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Element Four

Element Four:

Teachers communicate effectively with their students

I believe...

I believe that students have their own individual ways of communication that need to be fostered and appreciated within the classroom. I believe students have the right to know what is expected of them and how they might achieve these goals and outcomes to the best of their ability. I also believe that for students to gain ownership of their classroom they should be engaged in discussion and always have their voice heard. In order to enhance communication within the classroom, I believe that students should work with different groups of their peers as well as independently. Finally, I believe that because all students learn in different ways, content and instruction should be communicated to them using a variety of strategies, resources and for multiple learning styles.

I have...

On previous practicum’s I have successfully outlined goals and expectations I have of students through initial classroom discussion and specific learning goals. During initial discussions students also articulated what they expected of me as their teacher and how I might achieve those expectations. This allowed the students to have a clear and heard voice from the outset and fostered a classroom environment of respect and openness. I have developed questioning skills by preparing key questions for each lesson and drawing on questions students have asked in my preparation of future lessons. Not only has this allowed me to gain a greater understanding of what students know, want to know and their interests, but it also allows them to help direct their learning while giving me the confidence to explore these questions asked.

In terms of grouping I have successfully initiated students working in pairs, threes and larger groups based on ability, friendship, interest and gender. Some of these were specific in supporting the academic learning of students and others were focused on broadening the horizons of social interactions and engagement.

Finally, I have successfully undertaken lessons using a wide variety of teaching strategies and resources. This has involved the use of ICT as stimulus, engagement and reflection, the use of tactile objects in science, maths and English, the use of games in English, creative arts, PDHPE and maths to target specific skills and the use of numerous mediums for students to record their responses.

I need...

I need to experiment more with group work in stage three and specific communication tools to use with this age group. I need to work on providing group based learning experiences that go beyond single lessons and allow for collaborative research, discussion, evaluation and presentation of a task. As a part of this, I also need to develop the use of ICT in the core part of lessons rather than simply at the introduction and conclusion of sessions. Finally, I need to discover new ways of encouraging meaningful questioning and discussion between myself and students, students and their peers and wider school community.

I will...  

I the upcoming practicum I will actively seek the opinions of students through direct questioning. I will achieve this during “class meeting” times, through evaluation and feedback sheets and by placing a 24/7 question box in the room. I will instigate a group learning project that will involve a meaningful long term task.  I will also observe other teachers and their teaching strategies with the intent of adopting more varied and innovative ways of learning in my own classroom space.

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