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David Jon Bulley

SC1 Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of initiatives in student learning


including the Principles of Learning and Teaching P-12 and the Assessment and
Reporting Advice and the ability to implement curriculum programs consistent with
their intent.
Over the course of my study, as well as during all my practical experiences in the classroom,
I have successfully created positive and supportive learning environments by developing
strong relationships with students. I fostered collaborative and interdependent cultures in the
classroom based on trust, respect and the intrinsic reward of learning. This contributed
towards providing a safe place for student exploration and contribution.
I have worked extensively with AusVELS. Its learning foci, skills and standards shape the
units and subsequent lessons that I plan for my students. This year I used students
assessed prior understandings alongside the AusVELS curriculum to inform the basis of a
unit of work, including: outcomes, understandings, knowledge, skills, key questions and
success criteria. These informed learning activities that were appropriate and flexible for
students as they learned and progressed. This backward design planning model helped me
maintain learning goals and structure, while enabling inquiry-based exploration.
I create learning experiences that are authentic by connecting student learning with
individual interests and shared understandings outside the classroom context. For example,
while assisting newly arrived EAL students, I successfully adopted a Content and Language
Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach to language acquisition that focussed on drawing links
between new language, individual experiences and topics covered by the whole class. In a
small collaborative group, students wrote personal background stories to introduce
themselves.
Successes Ive had as a teacher have all been attributed in some way to knowing my
students and focussing on how each of them learn. Over the past year Ive been placed in a
very diverse classroom of individuals. Ive made a concerted effort to develop supportive and
professional relationships with each individual, making sure I understand them in their
context. I actively build respectful rapports with my students that highlight the effort we
commit to each other, as well as the overarching rationales of learning activities. This
approach makes the classroom a place of collaborative learning that has an emphasis on
student-led inquiry, five-star quality work and individual improvement. When faced with a
disengaged group this year, I asked students to pair up based on their individual interests,
then build a project together. This not only improved student interest, a lot of students
actually decided to work on their projects at home. I recorded improvement based on
research they had completed earlier in the unit compared with their final finished product
presentations.
Tracking student progress, proficiency and learning individualities through assessment is a
key preparation for planning learning experiences. Regarding students as individuals in their
own dynamic environment is vital to engaging them meaningfully. Over the course of my
placements this year Ive had experience planning and implementing long-term, multifaceted learning goals. Using a variety of assessment methods I was able to track student
achievement quantitatively and qualitatively, provide timely feedback and update learning
goals individually.

David Jon Bulley

Community involvement in student learning is crucial to delivering meaning beyond the


classroom context. An approach that respects and encourages family/carer input also
provides a fuller picture of each individual in a group. Ive had many constructive
conversations with parents and carers during my placements that have then informed my
practice. Using local perspectives as a method of engagement has also facilitated more
authentic learning. For example in term two this year, students collected data relating to
home energy use then created efficiency plans.
SC2 Demonstrated understanding of how students learn and effective classroom
teaching strategies and the capacity to work with colleagues to continually improve
teaching and learning.
Students learn in a variety of ways. Ive found that an individualised approach is very
effective; where learning activities and assessment are varied based on student diversity. In
2015 Ive written individual learning plans for students with specific learning needs, including:
gifted and talented students, students with attention deficit, students with an EAL
background, high-functioning students on the autism spectrum, students with dysgraphia
and students with learning and behaviour difficulties (on the ABLES framework). I was then
able to scaffolded content, collaborate with students to set individual goals, make visual
progress markers, use effective strategies for EAL students, vary work completion goals,
create student support groupings, and make use of ICT where appropriate. It required a lot
of planning, but gradually responsibilities for differentiation strategies were transferred to the
class body. This established them as permanent rituals and routines, which helped to
cultivate an inclusive environment and increased student participation.
What goes hand in hand with a differentiated approach is ensuring very capable students
are challenged to go above and beyond. While its vitally important for all students to be
challenged, I always place an emphasis on extending lesson concepts in an open-ended
way to ensure engagement along a spectrum of ability. In a 5/6 class this year with a wide
range of proficiencies, I facilitated a release of responsibility for a very advanced group who
independently completed inquiry projects based on open-ended questions e.g. Redesigning
the game of darts (fractions).
Planning for success is important for student success. I use an inquiry approach, where
students explore and extend their world based on stimulating environments and activities
carefully matched to their learning needs. During my time at Charles La Trobe College, Ive
collaborated with another PST to plan and implement a unit of work for two combined 5/6
classes. The term-long Science unit targets graduation of thinking skills, uses an inquiry
approach and incorporates a focus on Habits of Mind. Students successfully developed
understandings about renewable energy, which they applied when responding to a design
brief. Students demonstrated their learning by presenting a product they developed, and by
digitally reflecting on their learning journey.
Having worked in a paired placement scheme during 2015, Ive shown an ability to be
collaborative. By planning and teaching in a pair, Ive actively synchronised ideas, delegated
responsibility, provided support for others, and cultivated a student-first professional
environment. Teaching collaboratively has enabled me to accountably improve my
professional practice and harness the advantages of multiple perspectives. For example, my
PST colleague and I routinely moderate student progress together. We also critically discuss

