Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.
I have used feedback from my mentor teacher (pictured above) to improve my teaching practices
- 'What strategies can you use for boys who continue to talk?'
- 'Try to develop a balance between helping helping individual students and keeping an eye on/feel for what is happening in the class'.
- 'If it gets too noisy, reign them in. Encourage the speaker to wait until his audience is ready'.
- 'Well done for using a time reminder and for allowing them time to make the transition'.
- 'Maybe you could have asked them to contribute their ideas to your paragraph. This would have helped some of them, in particular' to be engaged.'
- 'When you said 5 minutes left, they'd been working on their paragraph for 10 minutes. This could have been the time to negotiate more time or you could have decided that the noise level indicated to you that groups had finished'.
- 'An excellent start to the lesson, Rebecca. Well done. You were clear, had a really good understanding of what you wanted the boys to do and what you wanted them to get out of the lesson'.
- 'A clear, confident beginning. Your voice is great - you speak very clearly - well done'.
- 'It worked well to have the boys moving throughout the activity. Keep this approach in mind for future planning'.
- 'Well done - the boys will warm to you and your style quickly'.
- 'As you get to know the boys better, are you finding the same boys are responding? How can you elicit responses from the others?'
- "Good to give the boys a task as you set up the station'.
- 'Great that Group 1 had the option of coming up with their own topic if nothing on your list suited them'.
- 'Setting up Group 1 gave you the necessary time to chat with Group 2'.
- 'Excellent lesson preparation. You explained the game clearly and it was great that you had organised a demonstration for them to see'.
- 'This lesson responds to what your discovering about the boys - they're hands on, moving about, lots of chatting, finding out, questioning and answering'.
I have engaged with colleagues to improve my teaching practices?
Rebecca has established an excellent rapport with PAC staff. This has enabled her to move freely into other classrooms, investigating ideas and collecting resources.
Lynda Polain, Mentor Teacher
Time spent in the REACH program allowed me to see what 'extended inquiry' looked and sounded like. I was able to experience what it felt like to be in a classroom where students were truly engaged. I witnessed the skillful use of open-ended questioning and noticed how the teacher was able to expand student dialogue by asking diverse and relevant questions. Their dialogue had a purpose - it had momentum and direction. Finally, I witnessed how an inquiry topic can be connected to students' lives in meaningful ways.
Time spent with the Learning Support team proved to be very rewarding. I realised that this is where teaching really begins - it is the engine room for explicit scaffolding, visual teaching techniques, using concrete manipultives, instilling tangible rewards, testing, practicing and recording. It occurred to me that I can this kind of precision teaching in my own classroom. During my visit I was introduced to the Reading Recovery program, MultiLit, Mathletics and a system for keeping running records.