Schoolteacher helps students achieve success
DALBY'S Our Lady of the Southern Cross College has achieved outstanding results with a newly implemented project that targets improving reading growth among students.
At the end of the 2019 school year, Year 1 teacher Melita Dellit received the news that over 70 per cent of her students were well above the standard reading rate for the age group.
"I am over the moon with the result" Mrs Dellit admitted.
"I take a lot of pride in minimising the summer slump that so many students fall into over the summer break"
To avoid the slump Mrs Dellit's class of 24 continued the reading program right up until the last day of 2019.
Mrs Dellit said she believes if the student can see their growth rather than accepting it verbally, it helps them stay motivated.
"In the classroom we have lily pads printed on the wall, when a child furthers their capabilities they hop to the next lily pad, that way they can see it themselves and be held accountable for their learning," she said.
The reading improvement strategy comes from the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office who collected reading data from all schools in their system and devised a plan on how to approach a beneficial way to improve reading.
Teachers were given a framework of how many hours to spend on reading with students.
It was then funded by the board to place learning support teachers into the classrooms to help any student that may have been struggling.
Through this time the Toowomba Office was able to obtain a benchmark number that would be used later as a comparison beginning point.
"By week 6, we do a formal review of each child to see exactly where they sit and we then have to become accountable to regularly supply Toowoomba catholic with that information" Mrs Dellit explained.
The trial for the program began in late 2018 but by 2019 it had to become formally introduced throughout all classrooms.
"The turn around on this program has been so incredible," Mrs Dellit said.
For the past 18 years as a early primary school teacher Mrs Dellit has taught hundreds of students the wonder of reading.
"It never gets old watching a student achieve something that they said that they couldn't do at the beginning of the year, to then finish the year and be excelling in it, it is incredible," she said.
Assistant principal, Katrina Walton said she is appreciative to have a teacher like Mrs Dellit at the school.
"While the data we received was excellent, it is consequential when you have a teacher like Melita who is so invested in her students," Mrs Walton said.
"Melita always puts students first and uses creativity to foster engagement and maximise learning opportunities."
Both the school and Mrs Dellit will be looking to continue this success rate when school goes back on the 28th of January.