We employ many teachers across our six schools. Most have special education qualifications and must be registered to teach in the state education system. Due to the teaching approach taken for children with autism, our teacher:student ratio is mostly 1:4.
The teacher is the key person in the planning and implementation of the educational programs for their students. They are at all times responsible for the students in his/her care, either in the classroom, on playground duty or off site on excursions, integration and community access programs.
The teacher is responsible for directing the teacher's aide(s) and volunteers/visitors assigned to his/her class and ensuring that directions are clear and reasonable. Teachers are expected to drive the school bus(s) as required and will be given assistance in terms of time and reimbursement of fees to acquire a bus licence if this is required.
The role of the teacher is as follows:
1. To develop programs for the range of individual students assigned to that teacher, and to undertake other responsibilities as assigned by the school principal, to achieve positive outcomes for students and their families in terms of the following:
- Provision of opportunities and active encouragement of families/caregivers to be involved in assessment, program development, program implementation and evaluation.
- Movement towards the provision of educational programs in less restricted settings to facilitate the participation of students in their local community.
- The demonstrated acquisition of relevant functional, age appropriate, and generalised skills by students in class group.
- The use of non-aversive behaviour management techniques to facilitate the development of self-management in students with challenging or inappropriate behaviour. To relate in a positive respectful manner to students.
- The use of visually based alternative and augmentative functional communication systems based on assessment of individual needs/strengths of each student to facilitate the participation of students in daily life.
- In the playground and elsewhere, in the course of professional duties, to have on-going responsibility for the welfare and safety of pupils, exercising `duty of care' at all times.
- Flexibility in terms of willingness and ability to teach the age and ability range of students enrolled in the Association schools, and willingness to work in offsite settings such as mainstream schools.
2. Teachers are expected to work collaboratively with each other, other professionals, families and other relevant members of the educational and broader community, as demonstrated by:
- Working collaboratively with parents, including regular communication and promotion of active parent involvement in programs.
- Effective use of support services within the Association and outside the Association.
- Liaison with members of the wider educational and local community to provide opportunities for participation of students in less restricted settings. This may include some presentations and training.
- Involvement in team teaching or collaborative consultation with other staff members.
- Training (if required) and supervision of teacher's aides assigned to their classroom, when on duty offsite.
- Effective management of resources including teacher's aide time.
- Participation in and contribution to staff meetings and in other working groups as required by the school Principal.
3. Promotion of one's own professional development in terms of the following:
- Knowledge of current theory and practice in all professional domains relevant to the education of children with autism.
- Pursuit of relevant post graduate studies and/or other forms of professional development.