Well my first week of practical experience was pretty awesome. I have learnt so much in such a short time. My mentor teacher is so supportive and encouraging, showing me many strategies for teaching.
One in particular is behaviour management. I am learning different techniques to keep the students engaged through counting down from five which the students copy. The teacher starts counting and stops at three while the students keep counting down to one and then say shhh!! This strategy is non evasive and the students respond to it very well.
I’ve used a few of my own strategies, starting with head shoulders, head shoulders, shoulders waist, shoulders waist. Making the actions while saying this. The students then started copying which made them settle and focus on me. Another strategy was standing quietly with my arms crossed and looking at the whole class as to indicate that I was waiting for them to be quiet and listen. I used this strategy when the noise level became high.
The class utilises a money reward system where they receive money for something positive that they have done. This strategy works really well which all students respond to. They accumulate their money and they can then purchase something through the class shop that the teacher has set up. This is an excellent system as it teaches the students the concept of money by adding, taking away, dollar value and saving.
I am getting quite confident teaching in front of the class now. I make sure that I am prepared for every lesson and Liaise with my mentor teacher every morning just to make sure that the content I am teaching is correct.
I observed a brilliant lesson that my mentor teacher gave on Wednesday 21/5/14. It was preparing the students for an English assessment piece that they needed to do. She gave the students pretty well everything except for the answer. They were doing a character review about a story that they had listen to called ‘Big Mouth’ by Paul Jennings. The students were given a planning sheet where they had to answer the subheadings in the boxes, then from this planning put three paragraphs together for their character review. My mentor teacher went back to basics with her year four class explaining every process step by step.
I’m a teacher aide and at my school it seems that our students are rushed through the learning process. I’ve never seen the teachers at my school go back to basics and do a step by step process like my mentor teacher did. I feel that some teachers become so time poor with the curriculum and don’t get me wrong, it’s not their fault, are unable to take the time to utilise the teaching strategy that my mentor teacher gave. I just know that I will do my best to teach this way.
So overall, I can’t wait until next week. I’ve been given two math lessons to teach, Math rotations to organise and teach with teacher aides, plus reading groups and activities to organise and teach with teacher aides. It’s going to be a busy week.