Mr Sevier holds dual qualifications in Primary and Secondary teaching and this is a clear strength in the role of an ISTV. His skills and experience facilitated the ease with which he was able to seamlessly transition between settings, and demonstrate his aptitude for planning and sequencing lessons at an appropriate stage for the students with whom he was working, in addition to establishing a comfortable rapport with students of varying age groups. During this practicum experience, he also demonstrated an ability to work effectively with a student who is blind and has significant additional disabilities in an SSP setting.
He was able to effectively assess the needs of his School Students through a range of specific assessment strategies including the Learning Media Assessment, Font Size Testing kit, and the Oregon Project. He also designed a custom-made digital survey regarding ECC strengths and areas of need for students, which he assisted students to complete with support and explanation. He independently researched specific vision conditions and Braille Teaching programs and strategies. During this Practicum experience, Mr Sevier built his understanding of Braille Literacy programs including the “Mangold Program of Tactile Perception” (Dr Sally Mangold); “fingerprints” (Gayle Lamb); “Ozzie Dots” (Gillian Gale) and “I Do Like It” (Tricia d’Apice). The Braille teaching materials he prepared were impeccable, attractive, age-appropriate and engaging. He displayed a clear understanding of appropriate Disability Provisions and collaborated effectively with the SS’s Learning Support Team to ensure these were in place. He interpreted clinical/medical and functional vision assessments and tailored his lessons to the specific visual needs of the School Students.
Designing explicit, challenging SMART goals to meet the learning needs of the School Students he was teaching was a particular strength of Mr Sevier’s. He was able to independently formulate specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals for the SSs and plan suitable sequences of lessons to meet these needs. He set high expectations and carefully structured lessons which enabled students to experience success with minimal support and encouragement. He demonstrated an understanding of the importance of the Expanded Core Curriculum which was evident in his individual education plans. He had no difficulty in establishing, implementing and evaluating these SMART learning goals and conveying the value of these to the students and the educational team.
Mr Sevier has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Expanded Core Curriculum and formulated resources and lessons which would be beneficial to all students on caseload. As a result, the Supervising Teacher has now requested that he build capacity in the Vision Support Team with these well-sequenced lesson plans and resources. He designed these lessons of his own volition, and it was apparent that students responded very positively and consequently elevated their skills. Braille resources were meticulously prepared and designed. Mr Sevier demonstrated a sound knowledge of the Braille code and used all terms correctly. His expertise in this area will develop with further experience once he is appointed as an ISTV. His recent training in Orientation & Mobility benefitted his students, and language and techniques were all implemented correctly. The logical and carefully constructed sequencing of his lesson plans was well-considered and highly effective. His work surrounding self-advocacy skills was particularly powerful and had a direct and immediate impact on the conduct and performance of several SSs.
Mr Sevier is a consummate educator who routinely designed and implemented innovative lessons. He set high expectations for his SSs and consistently incorporated elements of the Quality Teaching Framework in his instruction eg. Higher Order Thinking and Deep Knowledge. He applied appropriate differentiation in the scaffolding of his instructional strategies, as well as the provision of appropriate adjustments and the production of suitable accessible learning materials, and was able to discuss his decision-making rationale for these choices. Behaviour management and classroom management skills were an area of strength.
This area is a forte amongst Mr Sevier’s skills. He was able to draw upon his teaching experience to problem-solve and plan appropriately. He consistently maintained focus on the School Student and the desired teaching outcomes. He was able to “seize the moment” to clarify understanding when he detected the need, and make adjustments based on student feedback and assessment data. He demonstrated the capacity to seek the assistance of the Assistant Principal - Vision and other teaching colleagues, when required. His record-keeping was meticulous. Collaboration with school personnel, students and parents/carers was of the highest calibre. He constantly reviewed the efficacy of his pedagogy and made adjustments according to the needs of the School Students.
Mr Sevier displayed an ability to rapidly establish a successful rapport with the School Students with whom he worked, and communicated respectfully and professionally with all school personnel and parents/carers. He initiated professional written correspondence with a letter of introduction for the parents of the SSs he was studying during this Practicum experience. He was involved in an Attendance Meeting with a parent from a CALD background, and his previous experience teaching ESL in Korea enabled him to communicate with this parent with warmth and respect. The Supervising Teacher frequently received feedback from school personnel who noted that his communication style and active listening contributed to effective collaboration. He demonstrated sensitivity to the families’ rights to privacy and confidentiality.
Mr Sevier at all times modelled inclusive and positive interactions for the SSs’ peers and their teachers. He encouraged inclusion and age-appropriate interactions, and supported the School Students’ independence, providing clear and specific feedback to support their learning journey. He was involved in the preparation of a rigorous Site Assessment to support a SS’s full participation in their Year 12 Work Placement, and a Site Assessment for a 6 to 7 transition to HS. He prepared a detailed and comprehensive Technology Application for submission to the relevant authorities. These contributions were well beyond the scope of most graduates. He utilised his personal time to formulate a repertoire of activities to support the inclusion of peers in O&M lessons and “Braille Club”. This made these lessons very exciting and Braille is now viewed in a positive light within the classroom, enhancing the SS’s progress and attitude.
Mr Sevier investigated a range of suitable technology options during this Practicum experience, including a variety of Braille Apps, the PIAF machine, JAWS, NVDA, the Perkins Brailler, the PixPro camera and app, iPad accessibility features, Keyboard shortcuts and online platforms such as Seesaw, Google Classroom, One Drive, Siri, Zoom, Typing Club and OneNote, to meet the needs of the School Students with whom he was working. He influenced the SSs to take personal responsibility and independence for their technology tools and to make appropriate selections according to their individual needs and preferences. He delivered a technology demonstration lesson for a Learning & Support Officer and Learning Support Coordinator, to build their capability to manage this technology within the classroom. He performed above the level expected at this stage.
