Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Post Prac Reflection

 I wanted to share with you all how my prac went! I finished on Friday and I already miss my class! I had such an amazing (yet exhausting) experience and some of the things I learnt I will carry into my teaching career for years to come. I thought I would share with you all my reflection that I had to had in for my assingment after prac finished. It is long, and not how I would normally write on this blog. But I feel it sums up my experience perfectly :)

First Day of prac!
Some Christmas Craft with the kids
A few pressies on my last day!


This professional placement was not only the most rewarding and exhausting, but also the greatest challenge. I took on a lot more responsibility, in regards to both curriculum and behaviour management.
In week two I created my own behaviour management strategy, which at times I found worked for most students; however there was two who did not respond to my plan and I found the greatest challenge.  I often engaged in conversations with my CT about how to handle the extreme disruptive behaviour. Unfortunately this resulted in using methods I would not normally advocate for, such as time out or loss of privileges. Nonetheless, my CT encouraged this due to the behaviours of the students and the short time that I was there for; they were unresponsive to other forms of discipline. I hope to improve on various strategies, such as intrinsic motivation to cater for these issues in future teaching experiences. However, this experience also gave me a strong insight into what life may be like as a casual teacher and how I need to be constantly reflective of my practices. It also showed me the importance of developing a wide range of behaviour management strategies, “reward” systems and teaching strategies to gain the students attention, especially when teaching for short periods.

To be able to effectively know the students and how they learn , I engaged in various conversations with my CT, discussing the backgrounds, abilities and development of each student. As I began to plan for this and engage with the students I was able to gain my own understanding of their differentiation needs and catered for all students within my planning. Strategies included; various methods of delivering content (many games for the one skill), how I spoke to the students and began lessons (using both discussion and visual prompts) and engaging students by working alongside some, whilst encouraging independence for others. When teaching the students concepts, I ensured I had an understanding of the content to that I was confident to teach it in a variety of ways. Using the same concept over several days, but delivering it in different ways worked well for the kindergarten students as they remained engaged and were able to come to a greater understanding. Doing this also allowed me to reflect upon how I taught the lesson each night and make various changes to the subsequent lesson, depending on how the students responded.

One thing that stood out to me in regards to knowing how students’ learn and incorporating this into content delivery was to always hold high expectations of what the students can learn and understand. I had one experience where I wished to implement a whole class lesson on “building” a 3D model of the school buildings using blocks and other resources in the classroom. My CT felt that this concept was too advanced for the students to comprehend and would not work, but I still wished to do it so she suggested setting it up as a small group activity. When interacting with the students during this activity they went above and beyond my expectations. The students’ immediately understood the concept and began to “build” the school. The students even took the task requirements to the next level as they began to discuss and experiment with the resources ways to build bins, whirly birds, garden beds, sandpits and the pre-school. I really enjoyed this learning experience for myself, as I saw that when students are given high expectations and clear instructions they can accomplish the task.

I have the opportunity in weeks 2, 3 and 4 of my professional experience to plan and implement teaching and learning by structuring learning programs. My CT encouraged and supported me to plan for the week, including all aspects of the curriculum, to give me the chance to “take control” of the room. This allowed me to consider many teaching strategies, resources, engage in class and parent communication, along with greater reflection and evaluations upon my weekly plans. Furthermore, I also planned and implemented a unit of work on “Settings” in weeks 3 and 4 of my professional placement. Although I found this challenging at times, I enjoyed being able to create an ongoing theme for the students to learn from, along with integrating this into various parts of the weekly plan.

            Throughout my professional placement my CT encouraged me to engage in various forms of assessment and providing feedback to the students. During writing, I often chose one word from the students work for them to practice by writing 5 times. I also ensured to record anecdotal notes of students spelling or teaching points that need to be address, eg; adding ‘ing’, full stops and capital letters. Using these anecdotal notes allowed me to plan for further explicit teaching, spelling list words and also the table activities for students to engage in. Furthermore, in my unit of work, I ensured to have a more formal assessment strategy where I indicated if a student had achieved (A) an outcome or was still developing (D).

            Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this professional placement. I built relationships with many students and staff members, engaged in a high level of planning and reflection and had the opportunity to assess students in a variety of ways. After completing this professional placement I feel an increased level of confidence in both my abilities and teaching strategies to commence my teaching career.


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