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milestones

Element 1 – teachers know their subject content and how to teach that content to their students.
1.1.1 – knowledge of subject content

I have developed and implemented a range of lessons, including a sequence of lessons as well as complete units, that demonstrate my capabilities and adherence to the standards set by the NSW IT.

I will continue to promote my own professional development so that I may continually provide quality teaching environments for students in my classroom. I will continue to ensure that I know beyond the required subject content so that I may ensure students’ deep knowledge and learning.

I need to develop my knowledge in information and communication technology. This would be for personal benefit, but more so that I could be more adept at using ICT in my lessons. This would benefit students greatly.

Due to the diversity within any classroom, I believe that it is critical for the teacher to be able to undergo a change in pedagogical strategy according to the circumstances. This is important to understand when teaching content to students. I also believe that to help all students learn, teachers need several kinds of knowledge about learning. They need to think about what it means to learn different kinds of material for different purposes and how to decide which kinds of learning are most necessary in different contexts. Teachers need to know about curriculum resources and technologies to connect their students with sources of information and knowledge that allow them to explore ideas, acquire and synthesize information, and frame and solve problems. This stems from Shulman (1986; 1987; 1992) and his notion of ‘Model of Pedagogical Reasoning’, which uses steps (comprehension, transformation, instruction, evaluation, reflection, and new comprehension) toward having pedagogical content knowledge

PDHPE ‘Relationships’ lesson sequence.
1.1.2 – knowledge of pedagogyLesson observation teacher feedback sheet 30/10/07.
1.1.3 – knowledge of NSW curriculum requirementsPDHPE ‘Relationships’ lesson sequence.See also HSIE supervisor feedback sheet 30/10/07.
1.1.4 – areas knowledge of ICTPower point experienceMaintain USB recordsOverhead projector
Element 2 – teachers know their students and how they learn.
2.1.1 – knowledge of and respect for the diverse social, cultural, and ethnic and religious backgrounds of students and the effects of these factors on learning.

I have endeavoured to establish, with the students that I have taught as well as with myself, a knowledge, respect and understanding of the influences that affect learning for the individual and also for the class. I have had experiences with a number of different types of learners and have been able to cater to their needs so that they may benefit as greatly as the student sitting beside them. 

I will learn more about differentiation in the classroom to add to my repertoire of activities and strategies that are necessary to benefit a diverse classroom. 

I need to further develop my understanding of the needs and strategies required to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, as well as students with challenging behavior. 

I believe that the learning process is dynamic and relative to the individual. It is important as a teacher to understand the continual changes that occur, not only from class to class, but from student to student and day to day. Teachers must be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different learners and must have the knowledge to work with students who have specific learning disabilities or needs. According to Dunn and Griggs, students are affected by five main factors – their immediate environment, their own emotionality, their sociological preferences, physiological characteristics (multiple intelligences put forward by Gardner, 1983; 1999), and their processing inclinations (1995). This learning style model is essential for teachers to be able to ascertain the types of learners in their classroom, further understand their needs and to cater for these needs in a higher quality manner.

Helping students develop an understanding of cultures other than their own. see PD lessons on interpersonal relationships.
2.1.2 – knowledge of the physical, social and intellectual development characteristics of the age groups of studentsProviding optional activities at the conclusion of a lesson to allow for all students to finish the required activity in their own time. Global warming lesson
2.1.3 – knowledge of students’ varied approaches to learningUse of a range of teaching strategies to encourage optimum learning.Global warming lesson
2.1.4 – knowledge of how students’ skills, interests and prior achievements affect learningCatering for all needs of the learner, and making learning relevant to their lives.Global warming lesson
2.1.5/2.1.6 – knowledge of strategies for addressing student needsDevelopment and justification of a learning sequence for a class with non-English speaking backgrounds
Element 3 – Teachers plan, assess and report for effective learning.
3.1.1 – Planning: teaching and learning goals

I have ensured that students are aware of my expectations of them as well as the aim and outcomes of all learning experiences. I have also ensured that learning experiences planned are relevant and significant to the students and have organised content in a logical way to promote learning. I have also made use of open-ended questions as a tool to encourage discussions among students, which is one way of informal assessment. I have provided students with feedback both during and after learning experiences so that they may use this information to improve.

