EXCELLENCE IN BEGINNING TO TEACH
After receiving Dean’s Honours for her Master of Teaching Degree, Catriona Mach has continued to excel in the classroom, showing extraordinary leadership in her first year of teaching.
The English, Legal Studies and Modern History teacher at Groves Christian College (GCC), which is in the Logan area, has already established a resource bank to support Senior school teachers in the teaching of macro-skills in reading, writing and speaking to English as an Additional Language and/or Dialect (EAL/D) learners.
GCC Director of International Education James van Gelderen says this initiative has been “massively beneficial to subject area teachers across the Senior disciplines”.
Catriona is partnering with a range of academics at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education to deliver interstate professional development to preservice teachers and to undertake her own action research into embedding multilingual practice within mainstream classrooms.
James says Catriona, who is also specialising as an EAL/D teacher, quickly identified a need to boost students’ language and literacy outcomes. She then acted with practical measures to equip teachers with further knowledge in this area.
“This includes leading professional development and coordinating a professional learning community with specialisation and collaboration with other Senior teachers across the school, to identify challenges that are faced in delivering a Senior curriculum and to overcome these challenges with collaborative practice that engages students with language,” James says.
“Having only been teaching for 6 months, she must be commended for her leadership in the area of EAL/D at the College, excellent communication skills and a willingness to improve her capacity as a first-year teacher through applied feedback from internal supervisors and thought leaders across Australia,” he says.
Catriona has also undertaken extensive professional development, including completing courses in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and on analysing evidence-based data offered by the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, International Open Academy and Cambridge Assessment English.
She has been praised for her positivity, her enthusiasm, her tenacity and her skill as a classroom teacher.
“As a first-year graduate teacher, Catriona has demonstrated exemplary pedagogical practice in connecting with students from a linguistically and culturally diverse background,” James says.
“In using her expertise to integrate students’ linguistic repertoires in the classroom, Catriona has built language and literacy outcomes for all students across disciplinary subject areas at Groves Christian College,” he says.
"All students are able to have access to personalised and individualised feedback on their assessment, where Catriona has sought to revolutionise the delivery of feedback in her lessons, by providing students with structured feedback opportunities, whether that may be through a feedback journal, creating developmental rubrics or making a Guttman chart."
“Across her subjects, there has been sustainable improvement and increases of student performance in her cohort results, affirming her teaching abilities and how her differentiation strategies are of benefit to students at Groves.”
Catriona constantly engages in reflective practice regarding her own teaching, often filming observational videos to identify areas for improvement and further student engagement.
Congratulations Catriona on being shortlisted for a TEACHX Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award.