Amanda Selmes

Classroom Teacher

Dear Principal,

My name is Amanda Selmes and it is with great excitement that I am writing to you, in the hope that I will be considered for any temporary teaching engagements that may be available at your school in 2015.

Last year I completed a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood and Primary teaching as well as a Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Education. Throughout the two courses, I have undertaken a number of subjects that have broadened my understanding of child development from birth to twelve years. I have also developed skills in programming and planning, knowledge of the Early Years Learning Framework, the K-6 Syllabus’ in all KLAs, and the newly implemented Australian curriculum.

Through undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Education, I have also gained knowledge and skills surrounding curriculum differentiation, assessment, behaviour management and collaboration. This year I have been expanding my knowledge in this area by undertaking a Master in Inclusive Education, which I am due to complete at the end of the year. I believe that I am a life long learner and am willing to undergo further training and professional development to increase my knowledge and skills so that I can be the best teacher I can be.

I have had experience working in preschool, childcare, OOSH care, and primary schools over the last 3 years, which has developed my knowledge and skills in teaching children across a number of key learning areas and age ranges. I am currently working as a temporary teacher on a multi-stage K-2 class five days a fortnight and a 3-6 class two days a fortnight. Every second Wednesday I am implementing a visual art and ICT program with students from K-6. In addition, I am also running a kindergarten transition to school program every Monday.

If successful in gaining the position at your school, I will bring to the position a creative and student focused philosophy in developing educational lessons for students of varying ages and abilities. I will strive to continue to develop my professional development in this area, to ensure I develop high quality programs.

I hold a current first aid, anaphylaxis and asthma (from surf lifesaving and DET online training), eEmergency care, and child protection awareness (DET online training) certificates. I have also attended the mandatory child protection and code of conduct training for 2014. In addition to these certificates, I have also undergone Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders training, which increased my knowledge, understanding and ability to cater for students with ASD.

I am very passionate about teaching and helping children realise their potential and their dreams. I pride myself on being reliable, honest, hardworking, prompt, and friendly.

If you would like to make a time to meet me or discuss my resume please don’t hesitate to call or email me. For further examples of my programs please visit my teaching portfolio at http://asteachingportfolio.weebly.com . I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to read my application.

Kind regards,

Amanda Selmes

Resume

Education:

· 2014 Due to graduate with a Master in Inclusive Education in December

· 2013 I have just completed a Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Education

· 2010-2013 Bachelor of Education: Early Childhood and Primary School teaching, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst.

I have just completed my final year. Transcript available upon request.

· 2004-2009

Higher School Certificate, Lithgow High School.

I completed my HSC with high levels of achievement, which benefited me when gaining admission to University. Higher School Certificate results available upon request.


Experience:

July 2014 – present

Temporary Teacher

· Bonalbo Central School

I am currently employed every Monday implementing a Kindergarten Transition Program.

May 2014 – present

Temporary Teacher

· Urbenville Public School

I am currently employed Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays each week on a K-2 class. I am also implementing a visual arts and technology unit in both K-2 and 3-6 every second Wednesday. Every Tuesday I teach the 3-6 class.

Achievements:

· Successful curriculum differentiation for a wide range of learners in a multi-stage classroom

· Jump Rope for Heart coordinator

· Planned and implemented successful Book Week celebrations

· Planned a successful "Back in Time" day for students in K-2 that concluded our integrated HSIE and literacy unit on time and change so that students can experience first hand what school was like in the 1800s

· Collaborated with a small team to write and implement IEPs for students with additional needs

· Trained in Golf for after school sport - due to implement the program in term 4 2014

March 2014 – May 2014

Casual Early Childhood Teacher

Goodstart Early Learning Centre – Kelso Duties:

· Setting up experiences in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework.

· Housekeeping duties

· Looking after the needs of children between 0-5 years

October 2013- May 2014

Casual Teacher

· Cullen Bullen Public School Thursday’s as the RFF teacher and Friday’s for Principals release. These two roles have allowed me to teach across all grades in multistage classrooms and across all KLA’s. My RFF programming had an emphasis on visual arts, which aimed to expose students across K-6 to a number of artists and art techniques.

· Sofala Public School

· Cooerwull Public School

Relief work working across all grades on an on call basis.