David Jon Bulley

and seek guidance from our mentor about our development of our teacher skills, then put
that feedback directly into practice.
SC3 Demonstrated capacity to monitor and assess student learning data and to use
this data to inform teaching for improved student learning.
The assessment cycle is crucial to student learning in a number of ways. I view it as
something that must be multi-tiered in terms of access, and engaging in a wide variety of
ways. Diagnostic and planning functions of assessment are a foundation of teaching.
However, in order to make assessment meaningful for students, results and feedback need
to shape future learning and be reported back to students in a timely and accessible fashion.
I routinely review and mark student work to make sure this cycle remains effective. While
teaching fractions this term, I made used the P-7 Mathematics Scope and Continuum
document to monitor student progress after each lesson. As the unit progressed, My PST
colleague and I began planning for two groups in the class as they notably diverged from
one another.
In order to provide a holistic image of student learning I plan assessment using the of, for
and as principles. I provide a range of opportunities for students to provide assessment
evidence, both formative and summative, then use that evidence to shape the planning of
future learning activities. Students consolidate learning achievements by reflecting. An
assessment/learning activity structure Ive used recently is a design brief. I was able to track
student content knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills as they designed,
produced, then presented a product. Completed tasks were analysed to shape future ones,
and as the unit progressed, students recorded regular vlogs about their learning journey.
Some examples of integrated assessment evidence they produced include: annotated
design pictures, detailed building instructions, research databases, peer assessment reports,
vlogs reflections and verbal design conferences.
While developing assessment, I ensure that recording structures and feedback focus on
student development and the intrinsic advantage of learning, rather than just benchmarking.
This ensures students at all levels of learning receive confirmation of their effort and are not
repeatedly compared to others in their learning environment. Using recent On-Demand
assessment data, I was able to give students feedback on how they had improved compared
to their last result, which gave those students immediate impetus to challenge themselves
further.
I have also had experience using diagnostic tools such as Essential Assessment, Fountas
and Pinnell, Mathematics Online Interviews, pre-tests developed according to AusVELS and
historical data from previous grades. I was also given the opportunity this year to contribute
to NAPLAN data analysis during a recent curriculum day, where we identified inferencing as
a school-wide reading focus .By triangulating diagnostic results with student work samples,
as well as my own testing and understandings, I was able to shape my ongoing teaching and
planning.
Over the past 6 months I have focussed specifically on recording data about student thinking
skills using the Habits of Mind framework. This has helped me develop more in-depth
understandings about my students, while at the same time has informed students about their

David Jon Bulley

abilities and behaviour in a metacognitive sense. When my PST colleague and I identified
calling out as a behaviour our class struggled with, we created a lesson that helped
students recognise the problem. Students brainstormed impulse-management strategies in
groups, then acted them out to the rest of the class. With continued emphasis during the
following weeks, this had fantastic results on classroom management.

SC4 Demonstrated high level written and verbal communication skills and high level
interpersonal skills including a capacity to develop constructive relationships with
students, parents and other staff.
Communication is vitally important in all aspects of a teaching and learning, especially with
regard to student engagement. My dynamic and engaging teaching style allows me to be
successful in providing meaningful guidance to students, setting clear expectations and
developing relationships with students. Learning intentions and success criteria are always
explained at the outset of each lesson, allowing my students to tune in and then refer back
as needed. Relationships I build with students are driven towards the intrinsic rewards that
accompany learning achievements. I am diligent in connecting meaning to learning
topics/concepts, and in conveying the power and benefit of learning.
My practical experiences have helped me develop effective interpersonal skills in both
planning and teaching. The nature of my ongoing placement at CLTC is a paired-placement
that focusses on collaborative teaching and planning. This structure has taught me how to
be flexible, and has given me the skills required to be able to work towards a positive
consensus. My colleague and I plan together and teach together in most respects.
Otherwise we work together to delegate work, while maintaining a shared view of student
development. Teaching collaboratively has meant Ive become highly empathetic to various
professional perspectives. This teaching structure is often in concert with up to three
mentors. Ive been able to benefit from multiple ideas rather than just one, develop greater
accountability and contribute to a professional environment where members support each
other.
Another advantage of having taught in a team environment is developing effective
collaborative classroom management skills. With a large group of 29, or up to 56 when
combined, we provide a united front in terms of class management. At CLTC and at
university Ive learned and practiced the Developmental Management Approach. This
approach focusses on making the most of teacher powers, of which relationship power is
the greatest. It also puts a mutual responsibility on student and teacher to maintain a
mature, safe and constructive learning environment. In an attempt to reduce time wasted
between periods, I used a non-verbal prompting technique with the help of ClassDojo.
Students would receive points for different behaviours, which I would distribute to student
avatars on the interactive whiteboard. By the end of the week, students with a certain quota
of points would join me outside for a game. I made strong verbal links to classroom rights
and responsibilities, as well as the schools values. Not only did using ClassDojo make an
immediate impact on lesson transitions, it reduced other behaviours and provided a greater
sense of classroom structure.

