Described as ‘fearless’, Natalie Day has started a school choir and has helped reduce disciplinary absences and referrals to administration among her Atherton State School students. Natalie has shown a keen interest in behaviour management, building trustful and productive relationships with students and sharing new strategies and ideas with colleagues. When you walk into Natalie’s Year 5 class you will see individual students’ goals taped to their desks, which helps not only pupils, but any visiting teacher, teacher aide or school leader to instantly understand her students’ learning journeys. Atherton State School principal Linda Saunders says Natalie creates her own data trackers and data walls for students, who can then track their own progress. Natalie uses hands-on multimedia, including the app ClassDojo as a communication tool with her students and parents. She also utilises reflective activities, collaborative discussion and problem-solving to engage students and create in them a sense of ownership of their learning experience. “Natalie’s most outstanding contribution to the school is her willingness to be the first to try something new,” Linda says. “For example, she saw a gap in the school, with regard to music, and being a trained music teacher—although teaching Year 5—she has taken on the challenge of establishing a school choir, meeting with students in her lunch break,” she says. The school choir includes students from the Special Education Unit and Natalie meets with these students weekly. Natalie also works with the school’s student council representatives and is a minute taker for the school’s Positive Behaviour for Learning team. She has been praised for seeking out and welcoming feedback, which she then puts into place. “Natalie works alongside experienced teachers and conferences with them each morning, to ensure that she is on track and improving,” Linda says. Congratulations Natalie on your nomination.
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