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Element Two

Element Two:

Teachers know their students and how they learn. 

I believe...

I believe that all children have the potential to learn and they deserve every opportunity to do so. I believe that no child learns in the same way, and that multiple learning opportunities need to be provided so each has the opportunity to succeed. Students will all come from different backgrounds, cultures and with different attitudes to school and I believe that each child should feel safe, comfortable and secure in their learning environment. This includes the content that is taught, the ways it is taught and the behaviour management strategies that are used. I also believe that teachers have the responsibility to care for students in a respectful and individual way that makes them feel included in the class, but all within clear boundaries so all members of a classroom are protected and can find a sense of pride in their community. 

I have...

In my past practicum’s I have experienced the intricacies of non-English speakers in a classroom, special needs and gifted and talented students together and students under significant ‘at-home’ stress (KDH picture). Through dealing with these situations it becomes apparent that not only are they in every classroom, but knowing students well provides a means to engage them in learning while providing support for the individual needs they have (Appendix). I have created tasks that allow all students to participate and succeed, fulfilling outcomes and making their own meaning from the task (Appendix). Similarly, I have catered tasks to the interests, ability and developmental stage of students after having developed better relationships with them throughout the duration of the prac. In developing relationships I have also managed to develop and maintain an excellent rapport with students of different ages, backgrounds and genders which has assisted greatly in behaviour management and providing an enjoyable classroom atmosphere (Appendix).

I will...

In my teaching practice I recognise that there is always more that can be done to develop relationships with students and better understand how they learn. To improve in this area I will try to be more confident in small group learning and student directed learning. This is proven to be a motivational, engaging and beneficial style of learning for students, so I will try to better understand how small group learning can be used across all the KLA’s and how different grouping strategies allow positive social and academic mixings. In order to provide an open classroom I will try to develop learning activities that allow the inclusion and celebration of diverse backgrounds and use students’ experiences to teach each other about their worlds. I will continue to try to create classroom practices which provide students with a chance to make decisions and direct learning and helping them to discover something new.

I need... 

With all the experiences I have had both within a classroom and externally, I need to spend more time understanding diversity, particularly cultural, and how that impacts how children learn. This can happen through speaking to cultural leaders (including Indigenous Elders and leaders in the community), exploring the resources available throughout Sydney such as the Jewish Museum and speaking to children and their families. I also need to speak with other teachers in discovering how best to cater activities to different developmental milestones. I need to continue to participate in professional development and wider reading regarding differentiation in the classroom and locate programs which allow students to have a strong voice in the classroom. Finally, in getting to know students I need to remain aware of their interests, concerns and needs by asking questions, being involved and providing them with opportunities to share and be proactive in the classroom.

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