February 2013-May 2014

Casual Early Childhood Teacher

· Blinky Bill Childcare Centre, Portland

Duties

· Setting up experiences in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework.

· Housekeeping duties

· Looking after the needs of children between 2-5 years

July 2012- July 2013

Relief Educator

· Lithgow Kids Club – After school and vacation care

Duties:

· Setting up experiences and undertaking observations in accordance with the My Time Our Place framework.

· Preparing afternoon tea

· Looking after the needs of children between 5-12 years

· Housekeeping duties

June 2011- December 2012

Casual Childcare Worker

· Pied Piper Preschool, Wallerawang

Duties:

· During 2012, I spent an enjoyable and rewarding year working with a child with special needs

· Looking after the needs of children between 2-5 years

· Setting up experiences

· Programming and planning in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework.

· Housekeeping duties

Practicum Experience:

2011 – Pied Piper Preschool: 4-5 years

2012 – Wallerawang Public School: Year One

- Lithgow Public School: Years 5 & 6 gifted and talented

2013 - SDN Gumnut: 0-2 years

- Cullen Bullen Public School: Years 3, 4, 5 & 6

- Lithgow Childcare Centre: 2-3 years

Practicum reports available upon request..

Certificates and Courses:

· Apply First Aid – HLTFA301C

· Stage One Child Protection

· Stage Two Child Protection

· Child Protection Awareness Training (DET – Online Course)

· Manual Handling Workshop

· Anaphylaxis and Asthma (E-training required by DET & Surf Lifesaving training)

· E-emergency care (DET – Online training)

· Understanding Autistic Spectrum Disorders – online training

· WHS (DET - Online training)

ACPHER K-6 Physical Activity, Sport and Healthy Eating Conference 2014

· After School Sport - Golf training


Referees:

Lauren Hankinson

Principal, Urbenville Public School

Ph: (02)66341220

Work: (02)66341333

Email: Lauren.Hankinson@det.nsw.edu.au

Jessica Kirchner-Smith

Classroom teacher, Urbenville Public School

Work: (02)66341333

Mob: 0407145116

Email: Jessica.Kirchner@det.nsw.edu.au

Assessment and Quality Teaching


  • In my classroom I ensure that I develop and implement a broad range of assessment strategies to assess for learning by gathering evidence of students’ knowledge, understanding and skills throughout the teaching and learning practice, to inform further teaching and learning. I also gather assessment of learning to determine student achievement in a summative nature. To assess for learning and to develop assessment of learning, I utilise assessment strategies including; rubrics, checklists and work samples that are placed into student learning portfolios. These student learning portfolios have resulted in all students being able to demonstrate success in their learning. They have encouraged students to share their success with peers and take ownership of their own learning by choosing work samples that they believe demonstrates their best work against a given criteria. The portfolios have also resulted in greater sharing of student work and achievement with students’ families strengthening the relationship between school and home. In addition to student portfolios, students are also provided with opportunities to take ownership of their own learning through the development of “I can” statements based on the literacy and numeracy continuum by providing them with visual displays on the wall so they can see where they are at and where they need to go. This has given students opportunities to be assessors of their own learning, to ask questions and develop their understanding of the next step in their learning journey. This has resulted in higher engagement and pride in learning and has created a culture where students’ share and celebrate their own and others success.
  • In my classroom, I have actively used the quality teaching framework in my programming by focusing on what I want students to learn, why the learning matters, what I will get the to do or produce and my criteria for achieving outcomes. To do this I make sure that I have developed a deep understanding of my students as learners and as individuals to ensure that I am catering to student’s needs and interests and incorporating background knowledge and culture of students. This has resulted in students engaged in significant lessons that promote intellectual quality in a quality learning environment.

