End of Semester Realisations

What a ride it has been this semester! One semester down, 3 more to go. Only 3 pracs and 2 electives until I am done!

This is a scary time in the life of a university student. Realising that what we have been working through for the past 4 years is almost over and soon we will have to enter the real world of employment is a daunting realisation. Soon we will no longer worry about assignment due dates, impressing mentors and lecturers, listening to lectures (that can sometimes take more concentration then writing the assignments).

Instead it will be our principals, students and parents we need to impress, unit and lesson plan writing, resource sourcing, and parent teacher interviews.

Before we graduate though we have to complete a portfolio displaying our abilities, what we have done and prove that we have met the Australian Professional Standards for teachers. Too bad we didn’t actually know about this right from the beginning of our degree, it would have been much easier to collect evidence over the last four years instead of trying to do it in our third and fourth year.

Graduation is something exciting to look forward to but it is also something to be scared of… not the ceremony itself but what comes after it.


Using Reflection as an improvement on our teaching skills

I am the worst person to ask about self reflection as I have never been great at it nor do I like it. I tend to look back and see the worst of everything, things that I know I should’ve done but may have forgotten to or things I know I could’ve done better, I’ve always found it hard to look at the positives so reflecting tends to be a bit of a depressing moment for me.

This prac I took a step back and actually spent some time reflecting with my mentor (something that none of my mentors have ever done), we wrote down and discussed the negatives or improvements that could be made but we also wrote down and discussed the positives as she believes the positives are just as important as the negatives.

Saranna discussed the importance of reflections the opportunities it provides us to navigate through the emotional and educational journey we experience when on professional experience.

QCAA actually provides a pdf on the role of reflecting on teaching practices and the benefits of critical reflection. It outlines many important factors that should be taken into consideration, not just as pre service teachers but also once we graduate and have our own classes

Interactive White Boards and the transition to Apple Tvs

The school that I completed mu professional experience at used their interactive whiteboards (IWBs), though they weren’t exactly set up to be interactive,  for the majority of the day. I was there as they were making the transition to apple tvs, the class rooms were just getting their tvs connected up to use as a second computer screen. The teachers and the deputy principal explained at different stages that the IWBs were expensive to maintain and once the current projectors died they were not going to be replaced.

The tvs hadn’t been fully set up by the time I left but the plan is to have one ipad and tv per classroom. The ipads are going to be connected to the tv where students can read and see presentations or work sheets on the screen and then interact with the display using the ipad itself using apple tv.  I would love to see this technology up and working so I have asked my mentor if I can visit the class next term and watch how it works once it is fully set up and interactive.

They have made this change as it is cheaper, more efficient and more up to date with current technology as most students these days know how to work ipads better than they do computers (as I witnessed during my computer technology lessons).

If you wish to check out more about apple tv technology, check out the apple website here

Using ICT Safely, Responsibly and Ethically

What does this mean to mean??? To me, this is making sure we are not posting photos of or comments about ourselves in compromising positions or situations. This means in situations where we are heavily drinking, parties or in inappropriate clothing. T

his may mean monitoring our own photos being posted on facebook, twitter and instagram and photos that we are tagged in by friends.

Does this mean we can’t have online profiles or post what we are doing on there?

No, it doesn’t.

As teachers we just need to be aware of what is being posted as it doesn’t look good as a teacher for us to be posting selfies or photos of us drinking excessively, looking indecent or acting inappropriately as we can not control where these photos are ending up. Once it is online, it is up there forever.

As Natasha has stated in her blog, it is important to teach students the appropriate online behaviour and what to do if they are feeling unsafe online, as there will be times that they feel unsafe for various reasons. Otherwise as adults they will not be aware of the repercussions of posting online.

