Part of our staff PD day has involved unpacking our school vision and how we plan to make it visible in the Year 6 learning areas. We chose to share our ideas with the rest of our staff using a live Twitter Chat, which is archived below:
As part of my school’s development of school vision, staff have been dedicating time to explore their personal pedagogy. This has been done through our IDEAS program to assist staff in developing a Professional Portfolio to benefit school direction.
These are some of the questions we have been asked to consider and respond to:
How do my personal talents and gifts shape my pedagogy?
What counts as a specialist ‘knowledge’ in my work?
What is my personal pedagogical philosophy?
We were asked to participate in four tasks to assist us in discovering and refining our personal pedagogy.
This post will explain each of the tasks undertaken personally and my professional stance on my personal pedagogy.
Task 1: My Motivation for Teaching.
Teaching for me has always been about developing relationships and bonds between students, families, staff and teachers. Once relationships are built we can work together to achieve common goals. Teaching and learning involves making connections with individuals to assist them with their personal development. I believe in the development of the whole child, not just the ability to meet curriculum outcomes. As an educator I am passionate about realising the potential and strengths of each child to assist them in achieving their goals. I believe in valuing the individual and helping them to contribute to our world in their own positive ways. The process of learning opens the world and mind. We are all on a learning journey and as a teacher I love to inspire, motivate, navigate and join in on the journey of lifelong learning.
Task 2: My Experience.
I have been teaching in primary schools for ten years. During this time I have taught across all year levels. I am a R-7 teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. I am currently working at an independent school, teaching Year 6 students.
I am continuously working towards developing my knowledge and understanding of the International Baccalaureate program in order to assist me with my teaching strategies. I have been working in the MYP( Middle Years Programme) for the past two years. In particular I have been developing my MYP planning skills and exploring the possibility of taking on specialty subjects across my year level. At this stage I would like to specialise in Humanities, Language A and Personal Development. I have been encouraged to explore the MYP further, attend more professional development and take in as much as possible, whilst also making sure that I am meeting the National Curriculum standards.
During our IDEAS session we were asked to reflect on an event that changed the way we teach. In the last three years I have been working in an Independent School, previously I worked in public education. This change of workplace has had profound effects on my teaching and learning. I went from working in a low socio-economic school with underprivileged students, with challenging behavioural and learning needs (full classes of 30 students) to a highly accomplished school with privileged students varying in academic abilities (Average class size of 20 students). This had huge ramifications on my teaching practice. I have had more time to focus on my teaching skills as opposed to my behavioural management strategies. I have also been able to cater for individualised learning, smaller class sizes have allowed more time to refine my strategies to cater for differentiation within my class.
I have identified that there are similarities between my students from both schools. Every child is an individual who requires guidance on their learning journey, in particular their social and emotional development. I believe that social and emotional well-being is of significant importance within education. Developing students ability to be resilient, confident, organised, persistent and get along with others (You Can Do It Education. The Five Keys of Success: http://www.youcandoiteducation.com/whatis.html) is of great importance within all areas of learning. I have been teaching using the YCDI Programme for the last 5 years and have noted that the majority of my students have made academic improvements as a result of developing themselves in these areas. Using the positive habits of mind and developing self-confidence, setting personal goals and aiming to achieve them. It is due to my experience within this area of teaching and learning that I have developed a keen interest in studying counselling, to understand and assist my students with their development. I am considering studying part time in the near future to further my qualifications within this field.
Task 3: My Personal Profile
Part of the IDEAS staff task was to use the Myers Briggs model to identify our personality profile.
For more information about the Myers Briggs Model follow this link: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/mb-simpl.htm
An online Myers Briggs Test can be found here: http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html
I formally completed the Myers Briggs test in 2010 and was identified as an ENFJ. After our IDEAS session I still identified with the ENFJ preferences. This is what the letters stand for and how I identify with them.
The E stands for Extraversion:
This means I focus on the outer world of people and things. I am energised by what goes on in the world and I prefer to communicate more by talking than writing. I need experiences in the world in order to help me to understand it.
The N stands for Intuition:
This means I look for meanings, relationships and possibilities that go beyond the information from the senses. I look at the big picture and try to grasp overall patterns. I am an expert at seeing new possibilities and I value imagination and experiences.
