So it’s a new semester and I have four new courses and Professional Experience is only a few days away yet again. I no longer have to keep this weblog as part of an assessment piece but I’ve decided it could be fun to continue to keep it. (Maybe with not as frequent posts though…)
I met with my new mentor this morning and she had a folder ready for me complete with notes on the class, emergency procedures, a class list, timetable, staff/phone list, school map, the procedure to book computers or rooms, bookwork expectations, school behaviour policy and class profile, plus she left me with space at the back for resources that I will collect! I can safely say that she is the most organised mentor teacher I have had and I haven’t even started in the classroom yet! Not to mention the fact that ICT is very prevalent in the workings of this classroom and I will probably learn a lot more about integrating ICT than I did in my prac class for my ICT course.
From the meeting this morning I have gauged that I am going to thoroughly enjoy this prac and I will be well supported in the classroom. One thing I noticed upon reflection on the interview was in terms of how I managed to communicate; verbally and non-verbally. I am studying a communication course this semester and thinking back on what we have already covered this semester (in four weeks) I need to change the way I sit, the way I fidget and I need to be more aware of how I present myself at all times to people. My main issue is I need to act more confident (which will hopefully improve my confidence), and throw this shyness out the window.
My goals for the first week of Professional Experience:
- Establish a teacher presence within the classroom using body language and confidence (this is where I am supposed to be, I have power in this room)
- Select specific behaviour management strategies to work on and experiment with during my lessons
- Interact with other staff, students and parents within the school keeping in mind what I want my professional presence to look like, sound like and feel like
Now let’s see how long I continue to post on this blog!
Now that I have finished my reflection part of Assignment 3 I have realised that I actually could have done a lot more in regards to ICT integration on prac. I realised that I began prac with a mindset that believed year one was too young for transformative ICTs and so did not even consider it an option. When I found out the lack of ICTs available to me i accepted that my ICT integration would be minimal. I now realise that I should have challenged it. I should have challenged myself, challenged my mentor, challenged my students and at least attempted to integrate more transformative ICTs.
Second last day of prac and we were having issues with the only part of the intractive whiteboard (TeamBoard) that actually worked, the data projector. My mentor could not get it to work or show on the board. Then all of a sudden it worked and so she continued with her handwriting lesson using lines in a Word document. As she was writing she noticed that the mouse started to move with her pen except ten centimetres away. This was exciting for us although it only added to my mentors not so positive view of technology.
Now that the interactivity was working I could integrate it’s use into one of my last lessons. That is, after it had been calibrated… I spoke to a knowledgeable person that night and then successfully calibrated the TeamBoard the next morning. I had a play around exploring features I could use then went hunting for some relevant interactive activities.
These activities worked well and once the students worked understood how to manipulate objects on the board they enjoyed its use.
Now I find it very weird that the board has not worked all year, we get a tech to come in and fix it and they can’t then all of a sudden a week later it starts working of it own accord and then worked for at least two days. I cannot say if it is still working or even if my mentor uses it as I am not on prac but it would be interesting to find out.
This week I have taught two almost full days. This means that I taught all of the teachable lessons plus there was reading groups and spelling activities that I helped with and guided groups of students through.
In terms of using ICTs, only two of my lessons this week are eligible to be included in the third assignment. Scootle was a helpful site for finding resources that had students using ICT skills as they were learning.
Another great interactive website I used this week was Triple Zero Kid’s Challenge. The students loved this website as it included animations, sounds and voices for each character and interactive sections.
These sorts of ICTs have been the only kind I can integrate as the interactive part of the IWB does not work and in any case my mentor has a very similar attitude to that of the mentor mentioned in preservicepilgramageponderings‘ blog post.
Beginning of this week I made it my goal to start in motion the process of getting the teamboard (an IWB) fixed so that I can use it in my lessons. I asked my mentor and she sent a request through straight away. I knew that no-one would be coming to fix it until Thursday so I continued using the board as a data projector during my lessons. The lady came in on Thursday to fix it and realised the board is missing the cord that connects to the laptop and there are no spares at the school. So I have to continue using the board as a data projector screen and until interactive part will be used with the mouse of the computer. That is until the board is up and running and that might not happen until after I have finished professional experience. Audrey also mentions that the IWB in her prac classroom does not work and so is in the same boat as I am.
My lessons on Friday were another maths lesson on position and directions and another Daniel Morcombe Safety lesson focusing on body clues that tell us how we feel.
The maths lesson was set to fail from the outset. The lesson started late as religion went over time, the students were hyped up and not in the mood for listening and not even ten minutes into the lesson it was lunchtime. I had planned an activity where students would be moving around and we would leave the classroom for the lesson. As soon as we left the classroom they became rowdy and not interested in learning. I have learnt that the sort of activity I had planned and leaving the classroom just does not work with this group of students.
The students were still rowdy throughout the Daniel Morcombe lesson but I managed to keep their attention long enough for them to learn the content.
I have realised that I know all the students names now, which is much quicker than my previous prac. High five to me!
I taught my first lessons for the week on Thursday, a maths lesson and a Daniel Morcombe Safety lesson. After both lessons I felt they went well but I could see many areas where I could have improved them. My mentor thought both lessons were great and complimented me on my ability to think on the spot and keep calm when the activity just was not working. In the maths lesson I used the interactive whiteboard as a data projector because it is not set-up at the moment to be interactive. The students came to the computer and used the mouse the same way they would have been able to move the objects around using the interactivity on the whiteboard.
The Daniel Morcombe Safety lesson also went really well as students were engaged and interested in the content.