Classroom Teacher - Female - Snowy River Campus

  • Victoria State Government - Education and Training
  • Dinner Plain VIC 3898, Australia
  • 10/02/2021
Full time - Fixed Term Teaching – Secondary

Job Description

Location Profile

In consideration of The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), Section 25, we seek a female teacher.

The School for Student Leadership is an expanding and growing year-nine specialist school. It consists of three current campuses and one new campus under construction. The school conducts a program in China in partnership with an International School.

All are located in regional Victoria except the China program:

  • Alpine School Campus, Dinner Plain.
  • Snowy River Campus, Marlo
  • Gnurad-Gundidj Campus, Noorat-Glenormiston.
  • Don Valley-Gude Campus, Don Valley.
  • Victorian Young Leaders to China-Guangzhou, PRC.

Forty-five students live, learn, work, play, recreate and undertake adventures at the schools in a unique (in State Education) highly supported leadership education program. The School has modelled the educational program on an Experiential Education model, and at its core has a project/ enquiry learning and social-enterprise focus.

A highly developed curriculum, pedagogical, assessment and reporting approach relates to the Victorian F-10 Capabilities.

Core Moral Purpose
The core-moral purpose of the school rests in a mixture of the following:

  • best practice middle years education,
  • a contemporary interpretation of the adolescent "rite of passage',
  • "long service leave" for year nine students, as applied to many Australian industrial settings,
  • reinterpretation of contemporary paediatric and adolescent psychological research as applied to education,
  • understanding the implications of a student-centred approach to education including
    • Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs
    • Glasser’s (2000) Choice Theory
  • what it means to be a learner in the 21st Century.

Agency, authenticity, action-Leadership.

Middle year's experiential educational best practice informs our curriculum content and pedagogy. These include including fundamentally engaging activities as the basis of our work, project-based work, enquiry based learning, experiential learning, working on concrete work tasks, team work, integrated use of ICT, reflective practices, meta-cognitive learning, thinking and learning profiling and community living. The deliberate limitation of resources and the creation of learning/decision-making tension points, among many others are keys to the success of learning.

Rite of Passage

The contemporary "Rite of Passage" refers to that which has been lost in modern, western capitalist paradigm. Put simply, many traditional cultures incorporated a period, at about puberty, of; separation from family, minimal communication with family/community, undertaking a significant and prolonged journey in the wilderness, undergoing physical/emotional hardship, solving real problems concerning "survival", learning the spiritual mores of the community from elders and other significant adults among other undertakings. Often, the successful reintegration to community/society after such an undertaking, such a "rite", included in scarring or cicatrisation as a mark of successfully undertaking this hardship/separation/reintegration into the community and as recognition of the acceptance into and responsibilities of, an "adult".

Long Service Leave

In many organisational structures in Australia, after ten years of continual service, members of that organisation are entitled to a period of leave from their role for re-creation, renewal, reinvigoration, rediscovery and so on as both a mark of respect and in preparation for the next period of work and life. Year nine students have been at school for ten years and also deserve a period of "long service leave". In this construct, the leave must require undertaking tasks, learning and experiences that are fundamentally different to those of their normal existence. It is because of this among other reasons, that traditional "school work" should not be undertaken in this residential learning environment. Students are undertaking "new' learning that is fundamentally about them and their future selves, and should not be confused with the teacher-centric model of education from which many have come. The learning they are undertaking is hugely valuable in itself. We have to re-assign a value to the learning undertaken in this 'long-service leave" construct.

Adolescent Neuro-Psycho-Emotional development

This adolescent stage in a young person's life involves reference to Biddulph, Louv, Carr-Gregg and other contemporary authors. Biddulph in particular refers to the three stages of children’s development, the third beginning at around puberty and involving attachment and association/mentoring/role-modelling by a significant adult who is not a direct member of the young person's immediate family. There is also much recent research published around this important and formative stage in a teenager’s brain development: these young brains are still a work in progress. The teacher, educator, scout/guide master, sport coach and so on tends to be that person in our society. Clearly this person needs to accept the considerable and onerous trust and responsibility that is placed upon them. Reference is made to Richard Louv in regard to his identified construct of Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD). Among others, NDD refers to that phenomenon where medical practitioners are identifying behaviours in young people that can be attributed to lack of exposure to the natural environment, unstructured play in that environment, exploration of the natural environment, getting physically dirty and physically touching and personally experiencing that environment as opposed to experiencing it through a digital media.

