Date: Friday, 31st March 2017
Today I Did:
For Placement 3, I am going to an all girls secondary Catholic College, with 620 students from Years 8-12. XXXX is a vibrant, inclusive and hopeful community, in which each individual is valued. Our passionate, generous and highly competent staff, prepare students for future challenges by encouraging creativity, perseverance and resilience. They encourage excellence. We strive to develop within each girl confidence in her particular talents and abilities and the knowledge that she is important and unique.
The College I am to be involved with outlines this mission:
• engender a passion for lifelong learning.
• encourage excellence.
• value each individual’s gifts and talents.
• are generous with our time and care of each student so that she develops her full potential.
• are a welcoming, vibrant and inclusive community in which we celebrate diversity.
• prepare students for future challenges by encouraging creativity, perseverance and resilience.
• encourage young women to work for social justice so that they recognise that they can make a difference.
• allow students to explore their own faith journey.
• nurture faith in Catholic tradition.
• empower students to practise reconciliation.
• understand and accept the challenge of the Gospels to challenge injustice.
• are proud to be part of the community and are advocates for the school.
• have passionate, generous and highly competent staff.
• are hopeful.
I see this as being a good fit with my current values as an educator but all my personal Catholic values I have. I am looking forward to the challenges that placement has for me but also the challenges and new approaches which an all girls schooling context will throw at me.
I feel as though my placement and time at XXXX College has been a positive experience that has helped to further develop my skills and abilities as a teacher. I feel as though I am well on the way to becoming a competent and effective teacher in my chosen fields of expertise.
My focus for my placement this time was not so much finding confidence in myself but learning and implementing different classroom and behaviour management strategies, in particular finding something that suits my style and of course the group, I work with. To enable this, I stepped outside my learning and subject area and reached out to other teachers to observe their class, Religion, English, History, Science and Research Project. Through this, I was able to see how different subjects and teacher management their own classroom and find adapt things I had observed when the opportunity arose in my class the following lesson or day. I also sought to understand the curriculum of both senior and junior schools, through program development, looking at school resources and asking following up questions. I was also involved in some marking of a timed assessment in Stage 1 Religion Studies. I also participated in college life to the fullest engaging in Student Voice, Junior Relay for Life, School Masses and Year 12 Farewells. I feel this enabled me to get a sense of the true culture of XXXX College and truly understand the community I am working in. I feel getting to know the community is an important aspect of a teacher starting out in a new school. I feel also as though forming a professional relationship with my Mentor enabled my experience to be as positive as it has been and also enabled me to learn as much as I can about the role of a teacher not just in the classroom but administratively.
Strengths: I have identified the following as points that I have been able to continue the development of and identify these as strengths or positives as this point in my journey.
Limitations: At my current stage I need to work on the following areas to improve and develop my practice as a teacher.
I feel as though if I continue on the path I have been with my development as a teacher, I can be successful and engage students and have them be successful. The experience at XXXX has been wonderful and I as aforementioned I have learnt so much and will take so much away for use in my effective practice.
XXXX College is a private co-educational Catholic College situated in the North Eastern suburbs of Adelaide and is part of a three-campus initiative which includes XXXX High School (Government School) and XXXX (Christian School). The cultural background of the student population is comprised predominately of students with Anglo-Saxon and European heritage. The socio-economic background of the students is mainly middle income. The school is an active part of the community, involving students in various after-school sport, open nights, external work experience and community service activities.
My practicum specifically included:
Comments from my Mentor Teacher and the Site Director can be seen below.
Following thread, Professional Reflection, will be used to document my journey on my last three placements within my Bachelor of Secondary Education.
Non-physical intervention in managing behaviour
Non-physical intervention is the recognised means of managing the behaviour of children and young people within a school as a profession teacher. Where a problem with a child or young person’s behaviour becomes apparent, non-physical interventions are used.
Use of verbal directions is always preferred to physical intervention. Physical contact with a child or young person (e.g. pushing, grabbing, poking, pulling, blocking) in order to ensure they comply with Directions is not appropriate ever. Under no circumstances should staff engage in any form of conduct which might cause physical or emotional harm to children and young people.
Staff may make legitimate use of physical restraint if all non-physical interventions have been exhausted or are impossible in the circumstances and a child or young
Staff are to use physical restraint only as a last resort and not as a response to property destructions or leaving the classroom or the school (just to name a few)
What I feel comfortable using?
I would choose to direct the other children and young people to move away
from the situation, this would draw the attention away from the student and hopefully have them stop the behaviour that has coursed the other children to move away.
I would also choose to talk with the individual child or young person (asking
the child or young person to stop the behaviour, and telling the child or young person what will happen if he/she does not stop), this would allow the child to be aware of the situation and what they are coursing to again cease the behaviour. Maybe even why they are doing the behaviour in the first instance.
***This has been completed prior to starting the course in 2014. Certificate of Attainment is below.
Positive Relationship Builder
I have come to a frightening conclusion.
People (use of interpersonal skills)
Choose one justice alert. How you would respond to it in terms of your own experiences of schooling?
The justice alert I have chosen is 'who is heard and who finds it difficult to be heard?'
This means is everyone being heard and voiced in discussion and being active in classroom life. This does not just involve the student but the teachers as well. It involve the classroom being structured in a way that allow the entire class to be heard and no one to fall into the background and be unnoticed.
In terms of my schooling I found that It was very easy to fall in the the background and not be heard or notice. This is why I always tried to be what is classed as an active student. I would be involved in classroom life and make I self notice in the appropriate manner. I found myself as a result being able to talk problems out with my teacher and fellow student and also being able to balance my work whilst still being able to help other and make use of my interpersonal skills. This was all as a result of gaining feedback from my teachers and fellow students and adjusting my behaviourism if I felt it was required.
As a teacher I would need to make sure that I am paying attention to the introverts and the extroverts.
Damien Walker is currently studying a Bachelor of Education, Food and Textiles Technologies at University of South Australia. This is him engaging with readings and questions throughout his teaching journey to gain professional insight and knowledge.