Differentiation Through Engaging Literacy and Numeracy Programs

  • During my teaching experiences I have gained a deep understanding of my students physically, socially and intellectually to be able to successfully program multi-stage classes in all KLAs to provide students with guided, modelled and independent work appropriate to their stage and ability level. This knowledge informed how I differentiated my programs via the content presented, process of learning and the product expected to ensure that my programs could connect with, engage and teach a wide variety of students. The development of deep knowledge and differentiation has resulted in students receiving an education that is meaningful and student centred. It has resulted in goal driven programming, developing an inclusive educational setting where all students have been able to access content and achieve success through a range of teaching and learning activities.
  • In my classroom I develop deep knowledge of the content from the NSW syllabus, to write and implement differentiated programs. This is evident in my programming through the creation of integrated units of work for multi-stage classes. The integration of KLAs demonstrates my knowledge of the links between content across the curriculum. The multi-stage aspect of my programming allows me to have deep knowledge of content across all ages and how the content build on students knowledge and skills as they progress from Early Childhood to the end of Primary and beyond. This deep knowledge of content has resulted in integrated units of work that are differentiated through the tiered system by providing intervention lessons to the tertiary prevention group who have sustained learning difficulties, provided additional assistance to students in the secondary prevention group who need minor intervention to achieve the required outcomes while also catering for the needs of students in the primary prevention group who are working at the required level with the current instruction. The outcome of these programs was learning activities that provided content to students that was meaningful and accessible resulting in all students being able to produce a product that reflected their learning and understanding.
  • In my classroom I implement direct instruction to ensure that the content is being successfully conveyed to students. This strategy is emphasised in my programing through the use of small dynamic grouping and face-to-face instruction where cognitive skills and knowledge is broken down into small units and is sequenced in accordance with the new syllabus documents. This method is especially utilised during literacy centres where I have implemented guided reading groups where students are grouped according to ability and change as the needs and abilities of students grow and evolve. During these groupings students are provided with direct instruction around the big five ideas in reading; phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. This has resulted in students being able to achieve success in reading, which has been demonstrated through the increase in outcomes represented by PLAN data. It has also increased the confidence of students as they read in front of the class, in small groups and independently.
  • I have undertaken professional development to increase my knowledge and understanding of the new Australian Curriculum and have effectively implemented it in my classroom. This is evident through my successful development of literacy programs that incorporate cross curriculum priorities, higher order thinking, imaginative and creative thinking and reflective practice for myself and my students, so that they can develop a high concept based understanding of literacy content through deep knowledge of and engagement with quality multimedia, visual, written and spoken texts. This engagement in quality literature has been complimented with the implementation of the focus on reading program to improve the comprehension of students as they engage with texts using the super six comprehension strategies; making connections, predicting, questioning, monitoring, visualising and summarising while also developing their ability to read deeply to answer literal, inferential and applied questions. The outcome of my highly developed knowledge of the new syllabus documents is the increased achievement of students in the development of their skills in reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and speaking and listening as they are engaged in differentiated content that has evoked a love of literacy and learning.
  • I have created and implemented a mathematics program and scope and sequence for term four 2014 utilising the new curriculum for both K-2 and 3-6 multi-stage classes. The program focuses on presenting students with multiple ways to increase their understanding in mathematics through; hands on activities, technology, intensive teacher time and games all matched to student’s abilities and needs. Content has been presented across the five modes of mathematics; concrete, pictorial, symbolic, real life situations and mental modes. This program has resulted in students developing a deep relational understanding of mathematical content across number and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability as the content is broken down into small achievable components to ensure that students develop appropriate mathematical foundations to undertake more complex tasks as they move through their schooling. This method of teaching mathematics has resulted in increased engagement and outcomes in mathematics as students are taught each component explicitly. This increased achievement has been exhibited in class activities, in class summative assessment and through SENA 1 and SENA 2 testing.
  • I have completed a Graduate Certificate and Master in Inclusive Education which had a focus on curriculum differentiation through the developed understanding of how to program for students with high support needs, recognise and plan for reading and mathematical difficulties and how to effectively undertake curriculum based measurement and assessment to create Individual Education Plans for students. The knowledge and skills I have developed while undertaking these courses has resulted in a change in the way I program for students so that I effectively implement the teaching and leaning cycle to implement curriculum based assessment, plan intervention and prevention lessons in literacy and mathematics, teach differentiate lessons and then evaluate their success to determine if further differentiation and/or intervention needs to take place. This has seen my colleagues and I collaboratively create individual programs implemented for students who were significantly behind in mathematics and literacy. The programs have resulted in increased student skills, knowledge and confidence in these areas, which will assist them as they move forward in their schooling.
  • In my classroom I have implemented lessons that teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. I have increased my understanding and the understanding of my students about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history across all KLAs. In addition I have broadened my knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, which has resulted in my ability to provide an inclusive and relevant program to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students using the “8 ways” indigenous learning model to provide culturally relevant lessons. The outcome of my inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and the “8 ways” pedagogy in my lessons has been the increased understanding and sensitivity to the beliefs, culture and educational needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. It has assisted with providing relevant lessons to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students that has increased engagement and success for these students which is not only a focus in my classroom but also within the Department of Education and Communities.