There are various website that can teach students to be cyber smart or give ideas to teachers and parents. Some of these sites are Bullying UK, Staying Cyber Safe and Cyber Bulling Safety Tips

Professional Experience Reflections

I have had the most epic time at my prac school, as my previous blogs may have implied… I taught pretty much the whole of week 3 with only one 1/2 hour to 1 hour session of observation time. I had the school’s master teacher come and observe two of my Explicit Instruction lessons during week 3 – the first time I was so nervous I blanked out and messed up a couple of things but that made me more aware for the second lesson I taught in front of her – I was also more relaxed the second time. My second lesson was great and I received excellent feedback from her.

Wednesday of week 2 my mentor was sick and I was left with the whole class for the whole day under the supervision of a relief teacher, but the relief teacher didn’t do much of anything as I taught the whole day and just ran of the day timetable my mentor left with the instructions of “Kristyl can handle it all”.

The three weeks as a whole brought a lot more stress into my life that I’m not exactly used to and almost bought a tear to my eye with all the planning I did at home on my own, my assignments, my job and being at the school all day but cry I did not and manage it all I did.

I can’t wait to go back on Thursday for my make up day, as Wednesday of week 3 was a public holiday for my little town’s show day. I will be bringing in cupcakes to say thank you to my class and a box of chocolates to share between the 3 Grade 4 teachers that all gave me valuable insight into the classroom and valuable knowledge and suggestions that I will carry with me throughout my teaching career.

Enjoy your day
8th June, 2015

Week 2 of Prac….

After a long weekend of catching up on work, cooking and cleaning I have finally finished all of my planning and resources for week 2.

Monday is going to be a long day for me as I will be teaching for majority of the day and for the time I’m not teaching I will be helping edit English assignments and observing a half hour Explicit instruction lesson on word meaning and a modeled problem solving lesson . I’ll do number of the day, mark the roll, a spelling lesson on the ‘er’ and ‘est’ suffix, the English Rapid recall, math rapid recall, an Explicit instruction lesson on counting money to work out the total amount and a technology lesson.

Tuesday will be much quieter for me with a maths rapid recall and flick the switch lesson.

Wednesday I will be responsible for the maths rapid recall, flick the switch and and EI lesson on using the skip counting method to work out the correct change.

Thursday and Friday won’t involve much teaching, if any, at all as our sports carnival will be held over these two days.

Looking forward for Week 2 and what experiences it will bring. My focus is on my language choice – making sure I tell the students what I want them to do rather than ask if they can do it. My mentor picked my up for “can you please complete…” rather than “now I want you to complete…”.

Enjoy your day
24th May, 2015

Week 1 reflection

First week of prac is done and dusted… Like Natasha, I have had the BEST week and I’ve learned a lot. Monday bought me observations and learning the kids names.

I was observing all the smaller sessions so I could run them from Tuesday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I was running the Rapid recalls (RRR) for Math and English – this was a process that the students knew really well so it was great to be able to follow the powerpoint on the smart board and watch the students actually enjoy their revision.

Wednesday – Friday I ran the English rotations but not only did I have to run the inferential question worksheet with my group for the half hour but I had to supervise the groups working independently as well.

My mentor was the Ped Coach last year for Explicit instruction so it has been a great experience not only watching her teach and develop her own lessons but I have also be able to observe other teachers giving Explicit Instruction lessons to my year 4 class and hear the feedback my mentor gives them.

Friday was an interesting afternoon, I was booked to teach a technology lesson with one of the other year 4 classes (a technology lesson I will teach my class on Monday). My supervising teacher and I ran into a little problem when none of the students could log into the computers due to a server error – a bit of a hiccup when I was supposed to be running a technology lesson on the computers. I had to think of my feet and change my whole lesson on the spot – instead of having the kids do things step by step as I had planned, I had to move them to the front of the class and explain things through the teacher computer and the projector screen.

I got them to listen to my instructions and watch my demonstration and then checked for understanding by asking questions, repeating steps and having them come up to the teacher computer to demonstrate their knowledge to the whole class. My feedback form had ‘Very Good’ circled in every topic and excellent comments – my supervisor was extremely impressed! I was extremely excited I almost skipped all the way back to my car after school had finished.

Looking forward to week 2
Enjoy your day
24 May, 2015