Key Selection Criteria

SC1 Demonstrated knowledge of the relevant curriculum, including the ability to incorporate the teaching of literacy and numeracy skills. Demonstrated experience in responding to student learning needs.

I have experience developing and teaching units of work according to the relevant curriculum programs for year 7-12 education in Media, Drama and Theatre Studies. I have also taught junior English and VCAL Literacy where I worked with a team to create units of work and assessment tasks. I bring industry experience having been a Television Producer for 8 years before teaching and running my own Production company part-time for the past 15 years.

In my ten years at St Joseph's College Mildura, I created the Media, Drama and Theatre Studies curriculum for years 7-12 ensuring development in subject-specific terminology from junior to senior studies in these subjects. At Mildura Senior College I have utilised the VCE Study Designs to further improve unit plans and have had two subjects audited by VCAA and met their strict criteria. I have embedded several literacy strategies, including creating websites of subject keywords (example). In addition to this, I have created several resources and games designed to ensure students' frequency of use of terminology related to the subject. An example of this is a series of escape rooms with puzzles and clues where the answers are keywords from the subject. The students find the competitive, fun nature of the task particular engaging.

I have also created a series of instructional micro-videos such as ‘Decoding the Question in Drama’, ‘VCE Media, how to write a visual scene analysis’ and a series of ‘Theatre Styles in Two minutes’. These are freely shared with other teachers across the district and state and are a key study tool for my students. They are short in nature and therefore able to hold the student's attention and are suggested revision in the lead up to SACs.

Across the Arts faculty, I have demonstrated a strategy for unpacking exam questions called 'decoding the question'. This has assisted with students in visual and performing arts understanding what exam questions are actually asking them to do by also focusing them on instructional verbs and their meaning. This strategy utilises an acronym ABCPE (annotate the action word, bracket the parts of the question, count the marks, plan and evidence) and allows short answer questions to be more accessible. I have also been involved in faculty PD for Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) and use this weekly with my Media class to assist students literacy skills in annotation by getting them to orally express what they see first, then practice paraphrasing and written annotating using the prompts Identify, Describe and Explain. This VTS practice allows students to target the analyse and evaluate tier of Bloom’s Taxonomy in a weekly practice, building skills that they can then apply to create in Media when the time comes with practical work.

With a focus on differentiating at a whole school level, I have identified many needs in my class and used this to inform my teaching practice. One area I am targeting this year is to meet EAL students where they are. This has led me to create scaffolds and thinking routines for these students as well as cloze activities to allow them to demonstrate their key knowledge and skills of outcomes with the consideration that English is their second language. These resources are also good starting points for all students who have been identified as below literacy standards through transition notes or LLN testing as well as written work completed earlier in the Unit.

I also worked with two of my EAL students to translate all of the Drama Terminology into their language to help them initially understand what each word meant. We then designed classroom posters to display these words in English, Chinese and Malay making the language more accessible to them.

SC2 Demonstrated experience in planning for and implementing high impact teaching strategies, guided by how students learn, and evaluating the impact of learning and teaching programs on student learning growth.

Feedback is valuable for students to inform them of their performance relative to learning goals. But, it is equally as important for me as a teacher to also ensure continual improvement of my teaching practices.

To work on accepting feedback constructively in Theatre Studies this year I spent a week working through the practices of 'Brene Brown' and her vulnerability and 'dare to lead' work at the beginning of the school year. This extended time developing students relationships and openness has allowed them to respectfully give and receive feedback helping with improvements, particularly with performance work.

I have worked hard to improve the structure of my lessons, but also across a unit. Students gave me feedback that they found the week at a glance templates I used in remote learning valuable in 2020 so I continued this practice in the class with face to face learning. I also set out weekly learning intentions and success criteria (in addition to lesson goals) and ensure that my lessons start in a familiar way and that I continue with clear instructions and transitions. These weekly intentions allow students greater agency as they can set larger goals in addition to meeting smaller lesson intentions. I have worked with Media Teachers across the state to develop a series of micro lessons I refer to as ‘media bites’, to break up the monotony of larger teaching or learning that may be too much for my students.

