Element 2

Element 2: Teachers know their students and how they learn

I believe...

In-depth knowledge of the characteristics of students is necessary in order to plan for the implications that may arise in the teaching and learning process. With the increasing inclusion of students from a more diverse social, cultural, ethnic, religious and special-learning-needs background entering the classroom teachers need to examine how this has influenced the teaching and learning of the curriculum. Through various inquiry modes, teachers need to draw out these aspects so they can better relate to students and can assist students in their social, emotional and conceptual development.


I have...

  1. Established professional and supportive relationships with my students, working towards acknowledging, respecting and developing an understanding of the diverse backgrounds and approaches to learning within the classroom. This is clear in the profiles I have arranged for each student to create, the observations I’ve made, communication with students and discussions with my co-operating teacher. These profiles were very helpful in getting to know the students and their academic aspirations.
  2. Specifically designed units for targeted groups of students. These units reflect the needs the students and provide specific assistance for these students considering the ways in which they best learn. In the bilby unit, I have used specific literacy strategies assist NESB students achieve the same outcomes as their cohorts. This unit considered how students’ skills in literacy and their preferred learning styles may impact on their learning thus was designed using several scaffolding activities to help them build the repertoire needed to independently construct their own text.
  3. Developed a range of strategies as means of eliciting students social, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds as well as assessing students’ prior knowledge and using this knowledge to plan for future learning experiences. In all lessons I have reflected upon the achievements of students in my evaluation of the lesson to then plan future lessons. (personal profiles for alpha)

I need...

  1. Learn and adopt strategies that may be suitable to foster a class environment that will allow students to feel comfortable enough to express their values, beliefs and opinions free from judgement and respected by other members of the class.
  2. Further develop my understanding of the different literacy strategies used for a range Special Education students, Indigenous students, and students with challenging behaviours as I have not had a great deal of opportunities for work with these groups of students.

I will...

  1. Set high expectations of students’ behaviours in and outside the classroom and explore the notion of respect, acceptance and difference through firstly  modelling to my students what these notions comprise of and be explicit about what my expectations are and why they are important towards individual students as well as the whole class environment. I am aware this is not something that can occur over night. I aim for this to be something embedded within my future classroom.
  1. Widely read on literacy strategies for Special Education students, Indigenous students, and students with challenging behaviours and NESB students. Attempt to incorporate an indigenous perspective in the lessons and units I plan in the upcoming practicum experience. If possible I would request to observe classes or groups of students and also try to work with teachers who have these groups of students in the school I will completing my practicum.