Spotlight Teacher of the Month: Lee-Anne Smith

By: Warren Laidler

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Position:   Lead Coordinator
District:    Geneva Christian College

Lee-Anne Smith, a Lead Coordinator at Geneva Christian College in Tasmania, Australia, is ecstatic and excited about her program’s success and direction. The Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education utilize Rethink at several schools across Tasmania including Geneva; the added value has been noticed.

Ms. Smith describes the professional development Rethink delivers as “excellent”, allowing the department to better educate their students. The 7-10 minute training modules are full of content that, without overloading the viewer, effectively convey high quality, research-based instruction. The Behavior Support is “fantastic” and has equipped her team with the necessary skills to create a more predictable environment and reducing problem behavior. This sophisticated user friendly tool offers teachers a wealth of resources, including: how-to videos, expert articles, teaching examples, and more.

Lee-Anne also points out that even though Rethink is designed for students on the Autism Spectrum, the curriculum “would suit others.” The plan is generated and suggests instructional needs based on the assessment, everything may be adjusted accordingly based on the individual needs of the student. This kind of flexibility is ideal when every plan must be based on the student’s specific needs.

Creating IEPs

Often considered a complex and labor-intensive process–creating an IEP, Rethink’s curriculum makes developing and implementing the IEP simple, straightforward, and intuitive. Rethink supports the entire process, starting with a questionnaire/assessment to be completed by teachers and parents in areas of ability, inclusion, and transition. Goals are then generated according to the results of the assessment. When asked about Rethink’s value Lee-Anne shared, “The program supports teacher/parent communication and consultation. Both parties know exactly what is happening at school/home, an excellent link.” This has led to greater parental engagement for Geneva, something all educators strive towards.

Activity Center and Curriculum

The students enjoy utilizing the Activity Center, an easily accessible program for teachers, students, and their families, offering a quick resource to engage students in fun and educational online activities aligned with Rethink’s curriculum. When the activities are completed, the parents and teacher are sent feedback on the student’s accuracy in responses while playing the game – additional evidence of goals achieved.

Lee-Anne describes her experience with Rethink, “We looked at the student’s issues and the interventions were what I would expect. The program also provides suggested teaching strategies and plans. All planning is generated but can be adjusted to suit the specific needs of the student. The resources are amazing and goals/planning are aligned to the Australian curriculum.”

Great Job, Lee-Anne and keep up the good work! Congratulations on being this month’s Spotlight Teacher!

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