I will use a greater range of assessment on my next practicum and accurate record keeping of my students’ progress. I will also communicate with parents to inform them of my intentions in the classroom as a way of reporting.

I need to familiarize myself with a greater range of assessment strategies, such as the ‘Starting with Assessment’ kit, and begin implementing these strategies in the classroom. I need to develop evidence of my ability to accurately assess student achievement, as well as developing a formal record keeping system to monitor students’ progress.

I believe that it is crucial for teachers to continually plan, assess and report student’s learning. It is pivotal that teachers are prepared in all of these areas prior to the commencement of any lesson. This begins with thorough lesson planning. Apart from being necessary to maintain student interest, there is so much content to cover across the curriculum that without planning, effective teaching will be lost. Planning is vital to ensure that all subject content is covered and that the lesson runs smoothly taking into account any foreseeable interruptions. As Reigeluth states, “the purpose of design activity is to devise optimal means to achieve desired ends” (1983, p4). I believe that a teacher needs to appropriately assess each lesson in order for the students to be able to move forward in an appropriate manner. That is, on-going assessment enables the teacher to accurately identify the needs of individual students. It is a critical part of teaching that a teacher assesses each lesson and from that decides whether further lessons are required. The final step is reporting all students’ achievements. Teachers need to remain up to date with whether students have achieved the set outcomes. If they haven’t then teachers need to plan further lessons to help the child come to an understanding of the content. If they are achieving the outcomes then the teacher can move them onto the next stage.  

See any lesson under lesson focus, outcomes and indicators
3.1.2 – teaching and learning programsScience ‘Wind’ unit 
3.1.3 – selection and organization of contentScience ‘Wind’ unit 
3.1.4 – selections, development and use of materials and resourcesScience ‘Wind’ unit
3.1.5/3.1.6 –  Assessment: linking assessment to learningCollection of work samples, observation of student participation/work during lesson, formal and informal questioning etc…
3.1.7 – providing feedback to studentsProvision of feedback in-action. Oral and written feedback is provided throughout lessons.
3.1.8 – Assessment: monitoring of students’ progress and record keeping 
3.1.9 – reporting 
3.1.10 – program evaluation 

Element 4 – teachers communicate effectively with their students.

4.1.1 – Communicate clear directions to students about learning goals

I have employed the use of questioning, discussion, student grouping and a variety of teaching strategies in order to establish goals and direction of learning; engage and support the students in their learning; and to help students see the relevance of what I have been teaching them. On each practicum I have endeavoured to know and understand my students and how they learn so that I may communicate in a manner effective for the individual as well as the whole.

I will develop my skills in ICT so that I may employ a wider variety of resources to aide in my communication with students. I will develop my ability to balance student grouping taking into consideration not only ability in a subject or task, but behaviour as well.

I need to work on more appropriate management strategies when running a lesson with student grouping. I need to develop a system with my students in my next practicum and internship that will allow both student freedom and a student-centered class, but will also allow for the teacher to facilitate the best learning practice and environment. To aide in this, I need to continue to ask specified and focused questions to create a more engaged, focused and thorough lesson.

I believe that effective and clear communication between a teacher and their students is essential. Rosenshine and Furst made reports based on research conducted throughout the 1950s and 1960s that “teacher clarity was a specific teaching trait that showed up consistently as having an impact on student achievement” (1973, in Areads, 1988, p269). The greater the clarity of instruction and teacher expectations, the greater chance there is for understanding and achievement from the students. I also believe that communication includes both the verbal and the non-verbal. Groundwater-Smith states simply “effective teachers understand their students…To achieve this understanding, they listen” (2003, p228). Listening and non-verbal responses allows for greater control and flow of the communication process.

