CORE's Team

Linda Ojala

Accredited Facilitator (English-medium)

Qualifications


2008 P.G.Dip. Specialist Teaching (blind and low vision) Auckland University
1995 Reading Recovery trained Wellington Branch
1993 Dip.Tch. Wellington College of Education
1993 B.A. Victoria University of Wellington

Contact details

E: linda.ojala@core-ed.org

P: 0800 267 300

M: 027 224 0543

Accreditation Number: ACC 234

Region: Wellington

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Linda Ojala

Professional experience

For the past year Linda has worked for CORE Education as a team member in the Inclusive Practice Team. She is a content creator/writer for the Ministry of Education Inclusive Guides. Linda has also been a provider of tailored professional learning services for schools, RTLB and Teacher Refresher courses focusing on inclusive leadership and school wide practices, underpinned by Universal Design for Learning. Linda’s inclusive practice has been captured by the Ministry of Education.

Linda has led and facilitated a year long PLD inquiry with a full primary school. She has worked closely with the school to explore and develop inclusive practice. This includes developing schoolwide systems of appraisal, planning, teacher professional development and classroom practice which are underpinned by Universal Design for Learning principles.

Linda is an experienced classroom teacher with a career that spans 22 years. She has a deep pedagogical knowledge of the New Zealand Curriculum, designing effective teaching and learning programmes that promote the success and wellbeing of students.

Building relationships and working in partnership with teachers and school communities is an integral part of Linda’s inclusive practice, valuing the concept of manaakitanga.

She is a reflective practitioner who has successfully aligned theory with practice and believes in the importance of having a well thought through framework to guide the creation of environments that recognise and value success for all.

Prior to working with CORE, Linda worked at Silverstream Primary School. Alongside her teaching role Linda was an integral member in Senior Leadership with responsibility for Years 3-4 and digital technology. During this time she trialled a Year 3 BYOD class, which led to school wide community consultation and implementation of BYOD in years 4-6. Linda developed specialist skills working as a Resource Teacher of Vision. Linda worked with learners aged 0-21 years. She utilised assistive technologies and collaboratively, co-designed inclusive learning from early childhood through to secondary levels.

Expertise

Linda has expertise in the following areas:

Culturally responsive and inclusive practice (English-medium only)

Successfully supporting learning communities with:

  • professional learning and development in Universal Design for Learning, inclusive education
  • inclusive learning design and strategic planning
  • evaluation of inclusive pedagogy and practices to ensure learning opportunities are fair and equitable for all
  • establishing reflective teacher and leadership inquiries to inform vision, school curriculum and inclusive learning environments.

Digital fluency

Successfully supporting learning communities to:

  • review current technologies to Identify digital technologies that support all learners
  • apply Universal Design for Learning principles to creation of resources and online learning spaces, ensuring accessibility for all learners
  • develop effective practice in the use of Assistive Technology to support and enable learners.

Leadership

Successfully supporting learning communities to:

  • increase inclusive practice knowledge and effective pedagogy in order to improve student achievement
  • investigate inclusive practices within school systems and decision making tools to identify areas for improvement and next steps for PLD
  • investigate school vision, curriculum and appraisals using the Universal Design for Learning guidelines
  • evaluate the impact of change using the inquiry process and reflective tools.

Conference presentations, seminars, workshops

2016: ULearn Using the Universal Design for Learning framework to plan for and create inclusive learning environments
2016: ULearn Universal Design for Learning 101,
2016: Universal Design for Learning RTLB and Ministry service managers
2016: Teachers Refresher Course - Inclusive Education
2015: Core Breakfast - Inclusive Education what does it look like?
2015: Supporting reading and writing in a BYOD classroom
2015: ULearn - Universal Design for Learning

Personal statement

As an educator, I am committed to creating teaching and learning programmes that embrace the variability, students, adults and communities bring. I am passionate about Universal Design for Learning and how it can be used in the classroom to identify and minimise barriers to learning and increase the flexibility and effectiveness of the learning environment for all. I believe learners need to feel accepted and valued for who they are, and to have access to learning that works best for their needs.

I have a respectful and responsive approach to designing professional learning. I value and nurture relationships and see this as vital to working successfully with learners, teachers, parents and community members. Being able to connect, collaborate and form a strong supportive team drives my approach.