Suzanne Clarke teaches Year 2 at Mitchelton State School, and is well recognised by her colleagues, students and the community for her excellence in teaching practice. Suzanne draws from all the resources available to her in order to ensure students have the best learning experiences possible. She takes an active interest in their cognitive, social, physical and emotional needs and maintains close relationships with parents and carers to ensure they have a well-rounded understanding of their child’s progress.
To support student welfare, Suzanne implements a number of strategies to provide the best care for students. For instance, she developed her understanding of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and trauma, and completed professional development around trauma-sensitive backgrounds, child grief, autism and the use of Zones of Regulation. After building her knowledge around behaviour strategies and the students in her class, Suzanne developed a range of personalised systems to address the significant behavioural issues in her class. As a result of her efforts, her students have experienced positive results, including a decrease in assistance from administrative staff and greater productivity in the classroom. Suzanne gains inspiration from participating in collegial networks and purchases materials including furniture, games and resources to make appropriate activities and learning spaces. With the students, she creates scenic entrance displays that spark imagination and wonder. Further, as a member of the writing committee, Suzanne has been active in assisting the school develop its philosophy around writing instruction through professional development and readings. She has researched, developed and trialled tools and resources to implement current best practice in reading through the Daily 5 and Cafe model. This has led to the modification of self-funded resources to best suit her teaching style and the learning needs of her cohorts. Suzanne shares her teaching experiences with colleagues and is happy to explain how she implements processes and uses resources through age appropriate pedagogies. She also actively engages in various online forums and accesses podcasts that enhance her knowledge of inclusive practice and current best practice. She regularly works with colleagues to trial various activities and pedagogies, and has mentored a number of student teachers. She is an active member of the school community and played a critical role in developing an Early Years Network Hub, where early childhood leaders could collaborate and consider contemporary practice together as a collective. Congratulations on your nomination, Suzanne!