The Arts Faculty has also been focused on questioning and I am using post-it notes, exit slips and online tools like slido to allow students to write down or send questions when they come to them, especially when I am giving instruction and they may not wish to draw attention to themselves.

A goal of the whole school at Mildura Senior College this year has been differentiation strategies including:

  • Developing a common language and common understanding of differentiation.

  • Improve individual growth for each student.

  • Improve teacher use of assessment.

  • Improve the use of student voice, agency and leadership

I am an advocate for peer instruction and find mixed ability grouping in practical tasks beneficial. It allows weaker students to strive for greater success due to peer modelling and allows the stronger students to demonstrate and articulate their prowess and skill.

Due to students being able to access all tasks on a week to a glance document they are able to work at their own pace knowing what is required throughout the whole week resulting in students working at their point of need. This is particularly successful in my male-dominated Unit 1 Media class currently that has a mixture of abilities in both the theory and practical. As the students come to Mildura Senior College from a minimum of four different junior feeder schools in year 11 they arrive with vast differences in their preparation for Senior Media. Differentiating their tasks and also allowing their peers to instruct in their stronger areas has proven fruitful. When asked one student said, “If I miss something Jade has explained I like being able to use the Essential question on the lesson plan to talk about with my friend and work out what I am meant to know”.

SC3 Demonstrated experience in monitoring and assessing student learning. Demonstrated experience in using data to inform teaching practice and providing feedback on student learning growth and achievement to students and parents.

Both formative and summative assessment are crucial tools that allow me to provide my students with targeted feedback, but also allow me to review my own teaching strategies.

In the classroom, I routinely use strategies for constant feedback and assessment which lends itself to FISO and improvement in my practice. One strategy I use is exit tickets, either the traditional paper type with question prompts or digital versions like google forms or slido which allow students to question or feedback with more anonymity amongst their peers. I also like to conduct an end of Unit survey to reflect on the structure and content of the unit.

Another strategy I used for student ownership and response to teacher feedback following summative assessments is a SAC reflection worksheet asking students how many hours of revision they did, what study techniques they use etc placing emphasis on what they did to prepare and the subsequent grade they received.

Our Faculty has developed regular formative testing utilising Google Forms. Mildura Senior College produces SLP'S (Student Learning Progress) every three to four weeks and the google forms allow me to quickly keep track of the students level of understanding at that time.

The use of VCE Data sets based on the previous year is a large focus for the whole school. We commence the year with PD allowing us time to focus on the previous year's date for written and performance exams. This data allows us to review teaching and learning performance and to plan for improved VCE delivery in our learning areas.

Results this year for Drama suggested to me a need for some more professional development in preparing students for the performance exam. Forward planning I have researched possible incursions from Melbourne Theatre Company or Drama Victoria.

SC4 Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills. Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with students, parents, colleagues and the broader school community to support student learning, agency, wellbeing and engagement.

In addition to my empathy, I believe my interpersonal and communication skills to be my strongest asset initiated when I worked as a television producer and refined through my years producing and directing the school productions at St Joseph's College as well as general classroom and homeroom teaching practices.

In Theatre Studies I chair a rehearsal meeting weekly. These meetings follow a formal process simulating industry standards and allow open communication between students on the production team. Students are trained in active listening and authentically develop their communication skills, verbally and in writing as they record notes, with me modelling these skills for them. These meetings allow the students' agency to express where they are at and ensure the show they are staging will be ready. It also becomes a useful well-being tool as they can air grievances in a professional manner thus making a more positive environment for learning (FISO).

The development of strong communication lines with students is essential to fostering the collaborative learning relationship and ensuring the students are agents of their own learning. As a pathways teacher, I have been responsible for overseeing the future pathways of my students and monitoring their school journey. At times this has required tough conversations around motivation and attendance issues. It has also required me to assist with transitions to the workplace and working with my Leading Teacher to handle issues with my student in other classes.