David Jon Bulley

An important facet of good communication is being organised. My high-level organisation


skills mean I am readily transparent with management and my team. My flexibility allows me
to be adaptable to unforeseen occurrences throughout the day.
SC5 Demonstrated commitment and capacity to actively contribute to a broad range
of school activities and a capacity to reflect on, evaluate and improve professional
knowledge and practice.
Attending all staff meetings and planning sessions whilst on practicum has helped me clarify
the expectations of a professional. Aside from the teaching and planning aspects of teaching
I also have an appreciation for the holistic role of a teacher in her or his community. Ive
been enthusiastic in volunteering my time to contribute to school excursions and community
events, for example a trip to Sovereign Hill and managing basketball teams at inter-school
Hoop Time.
Im lucky enough to have had opportunities to attend in-house professional development
sessions during all my placements. These sessions underline my philosophy of being a
lifelong learner, and I engage with them enthusiastically. These have ranged from learning
how to approach mathematics mini lessons in order to cultivate number sense, to behaviours
management, to learning about the THRASS approach to literacy.
Over the course of my professional development, at university and whilst on placement, Ive
thought about, practiced, and reflected upon my teaching techniques in a critical way.
Through this process I identify new skills I want to learn, strategies that are not working and
things I want to try. After a situation dealing with bullying behaviour, I began naming those
behaviours to reduce their ambiguity in the classroom.
For the duration of my course I have regularly sought feedback from mentors and members
of educational leadership. One of my strengths is having a receptive and flexible approach to
my own learning and development.
During all my placements I have recorded reflections about my teaching practice, especially
in how it translates to student outcomes and classroom management. For example, in
response to reflections over time I have methodically implemented classroom routines and
worked on communicating clear expectations for students in order to improve classroom
management. Studies at university have guided me in forming an individual teaching
philosophy that is considerate of multiple learning theories and practices.
While I havent completed a prescribed EAL placement, I have sought out EAL students on
all my placements. This has supported their learning in a mainstream classroom and given
me the opportunity to develop my discipline skills. For instance on my most recent
placement at CLTC I worked with two students new to Australia to further develop their
reading and speaking skills. I created interactive games focussed on vowel sounds. I made
flip-cards with hot words, and the students would play memory according to word vowel
sounds. Other students at similar levels of reading proficiency would join in as well, and
vowel sound/grapheme groups rotated over time.
Using the AITSL standards as a guide, I routinely self-review my own practice and conduct.
This supports my vocational attitude to teaching by ensuring my skills are improving and

David Jon Bulley

broadening. Two specific teaching foci Ive worked on this year include: providing timely
feedback to students, and implementing targeted behaviour management strategies for
specific students.

SC6 Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to the use of digital learning


tools to enhance student learning outcomes.
Digital learning is vitally important for 21st century learners. Allowing students to develop
flexibility and proficiency using ICT helps them develop skills for the future and also allows
them to engage with their learning in ways that would not otherwise be possible.
I use digital technologies with a Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition
(SAMR) approach. This means that ICT is not used for its own sake, but with a vision to
accomplish new things and meaningfully integrate learning across the curriculum. For
example, this year Ive used Scratch to teach coding skills and to enrich a larger project.
Students used a shared OneNote notebook to access Scratch tutorials and projects, then
made an interactive quiz based around their renewable energy research. Students had to
post completed tasks back into a collaboration space and share them for assessment. Some
other ICT applications Ive worked with include: Lightbot for coding, the internet and
traditional media for research, presentation software like Prezi and PowerPoint for
modelling and discussion, and OneDrive to share and receive media.
I believe that digital technologies provide vast possibilities for student creation. By
investigating new technologies and designing products that use them, students engage with
a very real-world learning process. The possibilities for cross-curricular activities that can
enrich a design goal are endless. After attending a Maker conference this year, I assisted
some of my students using Sketch-up to design a car, which they then 3D printed and raced
against other students in a Make A Car competition.
Digital technologies can play an important role in school-wide communication and planning,
as well as teaching. During my most recent placement I was lucky enough to be given a
school email address and familiarised with the schools network platform. I was able to
contribute to planning documents on a collaborative P-6 OneNote document. This
transparency encouraged the sharing of resources between grade levels and the invitation of
greater input. I was also involved with using Yammer, a school-wide social network that
expands the possibilities of learning and planning interactions.
During my third year at university, I collaborated to create a platform for EAL teaching that
used MinecraftEDU. The worlds we developed in Minecraft had in-built tasks that required
groups of EAL students to collaborate online in order to complete them. The delivery method
focussed on English acquisition with a large focus on Interpersonal Development and
teamwork. A member of our PLT has already begun trialling our platform in a classroom.
During my time at CLTC I have become involved in a science, technology, engineering and
maths club (STEM club), that focusses on facilitating student interests and building important
proficiencies in those areas. Students work with tech products such as Arduinos, 3D
printers, Makey Makeys and Little Bits. Involvement in STEM has given me experience in
finding a balance between less structured play experiences and structured play-based
learning using technology.

David Jon Bulley