Maslow and Hierarchy of Needs

The model of care and welfare that is provided to our students is critical to the success of the program and the student outcomes we aim for. Maslow describes a hierarchy of needs that as a general rule must be achieved for all of us to progress through to a high state of awareness and in our circumstance, true and life-long learning. At a fundamental level, students need to have satisfied basic physiological needs. We provide a safe, well nurtured learning and living environment with a focus on healthy eating and food: there is neither junk food nor sweets/lollies/bon-bons allowed, no chewing gum and no cordial or fizzy drinks. Good accommodation, safe and secure ablution areas and access to healthy exercise is critical. We believe in creating a sense of care and belonging, community and mutual respect that allows students to feel safe and cared for, a part of a real and living community that they are active participants in, not observers or passengers. There is a high moral and participative standard expected. We believe that through a close sense of community, students can develop a strong sense of self, what they believe and value, respect and valuing of and for diversity and for others and a robust self-esteem and self-efficacy. It is only through this deliberate process and supported environment can this progression be made.

Glasser and Choice Theory

We subscribe to this approach and view every opportunity with a student as a learning opportunity. We do not subscribe to a punitive approach: we do not punish students. That does not mean we do not hold behaviours to account: students are held very accountable for their choices, actions and inactions. To gain an understanding of student behaviour, we interrogate ourselves and each other as to the nature of behaviours: are the behaviours we are witnessing normal adolescent behaviours? Many behaviours we as adults witness in adolescents might challenge our adult sensibilities: but they are not deliberate behaviours. If not, we always fundamentally seek to understand the cause or drive of such an abnormal behaviour. In every instance, unusual behaviour is motivated by a need that we as both the educators and adults in the care model must seek to understand.

We also believe that adolescents do not need “fixing up”. They have not come to our program because they are somehow naughty or they need to be modified in some way. Ours is a school, students learn (mostly about themselves) and often the experience is transformational.

Much of our program focusses the students on themselves, learning about relationships and learning about the community in which they were residing for a specific amount of time and learning about leadership. As such much of their learning can be organised in the following way:

  • Learning how to manage their own behaviour;
  • Learning how to manage their own learning;
  • Learning how to be responsible for themselves and,
  • Learning about and with others.

These four ways of viewing learning and behaviour is essential learning’s for all students, which in turn if mastered changes the way individuals view themselves and the world in which they live. In addition to managing their own learning and behaviour Glasser (2000) suggests that people who are in control of their own life, are happy and have no need to control the lives of others. By the same token those who are not happy want to control others and the environment in which they live. Those who are not happy are not finding a way or perceiving a way of having their basic needs met.

21st Century Learning

We also subscribe to a contemporary view of 21st Century Learning. Louv (noted above) notes that the world is becoming an increasingly hostile and scary place: parents are less and less likely to allow their kids out into the wild dangerous world. He notes that in reality, with the ubiquitous use of technology, it is now more than every that we need the natural world. The more technology we have, the more nature we need. We also note also that every student we now see has only been to school in the 21st Century. They are mostly educated by teachers who went to school in the 20th Century. They exist in a school system that was developed in the 18th Century. If ever there was a time to do education differently, it is now.

These converging concepts provide a powerful rationale and significant "moral purpose' or central belief for undertaking our programs. Our campuses have less curriculum inertia than many system models, as there is a new cohort each term. Review, renewal and organisational reflection are encouraged and it is hoped that innovation is a key feature of our programs. Educational and balanced risk taking is encouraged. Change is a feature of our organisation, introspection and challenging mores and beliefs is a value. We adopt all these curriculum innovations and are an integrated curriculum model. We actively promote the importance of conceptual and practical preparation-separation-reintegration model and minimal parental contact. Separation anxiety is a part of our experience and we work with the student to cope with his/her incarnation of this emotional response. We believe this is an essential component for the success of the program. Students undertake expeditions and we encourage them to explore and get close to the natural world.

Every student benefits from the experience and every student will acknowledge that the experience is at times extremely challenging. They return home and after a period of adjustment, every student in our experience will go on to better outcomes at school because of the "rite", separation, relationship with a significant adult and exposure and relationship with the outdoors and natural environment. Our research shows that students are better learners, more focussed, more settled, have better medium and long term goals and can undertake practices to achieve those goals. They do academically better at school and are more settled and considerate at home.

