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Amanda Sutera

"That's the thing about great leaders- they see something in us that we don't see in ourselves...yet!" 

 Amanda Sutera

About Me

Hi, I’m Amanda

I’m an Instructional Literacy Coach and I’m passionate about leadership and literacy, specifically supporting teachers, educators and leaders to bring confidence, clarity and consistency to the classroom.

I established Hands on Heads Consulting (hands.on.heads), to support and inspire educators in their literacy practice. During my 12 plus years in the teaching profession, I was a Primary Classroom Teacher, experiencing both lower and upper primary year levels. As my career progressed, I held positions of leadership, including Literacy Coach (Year 5/6), International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme Coordinator and Head of Curriculum (Junior School). I loved collaborating with my colleagues to research, inquire, plan, implement and evaluate evidence-based literacy practices while building the capacity of classroom teachers to impact learning and engagement.

Now, as an Instructional Literacy Coach and Consultant I find myself in and out of classrooms across Australia, working with upper primary and lower secondary classroom teachers and school leaders. Every day, I work with educators just like you to ensure confidence in the classroom, clarity with the curriculum and consistency across learning areas.

As a teacher, educator and leader, I embraced a multidimensional approach to literacy and learning. My teaching practices were acknowledged as innovative, explicit and evidence-based by luminaries such as Lyn Sharratt and Jen McVeity. As an Instructional Literacy Coach, my approach is no less multidimensional- implementing work with teachers and leaders to foster curiosity, strengthen their professional growth and build their literacy capacity. I’ve collaborated with Seven Steps to Writing Success as an Expert Reviewer and with the Australian Council of Educational Research, providing feedback about the Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT R). Through Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, I participated in the School Improvement Literacy Program and was involved in the Data Collective with Lyn Sharratt. I’ve undertaken professional learning with Philip Holmes-Smith for the analysis of NAPLAN Data and with Dr Sandy Heldsinger for Brightpath Writing Assessment, with Kath Murdoch’s Getting Personal with Inquiry Learning, and with the International Baccalaureate for Making the Primary Years Programme Happen.

When I’m not working with schools, you’ll find me up to my elbows in sticky notes sprawled across my desk, or deep diving into the latest evidence-based, innovative best practices both in literacy, education and leadership. Otherwise, you’ll find me baking at the beach, or in the pilates studio, never before an almond latte with my gratitude journal!

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Connection

is about the way we relate to and interact with others. We exchange energy with others, be it the first time we meet, when we interact with familiar faces again and again, or when we reconnect after a long period of time. Our connections become meaningful as we form, build and sustain relationships through trust and common ground. In education, the important connections are the ones we form with our colleagues in the staffroom, educators at network events, with the parents in the car park, and of course, at the very core, the students in our classrooms.

Collaboration
 

enables us to learn from and with others, drawing on and bringing our individual expertise to work in partnership towards a desired collective outcome. Collaboration is crucial to evoke change and transformation- we can’t go it alone. When we collaborate with compassion, we create a sense of shared responsibility where we are all included in the process- staff, parents, educators and of course, the students.

Authenticity

means living wholeheartedly as yourself- showing up in the world exactly as you are. With sincerity comes vulnerability, and when we step into zones of discomfort we grow and change. This requires establishing trust and safety. From here we are able to take risks to accomplish and achieve- lessons we teach our students every day. In education, we take authentic actions to research, plan, implement and evaluate opportunities of progress. We make appropriate decisions to transform learning for the good of all involved - colleagues, parents, and fundamentally,
the students.

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"Your students must be progressing extremely well....You are doing impressive work, Amanda! Keep on going!"

Lyn Sharratt

Practitioner, Researcher, Author, and Presenter

My Mission

My mission here at Hands on Heads is to make a lasting impact on the learning of both teachers and students through clear, confident and consistent literacy practice. I do this through professional learning to help teachers, educators and school leaders strengthen and build capacity and capability to deliver reading and writing instruction in a way that enhances learning and engagement. I align reading and writing, where possible, with other learning areas to ensure learning is purposeful, relevant and significant. Through meaningful connections, compassionate collaboration and authentic actions, I work with you in achieving desired literacy goals that focus around student-centred outcomes.

Credentials

  • Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Italian | Religious Education)

  • Coach Certification Program (DISC Profiling), Coaching Focus

  • 2023 The Australian Instructional Coaching Institute with Jim
    Knight, Growth Coaching International

  • Women in Leadership Conference, Coaching Focus

  • Victorian Primary Years Programme (PYP) Network 

  • Seven Steps to Writing Success Workshop, Jen McVeity

  • Grammar in Context, Misty Adoniou

  • SMART Spelling, Michelle Hutchison

  • Getting Personal with Inquiry, Kath Murdoch 

  • Inquiry Workshop, Shaz Bailey

  • Benchmark Assessment System, Fountas and Pinnell

  • The Science of Reading and Language- The Secondary School Perspective, La Trobe University

  • Literacy Leaders’ Network, Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools

  • Teaching and Learning Network, Melbourne Archdiocese
    Catholic Schools

  • 2023 Leading with Literacy Conference, Primary English Teaching Association Australia

Memberships and Subscriptions

  • Independent Schools Victoria (ISV)

  • Kath Murdoch Seastar Education Consulting

  • Growth Coaching International

  • Coaching Focus

  • Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)

  • Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA)

  • Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA)

  • Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO)

  • International Literacy Association (ILA)

  • Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA)

  • Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Amanda Sutera
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"Amanda is an outstanding educator with a wealth of experience and expertise in the classroom and as a teacher leader. She has a passion for literacy education and deep knowledge of engaging ways to inspire students to take ownership of their learning and stretch themselves. Amanda is a highly successful classroom teacher who is now sharing her practice with those who want to strengthen their use of evidence informed pedagogies. Working with Amanda will build confidence in your own teaching and your ability to be a reflective practitioner." 

Mary Jones, Principal

St Francis Xavier Primary School, Melbourne

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