New teacher Alana Butcher has become a champion of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) and put several sustainability strategies into action at Riverview State School. She developed her teaching based on the Berry Street Model that uses trauma-informed and wellbeing practice where students learn in a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. She plans and differentiates for the needs of her students both educationally and emotionally. Recognising how important technology will be in the lives of her students, she makes sure to embed it in her lessons.
“Alana has been observed by a Lead Principal who was surprised that she was a first-year teacher. Her planning is thorough and her confidence in teaching has resulted in a confident class. She has developed strong relationships with her students and has established very clear expectations with her students,” Head of Curriculum, Student Services, Katrina Roche says. A STEM leader, Alana is involved in the strategic planning of STEM within the school, has increased STEM staff awareness and leads the curriculum planning for the subject in the school. With the Yakka Program, students from Years 1 to 6 select an activity to do for 45 minutes of the day. As part of the program, Alana teaches Coding, Robotics and Sustainability once a week. With a focus on sustainability, Alana has engaged her students to grow their own produce with the creation of several school gardens, maintain worm farms and carry out recycling within the classroom. She has also successfully applied for grant funds to plant 100 trees. Alana’s lessons have been observed as well planned, highly engaging, explicit in the instruction of reading and writing and providing excellent feedback. She conferences with students one on one and makes use of a Bump It Up Wall (visible learning that identifies student goals and progress). She works closely with support staff to maximise the learning opportunities of all students. She actively participated in the Mentoring Beginning Teachers (MBT) program, providing feedback, and continues her professional development with a focus on trauma-informed practice. She is part of many teams in the school including the Engagement Team that focusses on Staff Wellbeing and plans school and wellbeing events. Alana regularly stays in communication with the parents of students though a variety of means including Dojo (school communication platform), e-mail, telephone or in person. Congratulations Alana on your nomination.