Beliefs and Values

The school has developed a core set of beliefs and values which guides school and program decision making. The successful applicant will demonstrate in his/her a commitment to these core values. We Believe in and Value:

  • Connectedness
  • Respect
  • Relationships
  • Self-Belief.

The roles and responsibilities

As a result of the multi-campus operation and the residential 9-24/7 operation on each campus, the role requires a person with a flexible, enthusiastic and team-oriented approach. All staff work in a close team environment with their colleagues, and a culture of collaboration, sharing and feedback permeates this relationship.

  • The Principal is the instructional leader in the school, the Ex-Officio member of council, direct line-manager to all staff but delegates this responsibility as required.
  • The school Principal is primarily based at Snowy Campus and will be often mobile.
  • The Campus Principals and the Leading Teachers with the Generalists will form the core of the teaching staff.
  • Leading Teachers should be familiar with aspects of contemporary DET management practices.
  • The Business Manager has a vital advisory with both the Principal and the Campus Principals in making and supporting resourcing decisions.
  • The Overnight and Education Support Staff are intrinsically connected to the successful outcomes that the school aims for.
  • The kitchen and catering model is critical to the success of the learning program and the staff follow a “Common Kitchen” approach to healthy food for growing adolescents.
  • The school has a Community of Practice approach to ensure high quality outcome for students, to reduce variability between teachers, classes, campuses and days, uses evidence and data and privileging time for inquiry among others.

The operational budget of the multi-campus school is in the order of $6-7m per annum. The school generates a large cash income through parent contributions from home schools and grants for the international program.

The governance and leadership model of the School for Student Leadership is unique in the Victorian Education system. The Governance and Leadership models comprise one School Council and a single Principal. The school council, nominated by the Education Minister, consists of high profile members of the Victorian community. There are past student and Koorie community representatives on the school council.

The School Principal, Business Manager, Campus Principals and Leading Teachers form the School Leadership Team.

The Business Manager is the Secretary of the School Council and has a close working relationship with the Principal, School Council President and Finance Committee.

A Campus Principal and Leading Teacher comprise the leadership team at a campus. The LT Curriculum oversees the pedagogical program. There is a Learning Specialist at each campus.

A Digital Technologies Coordinator leads and implements the ICT program across the school.

With this model, a member of the leadership team can be on-site at the school most days as the operation of the organisation is 24/7.

The school, as a co-educational residential school, has two gender specific accommodation wings and has a highly trained team of teacher and non-teacher support staff to maximize the desired educational outcomes.

The school has a particular focus on ensure the safety of students through the Child Safe Standards.

There is provision in the Equal Opportunities Act to select staff based on gender due to the residential nature of the program.

Because of the unique nature of the operation of the school, the delivery of the programs involves a range of evening, overnight, early morning, holiday and weekend duties for all staff. Flexibility in working hours and arrangements is a vital part of this role.

Selection Criteria

SC1 Demonstrated knowledge of the relevant curriculum, including the ability to incorporate the teaching of literacy and numeracy skills. Demonstrated experience in responding to student learning needs.

SC2 Demonstrated experience in planning for and implementing high impact teaching strategies, guided by how students learn, and evaluating the impact of learning and teaching programs on student learning growth.

SC3 Demonstrated experience in monitoring and assessing student learning. Demonstrated experience in using data to inform teaching practice and providing feedback on student learning growth and achievement to students and parents.

SC4 Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills. Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with students, parents, colleagues and the broader school community to support student learning, agency, wellbeing and engagement.

SC5 Demonstrated behaviours and attitudes consistent with Department values. Demonstrated experience in reflecting upon practice and engaging in professional learning to continually improve the quality of teaching.

SC6 Demonstrated knowledge, skills or experience in teaching and learning related to education for year- nine students away from usual school settings.

Role

The classroom teacher classification comprises two salary ranges- range 1 and range 2. The primary focus of the classroom teacher is on the planning, preparation and teaching of programs to achieve specific student outcomes. The classroom teacher engages in critical reflection and inquiry in order to improve knowledge and skills to effectively engage students and improve their learning.

As the classroom teacher gains experience his or her contribution to the school program beyond the classroom increases. All classroom teachers may be required to undertake other duties in addition to their rostered teaching duties provided the responsibility is appropriate to the salary range, qualifications, training and experience of the teacher.

Classroom teacher Range 2

Range 2 classroom teachers play a significant role in assisting the school to improve student performance and educational outcomes determined by the school strategic plan and state-wide priorities and contributing to the development and implementation of school policies and priorities.