Teacher and supervisor feedback sheets 30/10; 8/11.
4.1.2 – demonstrate a range of questioning techniques designed to support student learningTeacher and supervisor feedback sheets 30/10; 8/11.
4.1.3 – listen to students and engage them in classroom discussionTeacher and supervisor feedback sheets 30/108/11.
4.1.4 – use student group structures as appropriate to address teaching and learning goalsANNOTATED THROUGHOUT APPENDICES – RED BOXES
4.1.5 – use a range of teaching strategies and resources to foster interest and support learning. Maths mass lesson groups based o behaviour and ability using resources relevant to their lives.
Element 5 – teachers create and maintain safe and challenging learning environments through the use of classroom management skills.
5.1.1 – demonstrate a variety of strategies to develop rapport with all students

I have developed rapport with students throughout my practicums through getting to know and understand them and how they learn. I have also provided students with the opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning and have provided the necessary scaffolding in order to manage these experiences and to provide a safe environment where students are not afraid of making mistakes.

I will continue to develop my management techniques, and focus on managing the transitions between classes.

I need to work on a developing a wider range of management strategies to use in different situations both inside the classroom as well as in the playground. Group work management is a major focus for me so that I am able to more clearly explain the task at hand to allow for student freedom and student-centered learning, and also do that I can manage noise levels to that of an effective and quality classroom level.

I believe that it is important to establish rapport with students and to gain an understanding of who they are. Similarly, I believe it is important to allow your students to gain a sense of who you are. The social learning theory, outlined by Bandura, proposes that learning occurs through imitation and modeling (1977, in Latham et al., 2006, p102). He advocates that teachers should treat their students the way they want their students to treat them. I believe that this must be so in terms of respect for each other, so that coherence between the teacher and the student is promoted, which will enhance learning and achievement.

Teacher/ supervisor comments supervisor 30/10; 8/11; 29/10/08. ANNOTATED EVIDENCE THROUGHOUT APPENDICES – GREEN
5.1.2 – establish supportive environments where students feel safe to risk full participationTeacher/ supervisor comments supervisor 30/10; 8/11; 29/10/08. ANNOTATED EVIDENCE THROUGHOUT APPENDICES – GREEN
5.1.3 – demonstrate strategies to create a positive environment supporting student effort and learningTeacher/ supervisor comments. supervisor 30/10.; 29/10/08 ANNOTATED EVIDENCE THROUGHOUT APPENDICES – GREEN
5.1.4 – provide clear directions for classroom activities and engage students in purposeful learning activities.Teacher/ supervisor comments 8/11; 29/10/08. ANNOTATED EVIDENCE THROUGHOUT APPENDICES – GREEN
5.1.5 – demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to managing student behaviour and their applications in the classroomTeacher/ supervisor comments. Supervisor 30/10; teacher 30/10;  8/11; 29/10/08. ANNOTATED EVIDENCE THROUGHOUT APPENDICES – GREEN
5.1.6 – demonstrate knowledge of principles and managing classroom discipline

Teacher comments. Teacher 30/10; 8/11; 29/10/08.

ANNOTATED EVIDENCE THROUGHOUT APPENDICES – GREEN

5.1.7 – understand specific requirements for ensuring student safety in schools science wind unit
Element 6 – teachers continually improve their professional knowledge and practice.
6.1.1 – demonstrate a capacity to reflect critically on and improve teaching and practice

I have participated in critical reflection throughout my practicum experiences, which has benefitted my philosophy and practice, as well as the students impacted greatly. I have endeavoured to have a thorough knowledge of the professional teaching standards so that I may use this as a framework for reflection.

I will ensure that I have a thorough understanding of any policies and policy documents that teachers in NSW may need to comply with following employment in a school. I will benefit my practice by exposing myself to all available professional development opportunities.

I need to continually reflect critically on my practice and the practice of others in order to improve my teaching pedagogy (recommended by Schon, 1996).

I believe that research on effective teaching over the past two decades has shown that effective practice is linked to inquiry, reflection, and continuous professional growth (Harris, 1998). The primary benefit of reflective practice for teachers is a deeper understanding of their own teaching style and ultimately, greater effectiveness as a teacher” (Ferraro, 2000, para14). I also strongly believe in the importance of collegiality in the promotion of learning and overall improvement of schools.

