St Francis Catholic Primary School Prep teacher Suzette Meiring is a highly experienced early childhood teacher who understands the importance of Prep and the most effective ways to teach it. She utilises a variety of teaching strategies to engage students and have them work to the best of their learning characteristics. Principal Kathleen Watt describes Suzette as having a classroom environment that uses a student-centred approach and proves flexible with both indoor and outdoor activities. “She is aware that learning doesn’t just occur in the 4 walls of the classroom,” Kathleen says.
Suzette has a passion for early literacy and spends time focusing on rhyming, syllabification and pre-literacy skills. She chooses resources that will lead to hands-on activities and prove highly engaging for students. Aware of their growing attention spans, she communicates with short and sharp explicit instructions. The teacher sets high expectations in literacy and numeracy goals for her students and communicates with parents about working together towards these goals. Measurable outcomes of Suzette’s teaching include a high level of students’ oral language skills, sight-word recognition, sound identification and sentence fluency. It is evident that Suzette’s class are achieving at and above year-level standards. Suzette puts a lot of thought and planning into her lessons, making use of sequential development of skills and understanding. Her aim is to not just hold their interest but to build their capacity for learning over the longer term. To achieve this Suzette has her students complete set tasks, but, more importantly, supports and focuses their learning with appropriate reflection on learning intentions and success criteria. The teacher works closely with colleagues to constantly improve her practice and also participates in professional development. Suzette is also studying a Master of Educational Leadership. Suzette uses Parent Lounge and See-Saw to communicate with home and welcomes parents to teach items of cultural interest and to support rotation activities and excursions. She has been a member of the school community for the past four years and has built up trust and relationships with all to better aid the learning of her students. She has supported the school’s leadership team, implemented curriculum initiatives, and coached and managed a number of sporting teams. “She has kept her students always at the centre of all she does,” Kathleen says. Congratulations Suzette on your nomination.