Element 1: Teachers know their subject content and how to teach that content to their students. I have… Throughout my teacher training I have developed a strong understanding of how essential effective planning is for a successful lesson. It is important to have a firm understanding of the content within NSW syllabus documents, as they are the building blocks to programming. In a series of literacy lessons that I taught to a Year 6 class in Drummoyne Public School (2008), I used the K-6 English syllabus outcomes and indicators as my guideline so that the lessons were very clear and highly structured (Appendix 1). I planned my lessons as a series of short contained activities each of which had a clear goal and followed on logically from the previous activity. Breaking down the lesson plans into steps was vital as I was able to allocate a specific amount of time for each section of the lesson. This enabled the students to remain engaged and focused. Using the syllabus as my base also allowed me to familiarise myself with the specific literacy skills that the students needed to develop and eventually move towards. In order to translate the syllabus requirements into specific lesson plans, I firmly believe that it is crucial to have a deep understanding of the subject content. For example; prior to teaching a sequence of lessons on volume and capacity to a small group of Year 5 students, it was very important for me to revise my existing understanding of ‘volume’, ‘capacity’ and ‘displacement’, which were the central concepts of this unit (Appendix 2). As part of my preparation, I engaged in further reading and revision, which enabled to me to explain the content in a straightforward and coherent manner as well as clearly explain the relationships between the various concepts and ideas (Appendix 3).
I will… There are three main goals, which I aim to achieve as a new graduate teacher. My first goal is to focus on building my pedagogical content knowledge of areas that I have had less experience teaching, such as science and creative arts, so that within my first couple of years teaching I strengthen my teaching competency in all the various subject areas that I will need to teach. My second goal is to develop a better understanding of, and practical strategies for, creating authentic linkages within and between the various key learning areas. My third goal is to utilize and incorporated ICT into my teaching to make the lessons more engaging and interactive.
I need… In order to achieve these three goals I will need to do certain things in my future teaching experiences. I will need to: - Take initiative to teach lesson sequences in key learning areas in order to ‘up skill’ my knowledge of the syllabus and pedagogical content.- Engage in systematic planning, researching and collaboration with other teachers in order to develop strategies for curriculum integration and I will index the success of various strategies to the evaluation of student’s learning and performance, so that strategies can be improved after having been trialled in the classroom.- Ensure that I develop lesson that involve explicit teaching of operation skills for programs such as Microsoft Word, the Internet, and other appropriate technologies such the Smart Board, in order to integrate ICT into my lesson in meaningful and relevant ways. - Continually update my skills and knowledge regarding various technologies throughout my career.
I believe… Being a teacher, to me, means being someone who loves to learn, and loves to be able to help others to learn. In regards to teaching, Killen (2003) organises knowledge into four categories: knowledge of subject, knowledge about how students learn, general pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. I strongly believe that effective teaching, to a great extent, is dependant on having a deep understanding of the interplay of these factors. Whilst it is important to use a variety of resources and ICT to make learning experiences engaging and interactive, it should be used so they encourages students to engage in higher-order thinking which in turn enhances their understanding of concepts and ideas.