EXCELLENCE IN BEGINNING TO TEACH
Catherine Davidson’s ability to seamlessly weave her capabilities as a scientist and researcher with her teaching craft to make science accessible, interesting and engaging for all students has made her an invaluable asset to Centenary State High School.
Catherine’s own science journey began when she was at school, where an independent scientific investigation assessment triggered a passion for the scientific method as a process for creating new knowledge. This experience eventually inspired her to move into teaching, a profession Catherine believes will have the most impact on society.
In the classroom, Catherine has established herself as an exceptional educator. For her, the students are at the heart of what she does. To that end, Catherine expertly crafts learning experiences that will suit the needs of each student in her class.
To support her high-achieving students, Catherine began teaching the ‘eXcel’ program, a selective-entry program designed to extend student knowledge beyond the scope of the curriculum.
Catherine also works closely with paraprofessionals around the school to assist the students who need additional support. Catherine practices co-teaching to support her students with special needs, and works closely with her colleagues to make sure that lessons are differentiated so that every single student can achieve. Catherine has introduced, with great success, four students who have never engaged in mainstream classes, into her Year 11 Science in Practice class.
Her co-teacher explains “Catherine has shown [me] how to teach maths while Catherine has taken on the role of differentiator, further deepening her knowledge of conceptual development within the P-10 mathematics curriculum to ensure that all students, irrespective of their ICP level and learning needs, are able to participate in learning with their peers.”
Amongst her colleagues, Catherine is an invaluable asset. She has co-led the Senior Biology team of seven teachers to develop four Teaching and Learning plans, six internal assessments, a mock external exam and a systematic revision program. She is known to be an incredibly reliable colleague who produces work of the highest quality.
Catherine seeks out the expertise of others around the school, and is a true example of collaboration in practice.
Her colleagues explain, “She is quiet and unassuming; more experienced teachers are motivated so as not to get left behind and less experienced teachers have a great role model to aspire to.”
Catherine’s impact is felt beyond the classroom too. In 2018, Catherine supported a Kokoda Challenge Team to complete the 48km trek. The whole team completed the course – which requires extraordinary perseverance and teamwork skills to tackle freezing cold temperatures, tough terrain and sleep deprivation – in just over 26 hours together.
The parents of the children in her team recounted that it was Catherine’s gentle encouragement that enabled the children to persist.
Her colleagues today have observed that “the experience of completing this challenge had a profound impact on both students and parents and is further evidence of the extent to which Catherine is committed to bettering the lives of the young people with whom she works.”
Congratulations Catherine on being shortlisted for the TEACHX Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award.