Professional Knowledge - Element 2

Element 2

Teachers know their students and how they learn

I have learnt from my professional experiences and my cooperating teachers have told me that I have a friendly and caring manner towards the students. I know this is true because by the end of the experience, I am in tears to leave the class. I have no written evidence to cite but I know genuinely in my heart, that even if the student bugs me or frustrates me, I still care about them. I am commited to my students and studnet learning and aim to support students' achievement of the highest possible education outcomes (NSW Quality Teaching Standards, p.2). 

I aim to get to know the students before I teach them. I do not use 'get to know you' or other superficial games. I try to talk to the children while they are working or when we are walking up to the class from recess. I find this to be more effective as the interaction is more immediate and face-to-face. I also give fun and meaningful resources (link is located at the bottom). From my schooling, I have learnt to learn about other cultures and religions. I find this to be very important because it was lacked by many of my teachers.

I am Hindu and from Sri Lanka. I was brought up with very different beliefs to that of my teachers. Even though, there was no direct confrontations or discrimination about my beliefs, I still knew there was differences and that one was better than the other. I always felt that my beliefs were not as good as the others. But I let this off, because I knew my teachers had no idea, because they were from a different culture. Where the problem really came about was in the playground, with other students. This is when I felt that it would be great if there was a teacher to back me up and really know about my culture and beliefs. This is why it is important for teachers to have a genuine understanding of the cultures especially in this multicultural world.

I have developed a very strong knowledge base of a range of literacy strategies to meet the needs of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. This is due to my tutoring experience. I began tutoring children from my cultural community in 2005. I have been able to develop and employ a wide variety of effective literacy strategies from students from NESB:

- online phonic development through the effective use of the internet: I find these tasks effective as the student can pace the work to fit them which differentiates the learning to meet their needs

- drama based activities to develop writing and speaking in front of an audience

- reading accompanied with reading reviews to re-emphasise understanding and comprehending texts

- writing for fun

Though I have developed strategies to meet the needs of students from non- English speaking backgrounds, I will need to further develop strategies to meet the needs of students with special needs. Special Education is an area that needs great development. From my visits to schools, I have realised that I have no deep understanding of Autism and ADHD, as these seem to be most prevalent in schools. I will need to develop greater understanding in the Learning Difficulties Policy (DET website). I have a very strong interest about students with challenging behaviours. I would love to look into this area much more but have never had the opportunity. I aim to work with children with behvaiour problems but I know that these can be overcome as these children have just as much to share.

I believe that teachers do not work for the DET or the principals of the school but teachers work for the students. Our students are our quality indicators. If I can really understand and connect with a student, then learning for them will not be a chore but an enjoyment. I know this works and have continually done this. Saying this, a teacher is not one to make assumptions based on the students' culture or area where they live. I believe that for me to be an effective teacher I have achieved this element except for the Special Education. Teachers and students should combine their knowledge to make their learning the best and enjoyable.

Link to the resources:¤t=Image0003.jpg (front view)¤t=Image0004.jpg (back view)