Evaluate personal teaching and learning programs using evidence, including feedback from students and student assessment data, to inform planning
I believe in order to be a successful teacher one must be continually seeking to improve and have continued consultation. Consultation begins with one’s own self reflection. Here I can give myself the time to absorb and ruminate on what parts of the lesson/ classroom management are successful and what can be improved upon. (see below examples of my reflections)
I have also adopted ‘two stars and a wish’ as a technique for students self formative assessment. This means when reflecting on their performance in any given task they are asked to give two examples of things that they did well and one that they can improve upon. This way the balance is always toward positive reinforcement though it still leaves room for improvement in a gentle way.
When appropriate I also ask students for written feedback on a given unit of work as I did midway through a unit of work on puppets and puppet making with the Pelangi schools year 7, 8, 9 composite class.
This was a more challenging unit of work in that my approach did not yield the results I was hoping for. On the teaching journey I’m sure that all teachers will have lessons that don’t work as effortlessly as they might have.
I used my journal to reflect on what was going well in these lessons as well as the things i needed to develop a better strategy for. I also asked the students themselves for their feedback. Here are some samples of my own reflections and a sample of notes from a mentor observation.
I’ve decided to do a unit of work on paper bag puppets - They are a great means of self expression and also tie in well with environmental themes on recycling and replacing paper bags with plastic - In fact there is a strong and growing local movement to significantly reduce the use of plastics within the town of Ubud where Pelangi is situated.
Due to their age this group is the most challenging to teach in terms of teenage behaviour. That said they might be considered a dream compared to some early high school classes.
I had a ready made puppet to show them which made the explaining and goal setting easier.
I could see they were keen to get stuck into the lesson.
Managing their behaviour however was the most challenging part of the lesson. My teacher persona had to be more strict. I asked people two at a time to collect materials and gave jobs to individual students in terms of handing out materials.
There were a couple of students that were rushed and not bothered with making the central part of the puppet and had to start again. I asked them to explain to me what they could have improved on before giving them the resources they needed to begin again.
Overall I think the lesson went well. The students were engaged at all times and reacted well to the boundaries set down. Once again I had prepared far more activities than needed but I think it’s always good to have a little extra.
Taught the year 7 and 8 composite class for ‘creative thinking’ today. We continued to work on the paper bag puppets.
The main thing with this age group seems to be classroom management. From a developmental level students at age 13 and 14 are moodier more self absorbed and like to be seen to be challenging authority.
My boundaries need to be much clearer with them. I also see that there is great difference between the students and how well they do / don’t stay on task.
Things progress slowly and I’m constantly needing to bring them back to the task, reassert the activity and the boundaries surrounding it.
Taught the year four music class today. It was good that they remembered the old pieces.
I need to work out a strategy for remembering everyone’s name in the school starting with my target teaching classes. Thought for next lesson I might try names on paddle pop sticks for random questions and changing groupings.
The class are very strong singers and remembered what i had taught them from last practicum really well although they were not as polished as last time.
As it was the first lesson after class on a hot day they were a little harder to get to focus.
Some of the strategies I used that worked to get their attention was Always keeping a calm and friendly tone even when I took light disciplinary measures.
Clapping for their attention and getting them to respond to obstinate patterns. Separating kids that were talking when i was giving instruction
“there is a time for speaking and a time for listening and now is a time for?“
Asking the the classroom tolerance philosophy they had worked out and how they were / were not doing this.
Questioning what task they had to do. Offering peers to say/ sing the answer if the individual did not know.
After singing one of the songs that required a two choral part asking students to nominate two things they had done well and one thing they could have done better based on the “ Two stars and wish “ principal of more positive than negative feedback and constructive self criticism and assessment,
Thinking about how to submit my portfolio and looking at how my teaching philosophy has changed since the beginning of the course. Also thinking about interesting and innovative ways to represent that I am able to teach to AITSL standards.
One thing I certainly feel i can strongly represent due to my ESL training, work in an Indigenous school in Arnhem land and Indonesia is encompassing a multi cultural Asia aware and Indigenous Australian perspective into my teaching strategies.