A critical component of this work will focus on increasing the knowledge base of staff within their school about student learning and high quality instruction to assist their school to define quality teacher practice.

Range 2 classroom teachers will be expected to:

  • Have the content knowledge and pedagogical practice to meet the diverse needs of all students
  • Model exemplary classroom practice and mentor/coach other teachers in the school to engage in critical reflection of their practice and to support staff to expand their capacity
  • Provide expert advice about the content, processes and strategies that will shape individual and school professional learning
  • Supervise and train one or more student teachers
  • Assist staff to use student data to inform teaching approaches that enable targets related to improving student learning outcomes to be achieved.

Classroom teacher Range 1

The primary focus of the range 1 classroom teacher is on further developing skills and competencies to become an effective classroom practitioner with structured support and guidance from teachers at higher levels and the planning, preparation and teaching of programs to achieve specific student outcomes. These teachers teach a range of students/classes and are accountable for the effective delivery of their programs. Range 1 classroom teachers are skilled teachers who operate under general direction within clear guidelines following established work practices and documented priorities and may have responsibility for the supervision and training of one or more student teachers.

At range 1, teachers participate in the development of school policies and programs and assist in the implementation of school priorities.

The focus of a range 1 classroom teacher is on classroom management, subject content and teaching practice. New entrants to the teaching profession in their initial teaching years receive structured support, mentoring and guidance from teachers at higher levels.

Under guidance, new entrants to the teaching profession will plan and teach student groups in one or more subjects and are expected to participate in induction programs and other professional learning activities that are designed to ensure the integration of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy across the school.

Teachers at range 1 are responsible for teaching their own classes and may also assist and participate in policy development, project teams and the organisation of co-curricula activities.

Responsibilities

The role of classroom teacher may include but is not limited to:

  • Direct teaching of groups of students and individual students;
  • Contributing to the development, implementation and evaluation of a curriculum area or other curriculum program within the school;
  • Undertaking other classroom teaching related and organisational duties as determined by the School Principal;
  • Participating in activities such as parent/teacher meetings; staff meetings; camps and excursions;
  • Undertaking other non-teaching supervisory duties.

Who May Apply

Teachers currently registered or eligible for registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and qualified to teach and/or have demonstrated experience in the curriculum area(s) specified for the position.

EEO AND OHS Commitment

The Department values diversity and is committed to workforce diversity and equal opportunity in schools and all education workplaces. The Department recognises that the provision of family friendly, supportive, safe and harassment free workplaces is essential to high performance and promotes flexible work, diversity and safety across all schools and Department workplaces.

Child Safe Standards

Victorian government schools are child safe environments. Our schools actively promote the safety and wellbeing of all students, and all school staff are committed to protecting students from abuse or harm in the school environment, in accordance with their legal obligations including child safe standards. All schools have a Child Safety Code of Conduct consistent with the Department’s exemplar available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/protect/Pages/childsafestandards.aspx

DET Values

The Department’s employees commit to upholding DET’s Values: Responsiveness, Integrity, Impartiality, Accountability, Respect, Leadership and Human Rights. DET’s Values complement each school’s own values and underpin the behaviours the community expects of Victorian public sector employees, including those who work in Victorian Government Schools. Information on the DET values is available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/workm/Pages/Public-Sector-Values.aspx

Conditions of Employment

  • All staff employed by the Department and schools have access to a broad range of employment conditions and working arrangements.
  • Appointment of successful applicants will be made subject to a satisfactory pre-employment conditions check.
  • A probationary period may apply during the first year of employment and induction and support programs provided.
  • Detailed information on all terms and conditions of employment is available on the Department's Human Resources website at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/Pages/default.aspx

VIT LANTITE

To be eligible for employment, transfer or promotion in the principal or teacher class a person must have provisional or full registration from the Victorian Institute of Teaching. In addition, from 3 August 2020, to be eligible for employment in the principal class or teacher class, a person who graduated from a Victorian Initial Teacher Education program after 1 July 2016, must demonstrate that they have passed the literacy and numeracy test for initial teacher education (LANTITE) requirements. This condition is satisfied where the LANTITE requirement is part of the Victorian Initial Teacher Education program completed by the person.

Subject

English and Literature, Mathematics, Other Subjects

School Type

Secondary

Job Closing Date

04/03/2021