21st Century Learning

  • In my classroom I have utilised syllabus documents to engage students as 21st Century learners through the development of rich tasks that are relevant to real world situations, that foster imagination and curiosity, and offer students the opportunity to collaborate with others and connect their learning and experiences to the people and events in the local, national and global community. Students have been able to work as 21st Century students through the integration of technology in all KLAs through the use of; video as a writing prompt, experience augmented realities in science, to share stories for modelled and guided reading, using iPads and computers to reinforce content and using interactive whiteboard technology for student engagement in topics such as going on virtual excursions to places of study. Technologies such as, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, video, photos and blogs have been utilised to allow students a variety of mediums to demonstrate their learning in all KLAs, while also developing skills and knowledge about ICT as they research ideas, theories and questions while being critical and aware users of technology. The implementation of 21st Century pedagogy has resulted in increased student engagement in a range of content as they are involved in critical and creative thinking to create a range of products demonstrating their learning and achievement in an innovative way that allows them to connect with the global environment in which they live.

Student Welfare and Classroom Management

  • In my early childhood classrooms, I have developed an understanding of young students and their beginning social skill development. The preschool classroom in which I worked saw students who lacked understanding of social conventions and I believed they needed to be developed before they went to school. To increase the positive social skills in my preschool students, I implemented the PALS Social Skills program. This program was a child friendly and fun way to teach social skills to students in the 3 to 6 years age range. The outcome of the program was the development of student’s social skills such as; listening, sharing, taking turns, dealing with feelings and solving problems. The results of the program could clearly be seen during the everyday events and activities in the preschool room with happy and confident children participating in activities with kindness and care towards others in a positive learning environment.
  • I have implemented the DEC child protection policy and utilised the Child Protection Education Support Materials for K-6 in an infants classroom. The program taught students about unsafe situations, seeking assistance effectively, relationships, equality, respect and responsibility. The outcome of the program was students increased understanding of child protection issues so that they can participate in the world safely. It ensured that students knew where to go and who to talk to if they needed help. The program saw increased responsibility taken by students especially around the area of asking permission and friendly relationships, this saw an growth in positive interactions in the class environment, which then resulted in increased learner outcomes as all students were focused and wanted to try their best.
  • In my classroom student’s physical and emotional health is my top priority when designing student learning spaces and programs. My learning space and programs encourage positive relationships between staff and students and between students through the development of positive sharing circles where students are able to share events in their day that were positive, something they have achieved and/or something nice they noticed about someone else. Students have been encouraged to celebrate other students’ achievement during this time. This initiative has resulted in increased self-esteem for all students and has increased their willingness to try new things in class as they know that the class is a safe and happy learning environment that is free from judgement. Due to increased self-esteem and confidence, student-learning outcomes have improved as they attempt activities to their best of their ability so that they can share their success with others. It has increased the pride in learning in my classroom.
  • In my classroom I have utilised my knowledge and skills in effective behaviour analysis by conducting observations and assessment to determine the antecedent and the function of specific behaviours. This analysis assisted in determining how the behaviour could be addressed so that maximum learning could take place for all students through the development of a student behaviour plan. In addition to assisting in the writing of individual student behaviour plans, I have implemented whole school behaviour programs including Positive Behaviour for Learning and also written and implemented my own in class behaviour management programs such as; “Caught you Being Good” and “Class DOJO” points. These initiatives have ensured that I remain consistent with whole school behaviour management programs already running on a school wide basis and has also made sure that feedback and reinforcement is provided to students in a fair and consistent manner. By providing fair and consistent reinforcement and feedback students know the expectations of the school and my classroom so that they can take responsibility for their own learning and behaviour. These fair, consistent and high expectations has resulted in students positive behaviour and engagement in class activities assisting with the development of their learning outcomes.

