Tina was able to quickly establish a good rapport with the students on caseload. She conscientiously studied the information prior to beginning her practicum concerning the individual students' vision conditions and their specific learning needs. Once the practicum commenced, Tina observed the students, taking anecdotal notes and in one case she then developed an accurate assessment to test the student's appropriate font size. This required Tina to produce reading materials, that were age-appropriate in various font sizes and then test the student's speed and accuracy, plotting the results to advise the class teacher on the appropriate font for future materials.
Tina also did a Braille literacy assessment, observing and assessing the student's ability to read hard copy braille and produce the same on the Perkins Brailler. Tina was able to give valuable feedback to the Vision Support Teacher on the student's braille fluency and knowledge of the braille code which assisting in guiding future lessons.
Tina liaised with the supervising teacher to collate and read over each student's IEPs to guide her teaching and understanding of student needs and access methods. Tina developed SMART goals prior to each of her lessons that complied with curriculum requirements. Tina set SMART goals that were age appropriate and achievable whilst also demonstrating and encouraging high expectations of each student. Tina met and consulted with a number of staff during her practicum including classroom teachers, high school teachers and learning support teams to assist with guiding her planning and knowledge of each individuals students needs.
Tina demonstrated an excellent understanding of the Expanded Core Curriculum. In particular:
* Tina recognised the challenges of dual media users and planned and conducted her lessons accordingly, her expertise in digital skills was particularly useful in engaging a student who was reluctant to use her ipad. She did this by presenting an engaging lessons with the Apple pen, and a drawing app on the ipad.
* Tina is a competent braillist in both the UEB literary and numeracy codes, she was able to teach complex secondary Braille Maths to enable the student to participate successfully in his extension Maths class studying Equations.
* Tina had a good knowledge of visual skills and visual functioning, she encouraged a blind student to scan art works using effective tactile skills and taught a blind kindergarten student to use his residual vision and tactual skills to become oriented to a new reader. In conversation, she was able to demonstrate a good understanding of vision reports.
* Tina was able to assess various students' O&M skills and implement appropriate strategies including effective long cane use (arcing, drop offs) and navigating an uneven playground.
* Tina's friendly personality allowed her to quickly develop an effective rapport with a student with low vision/albinism who has limited social skills, her feedback following a consultation session demonstrated her knowledge and ability to plan a social skills/self advocacy program
* Tina demonstrated a good knowledge of the need for excellent life skills development for students with VI, she discussed effective organisational skills and time management for a student approaching high school.
* Tina encouraged and facilitated the generalisation of the of ECC skills formally through direct instruction and incidentally in practical classes and during O&M sessions.
Tina demonstrated a range of teaching strategies and behaviours that aimed to optimise student access and learning experiences in a range of areas. Tina ensured that the blinds were down in the classroom and for the font size testing area for a Year 5 student with albinism with significant light sensitivity. When working with a year 7 student on keyboard shortcuts using NVDA, Tina ensured that the door was closed to minimise distraction by students moving through corridors. She also displayed a humorous and fun persona to maintain student engagement and interest. Additionally, she provided support during an AFL lesson, whereby she ensured that high contrast markers were used in all activities to enhance his participation in activities. During a touch typing lesson with a Year 2 student, Tina managed his behaviour very well when he was displaying defiant behaviours and rushing through the key commands provided through JAWS. She was able to effectively bring his attention back to the overall goal, focusing on correct finger placement and discussing the importance of developing these skills with him.
Tina displayed excellent knowledge of the production and use of accessible materials as she ensured all work in literacy and numeracy lessons produced by the student was overwritten and filed appropriately by the end of each lesson. Tina also assisted in the making of tactile picture books for the Kindergarten student, and developed an orientation lesson to a new PM reader, exploring the tactile graphics, discriminating between each tactile and using specific prompting questions to evoke meaning from the pictures.
Tina demonstrated a sound knowledge of programming for students with a vision impairment. She brought a thorough knowledge base of the programs from the team in which she has been working and gave helpful advice on ways to improve the students' ILPs. She was also able to give advice on STEM related information and brought a wide base of knowledge in regard to Coding for students with VI from the various schools she has encountered in her own teaching experience.
Tina was able to monitor the effectiveness of skills she taught her student and present constructive feedback on the teaching strategies she implemented to further improve the student's skill development in braille reading.
Tina worked well with the class teachers of the students on her caseload, paying attention to the concerns of parents, where they had been included in the student's records. Where appropriate, she communicated with the parents in a professional manner, organising paperwork and permission notes. At all times, she demonstrated a good knowledge of the need for confidentiality and sensitivity when dealing with student's personal information.
