I have... come to realise the significance of a child’s individualised learning needs and fluctuating levels of interest and engagement are central to their learning potential. Appendix (A) is a lesson that was for a yr 1/2 composite class which unsurprisingly comprised of students with a huge scope of abilities and needs. The lesson took into account the various writing levels of the students while providing enough flexibility to challenge and stimulate them, particularly the more advanced students (Appendix C is a sample of one of the more advanced students work and demonstrates the need for extension and flexibility in lessons). By scaffolding the more structured, writing portion of the lesson students were able to add detail to their explanations while still having the support of the guidance text.
I will... take steps to ensure that an individualised approach is incorporated into all of my future lessons. In order to do this a thorough knowledge of your students is a must. When entering a classroom for prac it is essential to consult with the teacher about the different needs, interests and skills of each student. This initial information can then be built upon through observation, often trial and error and meaningful interaction with each child. Once teaching independently, the first of these steps will change to consultation with other teachers, parents and if possible the work and records of the children in your class although this is often debatable and sometime the most effective way to find out students interests is simply to ask them what they are.
I need... to take this approach in all of my lessons. It is obviously difficult to cater to the needs of every student when you are unfamiliar with their prior learning experiences and background but it is essential to build this knowledge and implement it, even if that is mostly during the introductory stages of a lesson or during class discussions. I also need to find a way to make relevent connections between my lessons so that that the students can be encouraged to build upon prior knowledge and the knowledge that they have acquired in previous lessons.
I believe... that a teacher can be an incredibly positive and powerful influence in a child’s life. By providing learning experiences that consider the child’s interests as well as their capabilities and learning style a teacher has the opportunity to excite and engage students in learning. I believe that all children love to learn and it’s a teacher’s responsibility to provide opportunities that help students to maintain this enthusiasm. By attempting to individualise each learning activity a teacher can show their students that their needs and interests are not ignored but that they really are important.