Prep Teacher at Eumundi State School, Tiffany McCarthy, is well-read and up-to-date on research relevant to teaching her year level. The teacher of 28 years nevertheless approaches the needs of her students outside of her own knowledge, consulting with the Head of Special Education Services, Guidance Officers, Advisory Visiting Teachers, speech pathologists, paediatricians and teacher aides to support her in providing differentiated learning plans and inclusive learning experiences. This approach she supports in the entire school Prep team. Marissa East, a teacher and parent of students taught by Tiffany, points out that her colleague consistently engages, nurtures, supports and challenges those in her classroom.
“Tiffany provides for individual differences and harnesses camaraderie amongst her learners,” Marissa says.
“Tiffany sets all of her students up for success by designing learning activities that encompass all stages of the teaching and learning cycle.”
Using topics that gain student interest, Tiffany fosters success by setting high expectations and then coaching through learning tasks. There is teacher support where needed but students gain confidence by completing learning tasks independently. Tiffany has supported the embedding of Age Appropriate Pedagogy and Inquiry Learning approaches and Reading Focus across all the school’s curriculum areas. She organises collegial observation and feedback and regularly mentors preservice teachers. She also models to Year 1 teachers to support the Year 1 transition. Tiffany also builds strong partnerships through early childhood network meetings and sharing transition information. Tiffany leads Prep Open Days and Parent Information Sessions valuing parental involvement. Tiffany understands the importance of Prep for transitioning from one type of teaching to another and works closely with students and parents during orientation and transition days to best facilitate this. Tiffany is heavily involved in co-ordinating and/or participating in community events that celebrate achievement or community service or open up the lines of communication. Tiffany sets a tone of respect and positive interaction in her classroom and models for her students the resilience to grow from every challenge. “Every child in Tiffany's care is made to feel special, cared for and respected. Students are encouraged to be the best they can be and are supported to experience success in the school environment,” Marissa says. Congratulations Tiffany on your nomination.