(Main, K & Pendergast, D 2017, ‘Student Engagement and Wellbeing’ in DL Pendergast, K Main & NM Bahr (3rd Edition), Teaching Middle Year: Rethinking Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, pp. 47-65)
Digitally Annotated by Andrei Apostol
This theme looked at what I feel to be the basis of a fully functional middle school classroom. I can divide it into three distinct areas that all our middle school classroom should include Student Wellbeing (Socially, Emotionally and Physically) and Engagement (how they learn and are they learning), Relationships (how to build these, student/teacher and student/student) and Community (importance of student's voice and community involvement of engagement). Taking into consideration these areas teachers can effectively manage learning environment with effectively building rapport and relationships.
3 – CAPTURE THE ESSENCE OF THE CHAPTER
Teachers realise that early adolescence is a crucial time in the development of their young people and that this is a time where they form values and disposition that direct attitudes and behaviour through to adulthood. (<Therefore it is good time to form a basis of hood life habits) A scoping study provided evidence of strong links between student’s wellbeing and learning outcomes (student engagement level) (Noble et.al, 2008b, as cited in Main, K & Pendergast, D 2017, pp.47-48), thus teachers and are now employing a holistic approach -to curriculum planning and including student wellbeing into the programs.< ‘Holistic' is the keyword, as wellbeing becomes linked with academic achievement, wellbeing is prioritised as a factor working in unison with the curriculum to produce desirable results J
Connective Teaching (connecting student socially and emotional to their learning), lively teaching (learning that is perceived to be fun) and Academic Rigour (promotion of the academic dimensions of a classroom) are critical to engaging middle years' learners. (These three all work collectively as part of a teacher’s arsenal, but some may take priority according to student’s context)
Resilience and employing of a growth mindset (<Good term, as it implies ‘potential’. This mindset is also necessary for teachers to adopt towards students) is key to building self-efficacy in student (Main, K & Pendergast, D 2017, p. 53, 56).
2 – PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR YOUR TEACHING
Students in my middle school classroom will be presented with a connected and lively teaching style allowing them to connect socially and emotionally with what they are learning (Keep in mind that to connect socially and emotionally, there are pre-requisites i.e. – knowing the students and what they will ‘connect’ with. AITSL standards 1,2 and 3) about but at the same time, this will need to balance with the usual rigour of a classroom. I feel that my subjects of Home Economics and Religious Education lend well to this style. This is a style that I have very much employed in prior placement and training jobs.
Students in my middle school classroom should and will feel emotionally and physically safe and know that they are valued member of the classroom. I will model (modelling is a good strategy! Make sure they are also involved in a democratic process) correct behaviour and boundaries and a student will have a sense of right and wrong.
1A – RICH, OPEN-ENDED QUESTION OR PROVOCATION
What do teachers perceive as the key issues their middle school learners are faced with, noted that school context will identify these issues and what students are dealing with? How can they identify these? (Key issues occur in the social, emotional and physical dimension. I imagine a range of issues affect students, but their severity is diverse, as students, like their contexts, are unique and therefore required a varied approach.)
1B- REFLECTIVE RESPONSE ON TO THE QUESTION OR PROVOCATION
Teachers perceive some of the key issues to resolves around the following areas/dimensions; social, emotional and physical. Students will face similar issues on a day-to-day basis, but their severity is diverse, as students, like their contexts, are unique and therefore required a varied approach. No student experiences the same during their schooling and teachers have to provide a safe and open environment to allow them to experience and share these with them and their peers. I have also spoken some teachers who feel that teachers, especially the young teachers use and look back on the own experience in middle school to identify and connect with the middle school learners
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.