Extra Curricular Activities: Gifted and Talented, CAPA, Curriculum Extension, PDHPE

  • During my teaching experiences, I have actively participated in the writing and implementation of performing arts lessons and performances for presentation nights that allowed students to learn a variety of skills in drama, music and dance that they could then proudly showcase to parents, carers, family and community members. During this year I have also implemented whole school visual arts programs to increase student understanding of the elements of art, the forms of art and how artists convey a message in their artwork. Students have been encouraged to actively participate in all Creative and Performing Arts lessons and have developed a range of skills that has increased their confidence and ability in these subject areas which they could then showcase to their families and community members to strengthen the relationship between the community, parents and the school through the mutual celebration of student success.
  • Throughout the year, I have actively and willingly contributed to my schools extracurricular activities including implementing and supervising After School Sport programs that provided students with opportunities to develop their skills in a variety of sports. These programs have resulted in increased student confidence in sport and increased participation of the parents, carers and the wider community in school events. I have also organised and implemented successful Book Week celebrations at school. This offered students opportunities to engage with a variety of books and celebrate their love of reading through the creation of book responses delivered orally to parents and the opportunity to participate in the Book Character Parade. This event reinforced the students’ love of literature and the importance of reading to students while also providing parents, carers and the wider community the opportunity to visit the school and participate in a literacy lesson with the students, which strengthened the links between home and school. My willingness to contribute to these whole school extracurricular activities has resulted in the growing relationship I have with my students and parents, carers and the wider community as these events have allowed me to develop a deep understanding of students through their microsystem and mesosystem so I can provide relevant and engaging activities to students so they can grow and develop into well-rounded global citizens.
  • During term three, I extended students’ interests in curriculum content about time and change through the implementation of a class “Back in Time” day. This provided students with the opportunity to take part in lessons as they would have in the 1800s, play school yard games from the time, examine artefacts from the time, develop cooking skills and participate in arts and craft activities. This day allowed students to develop first hand experience of what school was like in the 1800s and examine the key differences between now and then. This extracurricular event resulted in students’ deep engagement and knowledge of the topic, as they were able to examine class content in a new light and for this content to be reinforced through kinaesthetic, visual, interpersonal and intrapersonal activities.
  • I have recognised and catered for student ability during my classroom experience teaching Gifted and Talented students. I have effectively planned and taught a stage three Opportunity Class for a three week period during my third year practicum. This required me to examine the content and provide challenging learning goals for these students so they could remain engaged in learning activities that required them to utilise their higher order thinking skills through real world problems. In addition I have identified students in my current K-2 class working above stage levels in English and Mathematics and planned acceleration and research tasks to provide them with significant and appropriate learning activities at their level. This has resulted in challenging learning goals devised for these students with the outcome being students engrossed in a wide range of content. These opportunities have allowed me to develop my understanding of theories and strategies about how to cater for Gifted and Talented students through content modification, pace of learning, different objectives and different resources to ensure that learning is significant, allows for creative endeavours, includes problem solving and higher order thinking in real world contexts.

Communication, Interpersonal skills, ability to work in a team

  • I have utilised my interpersonal skills of verbal and non-verbal communication, listening skills, negotiation, problem solving and decision making to effectively participate in the wider school community. I have participated in the wider school community through the planning and implementation of whole school and stage activities including; Book Week celebrations, Jump Rope for Heart and the 2014 Remembrance Day ceremony. The creation and implementation of these events allowed me to use my interpersonal skills to respectfully communicate with parents and community members in a small school setting, by being sensitive to parents/carers concerns, ideas, and feedback. This has resulted in positive relationships between myself, parents, carers and the wider community based on two-way communication. These positive relationships have allowed me to develop a holistic understanding of my students to create high quality teaching and learning programs.
  • I have been working in a small school setting this year which has seen my interpersonal skills grow and develop as I effectively communicate with my colleagues to collaboratively plan lessons to ensure that all content is covered and the school is run in a consistent manner so that student learning is not disrupted. I have openly communicated and been an active listener during staff and learning support meetings to collaboratively discuss student learning and development. These meetings resulted in respectful, supportive and honest discussions about how to increase student achievement. After these discussions I collaborated with key stakeholders to develop Individual Education Plans to improve the learning and development of students with additional needs. This open communication and collaboratively teamwork to create the individual programs for students has seen an increase in these students learning progress from being at preschool level to the early stages of kindergarten.