 
6.1.2 – demonstrate knowledge of the professional standards framework and its impact on the professional life of a teacherBy completing and continually updating these milestones I am showing an awareness of the standards and how they can be used to shape my teaching pedagogy.
6.1.3 – demonstrate knowledge of the available professional development opportunities and the importance of personal planning to ongoing professional growth 
6.1.4 – demonstrate knowledge of the importance of teamwork in an educational contextWorking with other teachers and professionals to benefit the learning of students.
6.1.5 – accept constructive feedback to improve and refine teaching and learning practicesCan be seen through sequential teacher and supervisor feedback sheets.
6.1.6 – prepare for and contribute to discussions about the teaching profession or subject/content 
6.1.7 – explore educational ideas and issues through researchParticipating in an honours course.
6.1.8 – recognize the range of policies and policy documents that teachers in NSW may need to comply with following employment in a school 
Element 7 – teachers are actively engaged members of their profession and the wider community.
7.1.1 – demonstrate the capacity to communicate effectively with parents and caregivers

I have had some experience of working with parents and caregivers on previous practicums and understand the importance of the parents’ roles in a school community.

I will make an effort to involve myself more heavily with liaising with parents, caregivers and other members of the community in my final practicum and internship, and will ask questions so that I may ensure that the students benefit from any actions that I take.  

I need to develop a greater understanding of effective home-schooling practice, and also of the different processes involved in reporting student progress to parents and caregivers.

I believe that teachers, the administration in schools and parents need to work together in order to improve schools and the overall quality of life and learning inside the schools grounds. Barth agrees with the notion of improving schools from within using these three stakeholders (1990,p190). As Delgado-Gaitan summarises, contemporary research has revealed the need for parent involvement to promote children’s success in school (Bloom, 1985; Bronfenbrenner, 1978; Cochran & Woolener, 1983; Comer, 1984; Griffore & Boger, 1986; Lareau, 1989; Tizard, Schofield, & Hewison, 1982; in Delgado-Gaitan, 1991, p20).

 
7.1.2 – demonstrate an understanding of effective home-school links and processes for reporting student progress to parents and caregivers 
7.1.3 – demonstrate the importance of involving parents and caregivers in the educative process and the use of a limited number of strategies to seek that involvement 
7.1.4 – demonstrate the capacity to work effectively with external professionals, teachers’ aides and community-based personnel to enhance student learning opportunities 
7.1.5 – understand regulations and statutes related to teachers’ responsibilities and students’ rights 
7.1.6 – demonstrate the capacity to liaise, communicate and interact effectively and appropriately with parents, caregivers, colleagues, industry and the local community 

 

REFERENCES

Areads, R. I. (1988). Learning to teach. New York: Random House.

Barth, R. S. (1990). Improving schools from within: teachers, parents, and principals can make the difference. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass Inc Publishers.

Delgado-Gaitan, C. (1991). Involving parents in the schools: a process of empowerment. American Journal of Education. 100(1), pp20-46.

Dunn, R.,  &  Griggs,  S.  A.  (1995).  Learning styles: Quiet revolution in American secondary schools.  Westport, CT:  PraegerFerraro, J. M. (2000). Reflective practice and professional development. ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education. ERIC: ED449120.

Gardner, H. (1983; 1993) Frames of Mind: The theory of multiple intelligences, New York: Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (1999) Intelligence Reframed. Multiple intelligences for the 21st century, New York: Basic Books.

Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R., and LeCornu, R. (2003). Teaching challenges and dilemmas. (2nd Ed). Australia: Thomson.

Harris, A. (1998). Effective teaching: A review of the literature. School Leadership & Management, 18(2), 169-183. EJ 563 868

Latham, G., Blaise, M., Dole, S., Faulkner, J., Lang, J., and Malone, K. (2006). Learning to teach: New times, new practices. Australia: Oxford University Press.

Reigeluth, C. M. (1983). Instructional-design theories and models: an overview of their current status. New Jersey: Erlbaum

Schon, D.A. (1996). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.

Shulman,  L.  (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher15 (2), 4-14.

Shulman,  L.  (1987).  Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform.  Harvard Educational Review,   57 (1),  1-22.

Shulman, L. (1992). Ways of seeing, ways of knowing, ways of teaching, ways of learning about teaching.  Journal of Curriculum Studies, 28,  393-396.

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