Jan Brady

Demonstrating how I meet the Professional Standards of
Criteria d.4, d.5

I am very aware of the impact my teaching and professional values have had on students, colleagues and others in the wider learning community. I have frequently had parents say to me "every night I hear about what Mrs. Brady has said in class today" and "I wish I could sit in on your classes. (My child) makes them sound so interesting". It is not unusual for me to say to students "go and discuss this with your parents" over issues such as the dismissals of Jack Lang and Gough Whitlam or what constitutes our cultural heritage today and then to get feedback at the School Canteen, the Bus Stop or Parent/Teacher evenings.

Students and their families have made me very aware of the impact I have had on them. One student, Perriot/Richard, arrived in the School with very little self-esteem and few academic abilities. He finished the Higher School Certificate and went on to become involved in Drama which was his main love and has succeeded where he thought he had little chance.

I am a physically large woman, and another student, Sam, who shares a similar body shape and who struggled with her personal identify as a result, found in my teaching and professional values the confidence to ignore society's expectations, be herself and get on with what she wanted to do. She has since graduated from university and continued her education beyond that, becoming, as I did, a life-long learner. Students frequently seek me out for "advice", knowing that they will get sensible, practical information and assistance and that my teaching and professional values are based on the precept of being honest and respectful in your dealings with others and yourself.

As a life-long learner I have never been prepared to dwell in the past but continue to develop my own skills and knowledge. Having grown up in the country, left school at 14 and completed my education in my 30s, I very much appreciate the opportunities offered for learning in the world today.

My learning is not wholly focused on History Education. I attend the Capstone and Post Graduate Research Presentations in Civil Engineering at the University of Technology and have discovered a whole new area of interest which covers topics as diverse as Earthquake Resistant Adobe Buildings, Permeable Durable Footpaths and Roadways, Recycling Grey Water and Computational Fluid Dynamics. As well I recently attended an International Mapping Colloquium at which the Key Note Speaker was an expert in the development of mapping through the ages.

I have also been able to demonstrate my continued interest in learning by, in the words of my Head of Curriculum, "re-inventing myself" over the past few years. One very obvious aspect of this is my move into developing ICT for use in the classroom. Before 1997 I had no web-based skills and few computer-based skills beyond the basic Word package. In that year I undertook a series of inservices on weekends through the Union to learn more about Word Processing, PowerPoint and the Internet. As a result of these new skills I was able to introduce these skills into the classroom and to act as a mentor for the staff in my office and this role continues today.

My learning continued with the development of the Pilot Study with Year 10 when I took my first, tentative steps into basic Web Design Packages and found the exercise very stimulating. This was followed by teaching myself, with the technological support of my very competent son, how to use Dreamweaver and Dreamweaver MX 2004, the webdesign package used for this site. At the same time, enthused by the ideas behind constructivist education, and the acceptance of "The Fractal Child" I have also moved into developing WebQuests.

Not content with that, as part of my desire to expand my teaching repertoire I have moved into acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to teach Stage 5 Australian Geography and, in Term One this year submitted a unit of work for the AIS on Focus Area 5A1 of the new Syllabus, incorporating the use of ICT, for inclusion on their ICT based CD soon to be released.

Within my own faculty I work closely with every member of staff in many different ways. Some of those ways are:
providing educational leadership through collaborative work and mentoring
sharing curriculum ideas and lesson strategies, program overviews and guidelines
preparing and distributing worksheets
modeling the writing of outcomes based tests and examinations
modeling appropriate lessons
modeling outcomes based reporting
inservicing staff on the uses of the internet and WebQuests
providing technological support when required in a variety of programs

One example of working collaboratively with my colleagues is that this year, when about to use the Federation WebQuest in the class situation, a colleague, teaching a parallel class felt that he was not competent to teach with the WebQuest as he had not been in the classroom for several years and did not feel technically strong. Rather than take the class I suggested to my colleague that I take the first class in a series of five, that he act as a student during that class and, thus, learn for himself what was required. My argument to him was that if I took the class in his absence he would not learn the new skills associated with the WebQuest. He agreed to my proposal, sat in on the class, gained the confidence he needed and proceeded to teach the remaining classes of the WebQuest with, I might add, great success. There was a consequence for the School Community as a whole. Now the Deputy Principal knows what it is like to teach a unit of work, based on available technology to a lesser ability Year 9 Australian History class. It was, in his own words "a bit of an eye-opener".

The Principal of the School has awarded me a Principal's Award of Excellence for being an "Exemplar" in History Teaching as a result of my involvement in the making of a film for the AIS for use during their History Literacy inservices. Mr. Phipps continues to encourage me in the development of the Website and ICT related material acknowledging the importance of the Website and calling it "a beacon on the hill" showing the way forward for the School to use technology.

The Website may be accessed through this link. It should be noted that the copy of the Faculty Website on this disk is dated 6 June, 2004. The site is updated at least once a week and the current site can be accessed at should you wish to view it as it is "live" on the web.

I believe that I help to ensure that the essential goals of my School are met to the best of my ability and I look forward to continuing that relationship for some time to come.

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