Positive Relationship Builder
I have come to a frightening conclusion.
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.
Think back to previous teachers who inspired and /or supported you. List some of their characteristics and behaviours. Do the same for teachers who you perceived negatively.
I want to be a teacher, so that I can influence and make a difference in student life. I want to see that smile on their face when they learn something new or achieve something they did not believe they could.
I see myself teaching them not only fact about topics but engaging them and enabling them to relate to each topic. I will show them valuable skills, teach moral and correct behaviour that will enable them success in the world, that they live and breathe.
As a teacher I need to be constantly learning and improving upon myself both as a person and as a teacher of young impressionable students. I need to be someone that students can relate to and that they feel comfortable around but at the same time have them respect mu authority as their teacher. I need to form social and professionally acceptable relationships to do this. I need to be consistent with my judgement and my marking and assessment to in-turn be fair to all students' need to be understandable. I will need to notice when something is wrong with the child, it may be out of the ordinary and have the ability to help them through it if necessary. I will need to do administration work and comply with the rules of teaching and a professional among with everyone.
I look forward to working on my skills and become a great teacher, the one my previous teachers were for me and the one I want to me. Professional Experience will help me.
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Rationale for Teaching
Middle schooling (grades 6-9) is a crucial time in the lives of the young people that I teach (Main & Pendergast 2017, p. 47-48), there is a lot going on at the same time as their education. Students go through a wealth of physical, psychosocial, emotional and cognitive changes (puberty), that is only matched by the development that occurs in the first two years of life (Pendergast 2017, p. 4). During this period, my students will form values and dispositions that will direct their attitudes and behaviours through to adulthood and into the future (Main & Pendergast 2017, p. 47-48).
The students that I encounter within a middle school context are complex, unique and diverse individuals, each having learning and personal needs that needs meeting. They are adolescents and are going through the journey of adolescence (Main 2017), Meaning they are still developing. Diversity in gender, culture and ability are seen and I acknowledge that this is where the one size fits all approach, does not work. I feel that using this type of approach in the classroom only leads to student disengagement. Pendergast (2017), notes that disengagement in many cases is a product of not meeting these desired learning needs. Learning needs are to be met for the students to be successful and include how they learn and learning difficulties they possess. All students have the right to success through both a meaningful and differentiated curriculum and it is my role as teacher to facilitate this to provide equity in opportunity for student success. I need to differentiate student needs to cater for all in my class (Main 2017, p.97).
When my students enter the middle school years of their education journey, there is an apparent focus on subject matter, rather than the student-learner as seen in primary school (Pendergast 2017, p. 7). The way that we expect students to learn changes and at this time there are increased expectations, new relationships and academic diversity are experienced (students at different levels of knowledge and ability in all subjects).
Middle school reform is a response to claims that the middle years of young people’s learning either slows down, stops or even seems to go backwards (termed disengagement), at a time when learning should be progressing (Stringer 1998, p. 6 as cited in Chadbourne & Pendergast 2005). The middle school reform is the transition period for young people moving from primary school to high school (Chadbourne & Pendergast 2005). This reform is necessary due to unfamiliar structure, forming new relationships, different focus of learning and unique learning needs (Chadbourne & Pendergast 2005. It seeks to address students’ learning in a way that meets their complex, unique and diverse learning and personal needs in a meaningful, relevant way. Thus, enabling students to feel safe, wanted and included in their learning environments. Motivation and engagement are important, this is why a specific meaningful curriculum presented using a middle school approach is needed to build students in preparation for success for themselves and the world.
(Prestridge, S & Finger, G 2017, ‘Using Information & Communications Technologies’ in DL Pendergast, K Main & NM Bahr (3rd Edition), Teaching Middle Year: Rethinking Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, pp. 170-187)
Digitally Annotated by Andrei Apostol
This theme looked a range of Middle Schooling Pedagogies and there uses in provide a meaningful and relevant curriculum to our middle school learners.
(Dowden, T 2017, ‘Curriculum’ in DL Pendergast, K Main & NM Bahr (3rd Edition), Teaching Middle Year: Rethinking Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, pp. 170-187)
Digitally Annotated by Andrei Apostol
This theme looked at the elements of the curriculum in the middle schooling years, specifically general curriculum, literacy, numeracy and physicality. These chapters made it evident that we as teachers where possible need to practice integration in our subjects – this means to utilise the cross curricular links in the curriculum documents we use and the capability. This can be seen as making a meaningful curriculum for the student, who can then link how the skills they learn in one discipline can be used in another. An interesting and valuable take home is that it is not just the role the literacy/English or numeracy/math teacher to create literate and numerate student, it is all teachers.
(Pendergast, D 2017, ‘Middle Year Education’ in DL Pendergast, K Main & NM Bahr (3rd Edition), Teaching Middle Year: Rethinking Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, pp. 3-20)
Digitally Annotated by Andrei Apostol
This theme showed the increasing importance of having a middle school philosophy (direction and purpose for practice, as well as evaluation) and specific pedagogy for the student in the middle years (a middle school philosophy will include directed and relevant curriculum). A point that was highlighted here was that middle school is the pedagogy and curriculum not just about the structure of a school.
The middle school reform (transition period for young people (year 6-9) moving from primary school to high school) is necessary due to unfamiliar structure, forming new relationships, different focus of learning (subject not student focused) and unique learning needs. Motivation and engagement are important as is tailoring the curriculum your students. Disengagement is a common theme. (This disengagement occurs substantially, and due to reasons specific to adolescence)
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.