialist teaching of Year 7 Mathematics within the Senior School to teaching Year 12 every year. I am also a Year 8 Tutor Teacher, this includes a well-being, interpersonal and learning skills teaching component.

I am a passionate educator who believes in educating the whole child and that we are all learning constantly.  I am an advocate for lifelong learning, which I model for my peers and my students.

Overview of my school

Westminster School is an Independent Uniting Church ELC – Year 12 co-educational school with approximately 1150 day and boarding students. The schools Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) is 1131.  We have 3% of students who identify as Indigenous, which is similar to the 3.5% of Australians who identify as Indigenous.

My school is located on 23 hectares in the south-west of Adelaide, in the suburb of Marion.  We have excellent facilities including a swimming and sports centre, a performing arts centre, extensive playing fields and a small farm. The majority of the students come from the west to south-west coastal strip and the southern hills areas.

High emphasis is placed on educating the whole child, where diversity is valued.  Sport, The Arts, Outdoor Education and academics are all valued equally.  While we aim for all students to gain the best results they can, we strive to produce kind, grateful and useful students. The School operates a ‘Stretch Centre’ catering for gifted and talented students as well as those in need of special educational assistance. It also has a careers service, counselling and a range of VET programs, including the Certificate III in Public Safety, which I implemented in 2018 and led. Westminster has an affiliation with many international and national schools mainly through the ‘Round Square’ organisation, which applauds academic excellence, leadership, internationalism, democracy, and service.

The Senior School operates a strong House system as the cornerstone of its pastoral care program, alongside the specialist Year 8 Tutor team. There is a weekly formal assembly, as well as Chapel service and House meetings for all students.

There are weekly staff briefings and regular staff meetings as well as Pastoral, Curriculum, and Learning committee meetings. All teachers are involved with yard duty, the co-curricular program and the majority of teaching staff have pastoral responsibilities.

More information regarding my school can be found here.

Lead Teacher Initiative

My lead teacher project is focused upon, “Leading the change of pedagogy within the Mathematics Faculty.”  This project links to my School’s Strategic Plan which states, “Our learning and teaching is informed and contemporary, enhanced by innovative industry engagement and outstanding grounds and facilities.” (Westminster School, 2018). Two of the actions that will help achieve this goal are, “Embrace leading teaching practices and encourage the power of learning” (Westminster School, 2018) and “Grow our professional learning community” (Westminster School, 2018), which have been a focus of this project.

The project started in Term 4 2015 when I was appointed to the role of Curriculum Leader of Mathematics and I have continued to lead the change of pedagogy within the Mathematics Faculty since then.  Each year I have led the faculty in identifying our areas of strength and growth, which we have become our focus for improvement. As the pedagogy has changed across the faculty, our SACE results have improved, the student voice feedback has improved and the number of students studying Mathematics at SACE Stage 2 has increased to 94% of the year group in both 2018 and 2019. In 2020 there are 98% of Year 12 students currently opting to undertake a Stage 2 Mathematics course.

Key features of my evidence

My portfolio is broken down into six areas as follows:

  • Evidence set 1 – Changing the Pedagogy within Mathematics
  • Evidence set 2 – Pedagogy Coaching
  • Evidence set 3 – Pre-Service Teachers
  • Evidence set 4 – Year 7 Mathematics
  • Evidence set 5 – STEAM
  • Evidence set 6 – Behaviour Management Group

Summary of strengths against each domain:

Professional Knowledge

I have demonstrated through out my career that I know students and how they learn. I have demonstrated this as part of the Lead Teacher Initiative, the Year 7 Mathematics and by demonstrating exemplary practice during my lesson observations. I constantly strive to improve my practice and I keep up to date with current research.  This has led me to be able to change the of pedagogy within the Mathematics Faculty and start the journey to improve the pedagogy across school, as part of my role as Pedagogy Coach.

I have demonstrated that I know the content and how to teach it. This has been demonstrated in my evidence, in particular the Lead Teacher Project, the Year 7 Mathematics, the STEAM Project and demonstrating exemplary practice during my lesson observations. I am particularly pleased with how I have led the change of pedagogy across the Mathematics Faculty since the end of 2015, which has impacted upon students engagement and achievement within Mathematics.  It has also led to colleagues changing their practice which is strongly evidenced in the documentation.

Professional Practice

I have demonstrated that I plan for and implement effective teaching and learning.  I also have demonstrated that I lead other to do this as part of my Lead Teacher Project, Pedagogy Coach, STEAM Project, Year 7 Mathematics and I have modeled exemplary practice during my lesson observations.  During both the Lead Teacher Initiative and the Year 7 Mathematics I have demonstrated that I have constantly strived to improve the planning of and implementation of effective teaching and learning.  This has been further developed outside the Mathematics Faculty during 2019, in my role as Pedagogy Coach.

I create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments and lead my peers to do so. Examples of where I have demonstrated this can be found in the Lead Teacher Project, Pedagogy Coach, PST, Behaviour Management Group (BMG) and that I have modeled exemplary practice during my lesson observations. I am particularly pleased with the work undertaken by the BMG, which I formed.  This group has been a supportive mechanism for teachers who are finding behaviour management a challenge or would like to enhance their behaviour management tool box. Due to the positive relationships that I foster with students, I was selected to be part of the Year 8 Specialist Tutor team. I was also chosen by the graduating class of 2018 to give the final speech at the Valedictory Event.

I assess, provide feedback and report on student learning. I have demonstrated this as part of the Lead Teacher Project, Year 7 Mathematics and I have displayed exemplary practice during my lesson observations. I am particularly pleased with how many people across the Senior School have started to give written feedback, as www.ebi (what went well and even better if) on our Learning Management System (LMS) SEQTA, which I implemented within Mathematics and has now spread across the school.

Professional Engagement

I engage in professional learning and I lead professional learning for my peers. This has been demonstrated through my work as the Pedagogy Coach, the Pre-Service Teacher Coordinator, the Year 7 Mathematics, the Behaviour Management Group and as part of my Lead Teacher Initiative. I have lead and implemented professional learning in a range of contexts, from whole school differentiation sessions, to sessions to generate understanding how to cater appropriately for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander students for Pre-Service Teachers.

I engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community. I have taken a lead in ensuring that I engage with parents/carers within my role as the Curriculum Leader of Mathematics, so they have the opportunity to be actively involved with their child’s Mathematical education.  I have implemented regular positive feedback to parents, in many ways, but including the ‘Mathematician of the Month’ awards.  I have engaged with the community and brought the community into school to help support the students understanding of the uses of Mathematics, as part of the Mathematics in Industry events.  Evidence of these standards can be found in the Lead Teacher Initiative, Year 7 Mathematics and Pedagogy Coaching.

Throughout my evidence links are provided to the artefacts that substantiate my claims in greater detail.  Please right click on the link to visit the evidence, as this will open the artefact in a separate window.

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