Carolina Gomez Isaza has made a promising start as a Humanities and Film and Media teacher and leader in digital technology at Pine Rivers State High School. “Carolina demonstrates a discerning ability to reflect on learning activities and lesson design to improve and enhance her practice, and therefore best meet the needs of her students,” colleague Nicole Christian says. She has a good understanding of established frameworks and policies used within the school, such as the Art and Science of Teaching, Problem Based Learning and Essential Skills for Classroom Management.
She effectively uses student data to plan and differentiate lessons but also keep track of distance travelled by her students. Lessons are well-planned, students are engaged and have a clear idea of the learning goals for each one. With digital initiatives she is able to produce effective flipped lessons and ensure learning outside of the classroom which she can monitor and provide feedback on. Carolina wants to engage her students and ensure they are acquiring 21st century skills needed for today’s world. “Posing inquiry questions for discussion, group work and digital links all encourage the students to go deeper and broader with their comprehension, coming to an understanding of a topic or event from a variety of points of view,” Nicole says. Carolina keeps up-to-date on research online and attended professional development courses including Microsoft Edumeets, QCAA SATE preparation, a New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning Lab at the Sunshine Coast and a History Teachers’ Conference in Toowoomba. She has been published in Faculty Magazine: Online Magazine for Australian Educators. As Year 7 course co-ordinator for Humanities she has written units and assessment for the cohort. She has provided professional development to fellow staff members, is a OneNote mentor (hosting instructional rounds) and organised access and support for other software to colleagues. She is the key organiser for Clickview (educational videos on YouTube) in the school and is the facilitator of the Digital Leaders group of seniors who make films to assist school culture. During her first year of teaching she filled a need for someone to learn and operate the lighting for the school musical and has done so since. “Due to her own life experience and challenges, her unique background as a refugee with English as her second language, and her willingness to share her story, she has a great capacity to understand, empathise with and support students with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds,” Nicole says. Congratulations Carolina on your nomination.