Teacher Peita Bates at Maryborough State High School developed in her first year of teaching a fully new ‘Coding as a Language’ curriculum which continues to expand. She then reworked the school’s business program increasing small student numbers to a point where there is now a waiting list. “At every level and every stage, Peita’s practice is founded on the relationship with her students and building rapport based on understanding their individual needs,” notes the nomination form.
A lifelong learner, Peita utilises everything she gained from tertiary studies in Business, Government, Information Technology and Education and continues to maintain industry/content knowledge incorporating multiple points of view in her teaching. In 2017 she created ‘Coding as Language’ that provided a new language course at the school in addition to Japanese. It went from one initial Year 7 class to nine classes over three grades with a Specialist Coding academy using the New Pedagogies Deep Learning (NPDL) framework. Peita then took over the Business programs in the school, where class enrolments were so low that it was a struggle to fill a composite senior class. Now the subject is waitlisted because there are no vacancies. There is a flow on effect in the wider community too, with employers noting the strength of applicants for the Diploma of Business course and Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) qualifications being held in higher regard. Peita has a 100 per cent completion rate over the past two years in her (NRT) Business classes. A practitioner in the (The Art and Science of Teaching by Robert J. Marzano) ASoT approach, she sees teachers as facilitators more than instructors and works to suit learner needs. Using class analysis pre-commencement, Peita identifies students with complex needs including behaviour, attendance and disability. As a lifelong learner, Peita motivates her students to never give up, and continues to learn when faced with challenges. She recently completed an upgrade to her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment as well as a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education. She completed these courses to better understand the difference between teaching school age students and tertiary students, so she could better prepare her senior students for the transition to adult study. Peita established the extra-curricular program ‘Robocademy’ which has grown over the past twelve months and now offers outreach to local primary school students and staff. Under her guidance, students have received recognition in competition at local, state, national and international level. She has also been responsible for leading students in the production of a school yearbook. In 2019 she has completed over 120 hours of professional development, participated in NRT industry and currency and validation processes and began her NPDL journey. She often seeks out and acts upon feedback. In her job as Digi-Tech Ambassador, she has run staff training and parent information sessions to assist digital learning integration. Peita is noted for helping the process of taking on new knowledge in this field feel familiar and intuitive. Peita regularly communicates with parents and provides ‘sentence starters’ to help them talk with their students about a possibly unknown topic to them.
Congratulations Peita on your nomination.