I also value ‘parents and caregivers as partners’ (FISO) which has proven vital in their involvement in their young person's educational journey. I send timelines and a newsletter at the start of each term to my students' caregivers and invite them in to see performances in Drama and Theatre Studies.

In 2019 I coordinated a showcase of Year 12 performance exams for Music, Dance and Drama at Mildura Arts Centre. I collaborated with the teachers of these subjects to give our students a chance to show their creative talents prior to the exam. This showcase was open to the public, as have been most other musicals and plays I have both produced and directed. In this role, I have worked with the media to promote the shows and ensure ticket sales. I have also managed the logistics of staging productions in professional theatres.

In the same year, I also worked with Drama Students and EAL students to create a verbatim theatre piece about their stories of seeking refuge and a new life in Australia. This piece was so well received that we were invited to perform it publically at Mildura Arts Centre, where I communicated with esteemed guests like the Member for Mildura, Ali Cupper who attended. This was also a great example of adopting a collaborative learning approach (HITS #5) as the work the students created together was meaningful and socially relevant.

SC5 Demonstrated behaviours and attitudes consistent with Department values. Demonstrated experience in reflecting upon practice and engaging in professional learning to continually improve the quality of teaching.

As a Media Teacher I enjoy professional reading via new media outlets such as twitter and I follow professional pages related to my curriculum area on social media to remain current with trends and news in the industry.

I am passionate about inclusive education and my recent focus has been on assisting non-neurotypical students to work to the best of their ability in creative subjects like Drama, Theatre Studies and Media. Last year I engaged in a Professional Development titled 'Neuro Diversity in Drama' run by Drama Victoria. I have applied a practice suggested at this PD of using familiar story structures to help neurodivergent students structure Dramatic pieces. The task of ‘thinking outside the square’ often presents challenges for ASD students who at times respond to more structure. Taking them through familiar stories as a starting point has proved useful in allowing them to start from familiarity before needing to branch off and be more creative.

In my classroom, I have successfully used the e5 instructional model in order to facilitate quality discussions and cultivate higher-order thinking. This has been evident through;

  1. Referring to our shared norms in the Drama class almost every lesson, ensuring it is a safe place to express themselves performance-wise.

  2. Extending the inquiry and helping students to reflect on their understanding through the use of Dramas Playmaking techniques and their journals.

  3. Contrasting my content instructions delivery with Lecture style, Video and Audio Recording and question and answer teacher-led conversations.

  4. Deepening the individual and collective understanding with the question ‘why, but why’ (The 4C’s)

  5. Moderates with subject colleagues from other schools in the district to ensure consistent judgements.

I have also demonstrated professional collaboration via my role as coordinator of Sunraysia Drama Teachers Network and as a Regional Representative for Drama Victoria. This has also ensured I am connected to the local Arts Centre attending theatre regularly, coordinating meetings and a newsletter to swap between teachers at local Government feeder schools. I am also very active in The Drama and Theatre Studies Network Facebook constantly sharing resources with other teachers with a particular focus on subject literacy including resources like Drama and Theatre Studies Taboo.

At Mildura Senior College we are currently working through the Beyond Blue Be You Training to assist educators to develop a positive, inclusive and resilient learning community. This is a huge positive in the creative and performing arts as the students these subjects

In our Pathways classes, we are utilising The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships learning materials to create instruction in this area.

A lesson I recently conducted was ‘positive self-talk and peer support’ encouraging students to identify and practice ways of encouraging their peers to identify the effect of negative self-talk, and to use positive or technical self-talk. Using my experience as a Drama Teacher I guided students through role-play scenarios based on the pressures of VCE. The students used the 4 questions (What usually works for you when you are under this kind of pressure? 'You’ve handled tough times before – what gets you through at other times? Can you use any of those tactics here? Is there anything that you need right now?, What do you think would be the best thing for you to do to help yourself calm down?) from the 4Rs booklet to guide their discourse and assist them in reframing their language to be more positive.

I also completed the QPR Suicide Prevention training in 2019.