Mr Sevier was highly attuned to his SS’s needs and demonstrated adept active listening skills to which the SS’s responded, at times “opening up” beyond the level expected by the Supervising Teacher. The development of his use of clear, specific verbal instruction and feedback was pleasing to witness throughout his Practicum experiences. For School Students who have a profound vision impairment this is an imperative skill, which requires adaptation from general teaching practice - for example: “Hold the cane in your right hand and locate the stair rail with your left hand” (as opposed to “over there”, or “like this”) and Mr Sevier has established proficiency in modifying his teaching practice to reflect this requirement. He demonstrated respect for the School Students’ personal space and established consent prior to any physical contact. Effective, specific and timely feedback regarding their achievement of the learning criteria was provided, with warmth and encouragement, thus promoting their skill development, problem solving, and critical thinking abilities.
Mr Sevier consistently reflected on his teaching practice and adjusted his strategies accordingly. He demonstrated a repertoire of appropriate strategies and maintained comprehensive and detailed records. He maintained a clear focus on their needs and inclusion, and made sound judgements based on formative assessment, in order to progress their learning. He meticulously reported on School Students’ progress in both oral and written formats in relation to the SMART goals which he had designed and formulated. His previous experience as an educator enabled him to skillfully interpret reports from health, medical, educational and allied health agencies. During Team Meetings, he was able to report on student achievements and challenges in a professional and insightful manner.
Mr Sevier's interpersonal skills are of the highest calibre. His demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, respectfully and professionally with all staff sets him apart from his peers in this role as an Itinerant Support Teacher - Vision. He has an in-depth knowledge of the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational requirements, the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and Department of Education guidelines (DSE 2005). He has completed all modules of the Disability Standards for Education. He built the engagement and understanding of Subject Teachers which enhanced their willingness and capability in meeting the needs of the students within their class. During Vision Support Team meetings, he assisted with problem-solving of SS challenges and issues, led TPL for colleagues and took comprehensive minutes. His commitment to regular professional dialogue has been exceptional and his understanding and execution of the role has been extremely impressive.
Mr Sevier displayed an ability to coherently apply and integrate theoretical knowledge into his practice. He has evidently applied learnings from his current studies and his personal research to build links between literature and practice. All resources, references, research articles and sources of information which the Supervising Teacher recommended, were followed up with extensive research in his personal time, and he effectively integrated this professional learning into his teaching practice. He acknowledged that the School Student is the primary responsibility of their teacher, and he supported them in a professional, engaging manner. He recommended suitable adjustments in a respectful, collegial manner, which was well-received by the teachers with whom he worked. His ability to reflect on his teaching practice and make adjustments according to need and feedback was admirable. He routinely critiqued his teaching practice and was able to identify areas for improvement and growth. He displayed an openness to constructive feedback, and implemented suggested strategies into his teaching practice, to the benefit of the School Students with whom he worked. He is clearly passionate about his chosen field and demonstrated an enthusiasm for engagement with other staff to transfer specialist knowledge and experience e.g. explaining suitable adjustments to classroom teachers, teacher aides etc.
Do you consider that the Student is at risk of failing to achieve “Graduate level” by the end of their overall Practicum experience? No
At this stage of his studies, a Braille Prac is an intensive learning experience, and Mr Sevier’s commitment to building his understanding of the many different programs, approaches, methodologies and teaching philosophies has been assiduous.
At the conclusion of each lesson, Mr Sevier has undertaken a critical self-reflection of his instruction, achievement of outcomes, and areas in which he feels improvement could be made. He has also demonstrated a willingness to take on board critical feedback from the Supervising Teacher and an aptitude to integrate these recommendations into his subsequent teaching practice in order to improve his performance, and enhance outcomes for the SSs.
Additional responsibilities, beyond those usually expected of a new cadet, were asked of Mr Sevier, including:
• delivery of TPL for the Vision Support Team seeking critical feedback regarding the needs of a student who has a vision impairment
• demonstration of the PIAF machine to produce a colour and tactile screen of Google Drive to assist a student
• presentation of a Peer Awareness session for a Kindergarten Dual Media user
• participation in a High School transition from 6 to 7
• use of QR codes to build skills of self-advocacy and assist Class Teachers
• preparation of a Site Assessment at a large High School
• demonstration of a technology device for a Learning & Support Officer and Learning and Support Team Coordinator
• preparation of a Risk Assessment for a Year 12 Work Placement in an industrial kitchen
Responsibilities such as these are generally beyond expectations of a new graduate and these were all accomplished with professionalism and expertise.
His personal attributes include a positive and engaging manner and ability to work as part of a team; respectful, positive interactions with students and school personnel; a commitment to setting high expectations to promote their journey along the learning continuum, and meticulous, well-sequenced and resourced lesson planning. These skills will ensure he is an asset to any team.
He liaised competently and effectively with relevant staff and made appropriate adjustments in teaching strategies and resources. He demonstrated a strong understanding of the School Students’ needs and selected appropriate technology to meet these. Mr Sevier planned and implemented well-structured lessons that provided a balance of challenge and support, augmented by carefully-selected resources and learning materials. His School Students were provided with positive, timely, specific feedback throughout the instruction phase, allowing success and progress towards their outcomes. He formulated and assessed effective SMART goals and his record keeping was meticulous and evidence-based.
I have absolutely no doubt that Mr Sevier’s dedication and commitment to this field will only enhance outcomes for School Students who have a vision impairment, and I am confident that he will make a significant contribution in this area.
I wish him all the best for an illustrious career ahead.