Blog 5: Post-Prac Reflection and Parental/Caregiver Reflection
September 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
After 10 weeks of practical experience, I realise there is a lot that occurs whilst teaching that cannot be taught to us in university. In my initial lessons, I felt as if my lessons had no directive because I demanded maximum student engagement. I have come to use much better scaffolded activities that revolve around a central message, concept or idea. To achieve this, the objective of each lesson was always written on the board to remind me as the teacher and emphasise for students the objective of today’s topic. This of course was not always written on the board as soon as class started, as I strived for students to articulate the objective to me after I directed various questioning techniques.
Also to achieve this, I balanced my lessons with teacher guided instruction or content and scaffolded student activity. The best formula I found that worked with this balance is a 10-15minute limit for every activity. Through this, I was constantly modelling, scaffolding and allowing time for student group, paired and/or individual work. I found maximum student engagement by using this time limit and making the students aware of this time limit.
The importance of Parents and Caregivers
Teacher parent/caregiver relationships are vital for the academic and personal wellbeing of students. Communication between teachers and parents/caregiver motivates students to do better. During my prac, a particularly difficult student surprisingly studied and made a decent attempt for an exam after writing a note in her diary for consistently not completing her homework. After the exam, she was over the moon with her results and I rewarded her with a merit of most improved. The results of this student surprised many of my colleague teachers who supported her progress and constant positive, negative, feedback and progress report communication to and from school and home.
On the contrary, I also experienced an extremely difficult student whom all of my colleague teachers have had trouble with since Year 7. As advised from my colleague teachers, the parents of this student do not accept our feedback about their daughter and continually argue for their daughter’s side which is not always truthful. It is evident that the student has close and positive relationship with her parents for her to manoeuvre out of her schooling issues. If the parents were able to accept or acknowledge that their daughter could try better at school, they could support her academically and challenge her to do better.