I was impressed by Tina's ability to engage, so effectively, with a variety of students from different age groups and with different learning needs. Her friendly and open disposition meant that the students enjoyed working with her and were responsive to her instructional methods. In particular, one student who had a history of being particularly sensitive in regard to her vision impairment and prone to becoming emotional, was quickly at ease in Tina's company. Tina used the student's special interests in an informal chat as a way of engaging her and stimulating her attention to allow the consultation lesson to flow freely. Tina demonstrated a clear understanding of the need to promote the student's independence and participation in decision making, where appropriate.
In a Creative Arts lesson, Tina was able to suggest reasonable adjustment to the drawing task to compensate for the student's limited vision. In a Physical Education lesson, Tina was able to suggest contrasting colours to make best use of a student's low vision to allow him greater participation in the lesson involving ball-handling skills.
Tina demonstrated exemplary skills in technology was able to quickly and efficiently use her skills to teach the students on her caseload. She was proficient in using the ipad and Apple pen to instruct the student in the use of Notability. Her excellent knowledge of keyboard shortcuts allowed her to upskill a student who was already proficient. Her excellent typing speed and knowledge of reformatting meant that she she provided valuable assistance in producing accessible worksheets both in Braille and Large Print using Clearprint guidelines. Tina was able to ascertain the most efficient technology for the various students and encourage them to use it appropriately.
Tina devised and implemented an effective reading assessment for a student with low vision and was able to give accurate and constructive feedback on the results that will be used to guide the most appropriate means of proceeding with reading instruction.
When working with a blind student, Tina was able to assess his knowledge and use of keyboard shortcuts, provide him with constructive feedback on the importance of using formatting shortcuts such as bold, underline and italics for future assessment tasks, University/TAFE assessments and writing up a CV/Resume.
* Tina began each of her lessons by stating the goal of the lesson and provided feedback at the end if the goal was met.
* Tina ensured she provided specific verbal feedback throughout the lessons to encourage good habits e.g. "I love the way you are working hard to use the correct fingers on the braille keys"
* When observing the students walking to and from class, Tina provided verbal encouragement for correct cane technique and praised the students when they were demonstrating these skills demonstrating excellent knowledge of the importance of positive reinforcement.
Tina showcased good planning of her session goals and teaching structure by utilising the information provided from the information handouts, observations of the student and consultations with the ISTV. Additionally, Tina demonstrated the ability to modify and evaluate her teaching practice and session goals while she was teaching the student to adjust accordingly to their capabilities and skills. For example, Tina quickly realised that the touch typing lesson she had planned for the Year 2 student needed quick modification as he was not displaying correct finger placements as she originally had expected. She was able to improvise and modify her lesson to then focus on the foundational skills of touch typing. This ability to quickly respond to change is vital in the role of the Vision Support Teacher and Tina performed well whenever presented with such a challenge.
At all times, Tina demonstrated a high level of professionalism, her enthusiasm for the role, her knowledge of the various types vision impairment, functional vision assessments, individualised learning programs, digital technology, vision appropriate hard and software and teaching strategies all reflected her expertise as a Vision Support Teacher with several years' experience.
Tina is an effective communicator and has good skills in collaboration, she demonstrated flexibility and the ability to cope with the sudden change of plans that a vision teacher often encounters.
* Tina was active in asking questions about each student's capabilities and access tools in order to improve her knowledge and understanding of the best
* Tina was active in requesting to receive feedback at the end of each of her sessions to improve her practice.
* Tina was able to adapt and modify her teaching behaviours and style in accordance to each student's personality and capabilities, to ensure a positive rapport was built and engagement was maintained
* Tina was willing to engage with a number of staff on our vision team to enhance her overall experiences.
* Tina was active in taking pictures of specific literacy and numeracy braille adjustments in each of the classrooms to broaden her knowledge and ideas on how to provide access in all areas of the classroom and curriculum.
* Tina was open in communicating with me about what went well in her lessons and what could have been improved.
* When receiving feedback, Tina was willing to make any necessary adjustments to her teaching. For example, Tina was encouraging the use of hand actions when remembering speech marks whilst the kindergarten student was reading braille. Tina then received feedback that informed her to encourage the student to keep his hands on the braille as he had moved past remembering which direction the speech marks began and ended.
Do you consider that the Student is at risk of failing to achieve “Graduate level” by the end of their overall Practicum experience? No
Tina presented as an effective Vision Support Teacher during the entirety of her practicum, as she is already employed as a Vision Support Teacher with the Dept of Education, I have graded her as Above Graduate Level in all criteria .
Tina demonstrated a clear knowledge base of vision impairment, its effect on a student's academic, physical, and social development and the role of the Vision Support Teacher. She was good company and always immaculately and professionally presented. Her punctuality was commendable, often arriving at schools before the prescribed meeting time.
Tina's gentle and calm demeanour stood her in good stead for dealing with a range of student's personalities in a variety of settings and I feel her confidence will continue to grow throughout the coming years. It was a pleasure to work with her and I wish her a long and fulfilling career in the specialist field of teaching students with Vision Impairment.