Sunday, September 16, 2007

Goals for a First Year Teacher

1. Organize my time, tasks, and classroom before school begins

2. Always have a backup plan, in case an activity just does not work

3. Develop successful professional relationships with my colleagues and with the families of my students

4. Develop a meaningful relationship with each of my students

5. Plan lessons that will meet the needs of my students

6. Deliver instruction that will fully engage my students in learning

7. Assess my students’ progress accurately and fairly

8. Motivate my students to succeed

9. Help my students develop the study skills they need to become independent learners

10. Prevent discipline problems from disrupting the positive learning environment that I want to establish

11. Successfully manage discipline problems once they occur

12. Meet the needs of each child in my diverse classroom

13. Find a balance between my work (professional) life and my home life

14. Increase my content knowledge of History

15. Keep a journal to reflection on my teaching experiences

Friday, September 7, 2007

Reflections: Week 5

Wow! I can't believe it, I only have 2 more weeks left until I am completely finished!

Working on Improving:

Calling Attention. Most of the time I have no problems calling for the students attention; however, I sometimes find that it may take me a little longer to get the students attention when they are working. There could be a number of reasons why this is:

1. It is only natural that as human beings we want to finish the conversations that we are having.
2. I might need to work on my voice technique. I usually call the students attention through saying: "Class, Could I have your attention for a minute." or "Eyes up, pens down." The majority of the class will stop what they are doing and look up at me, then I go through the process of naming students who are still chatting or continuing to write. I feel that sometimes I cannot demand the students attention straight away without using a stern loud voice. I don't want to have to yell at the students all the time.
3. I demand every students attention and wait until the whole class is quite before starting my instructions. However, I have observe a very effective teacher who calls the students attention and then begins to instruct the students. If their are students who are still chatting they usually settle down and listen once they realise that the teacher is talking. I might try this technique next week.

If students are not listening or chatting during a class discussion I believe that I use effective non-verbal technique to get students back on track. I also do not hesitate to more students if they are chatting to much or disrupting other students.

What went well:

I had two very successful lessons yesterday. The first was with my Yr. 9 History class. I believe that it is important for a teacher to engage the students in the learning process through first gaining their interest and excitement of the subject. I had the students make some observations of a handout on the Viking Longships. Most of the information was historical; however, in the picture it also had a dolphin which it referred to as "quite smart." I think the stimulus engaged the students and by allowing the students to explore the picture first gave the students a sense of control over their own learning. Afterwards, as a class we made observations about the Longships and discussed how the Viking ship making technique was advantageous for their invasion of other countries and exploration. Afterwards, I had the students work in groups of three or four to play a Viking board game in which they had more back and forth places depending on the issues the Vikings incurred in their day life: "Food runs out, stop at an island to go seal hunting, miss a shot" or "Good winds, raise sails, have another shot." The students loved this game! As a class we then discussed the events Vikings experienced in their daily lives.

The other class was my Yr. 8 SOSE class in which the objective of the lesson was to reinforce the information about the Eureka Stockade, which we studied in the previous lesson. I first had the students pull a questions written on a piece of paper out of a bowl. Each student had a different question in which they had to find the answer to it and write it in their books. I then had the each student read out their question and answer. All of the questions were related to the events of the Eureka Stockade (the causes, actions and results). I then handed out an A4 sheet of paper which had one event in the timeline of the Eureka Stockade. Each students read the event and then had to draw a picture to represent the event. This worked very well the students enjoyed it. We then put the pieces of paper on the wall in order and had the class conduct a "walk through." We then discussed the information as a class.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Reflection: Week 4

Another week over and only 3 more weeks to go!!!!

What worked well:

Over these last couple of weeks I have really felt completely confident and competent in my teaching. I also feel that my supervising teachers have complete confidence in me and have given me the independence and total control with the units and classes that I am teaching.

This week I met with the teacher-librarian to discuss helping my year 11 Modern History class with their research. She was very helpful and I am sure the students will benefit a great deal from the tips she can give them on researching their individual Cold War topics.

I taught a very effective lesson to my year 11 Modern History class on how to evaluate Internet websites. I believe they found the information very relevant and useful. I started the lesson with asking the students whether or not gossip magazines or gossip blogs are reliable. I had the students look up some examples such as and research the publisher stormfront, I went through the reliability of and looked at the recent issues with John Howard. I then had the students evaluate a Cold War website using an evaluation checklist handout. I believe the students were attentive and engaged. I then taught this same lesson to the year 11 Ancient History class and the students were once again engaged.

I had a few bahavioural issues with students this week. One girl was sucking on a lollipop at the start of class and I asked her to put it away, which she did and then I turned around again and she had it back in her mouth, I had another student making some strange sound with his phone, which was distracting other students, and finally a student who hit another student on the head with a textbook. I dealt with all of these students individually and after class.

Needs to improve:

I think at times I find myself having to repeat to the class three or four times "Excuse Me, pay attention to the board" or "Pens down, eyes up." Most of the time the students switch on but a few students want to continue either doing their work or talking to one of their classmates. I think I need to either work on the tone in my voice or simply name the students who are not paying attention or I could list the student who are not paying attention with their names on the board and make that their first warning, second warning is a five-minute detention.