The F stands for Feeling:
I make decisions based on person-centred values. When making decisions I consider how important the choices are to myself and others. When conversing with others, I tend to become sympathetic, appreciative and tactful. I value harmony and work hard to ensure my environment is harmonious.
The J stands for Judging:
This means that I prefer to live in a planned and orderly way. I endeavour to regulate and control my life by making sensible decisions, setting up routines and structures, being organised and settling or resolving issues when they arise.
I believe that my personality profile adequately mirrors myself privately and professionally. The main characteristics that reflect my teaching strategies are as follows:
- Learning lessons through experiences- hands on learning, real life lessons, relevant and engaging content where students experience and participate.
- Building relationships and developing students personally, especially in regards to their social & emotional well-being.
- Balanced- organisation, planning, structure, predictability and routines which lead to consistency.
Task 4: My Assumptions, Beliefs, Philosophies that inform my practice.
This task saw us identify our personal beliefs about teaching. Here is an image of the task completed:
We also studied five different philosophies of teaching:
Type B: Behavioural Education- education for compliance and standards. People: Skinner & Tyler
Type C: Comprehensive Education- general education for life. People: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato & Piaget.
Type P: Progressive Education- education for problem solving in society. People: Dewey, Sizer & Spady.
Type S: Social Change Education- education for transforming society. People: Freire & Illich.
Type H: Humanistic Education- education for self actualisation. People: Carl Rogers, Maslow & Montessori.
My dominant philosophy of teaching lies within Type H, however I have strong identifications with Type S too.
Here are some links to information about educational philosophies associated with Type H:
Carl Rogers: http://www.simplypsychology.org/carl-rogers.html
Here is my personal pedagogical philosophy based on the work I have done over the course of Term 4:
My Educational Philosophy
Students learn in a variety of different ways and as a teacher, I plan to meet individual needs. I am willing to learn new practices and teaching methodologies to assist my students with their learning goals.
To ensure I cater for the diversity within a classroom, I plan and program individual student learning goals to allow for differentiation. I work with students to set their own learning goals as well. I believe students should be aware of their personal achievements at school and also have input to what they want to learn about. I am keen to use structured and purposeful inquiry methods to teach students how to be life long learners to make relevant connections with our world.
I believe it is important to know where students are beginning in their learning journey in order to assist them with where they need to go. Therefore, frequent assessment and testing is critical in a child’s development. It is vital to keep this data to measure student successes and to build upon those successes. My assessments enhance accurate reporting to parents and fulfil my teaching duties and accountability.
It is my duty within the classroom and school setting to provide a stable and friendly learning environment for my students. A nurturing and collaborative classroom environment will enhance student learning opportunities. I want my students to experience their own learning journey with some direction and guidance from myself to keep them on track with their learning goals and to extend them further. I want to be the facilitator of learning but also learn from my students. They have a world of knowledge and understanding from their own experiences in life. We are life long learners in a connected world.
Most of all I want student learning to be relevant, fun, engaging and purposeful. We never know what kind of world our students will be living in in the future, so developing life skills such as problem solving, creativity, ingenuity, cooperation, collaboration, risk taking, inquiring and effective communication can play an integral role in the development of a child for success in their adulthood.
Please leave me some feedback, I’m new to blogging and appreciate constructive criticism. Always craving to learn from others, please retweet me to educational professionals.
Catering for Differentiation
Earlier this week a parent emailed me about their child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan). The parent questioned what I was doing to cater for their child’s learning needs and asked if I was actioning the plan. I wrote the IEP with assistance from our Learning Support Team and the school counsellor, I have actioned the plan to support the learning and behaviour management of my student.
This email allowed me to reflect on my practice and provide evidence of catering for differentiation within my response to the parent email. I think that as educators, we often differentiate without realising that we are doing it. It comes naturally; we alter our plans and teaching methodologies to suit individuals. These are my modified emails/ responses to outline how I catered for one of my students.
Parent Email 1:
The current unit of inquiry requires an investigation of Maori and Australian experience with settlers. Could you please email me the process steps you have provided to (student name) to undertake this work (as per the IEP)?
My 1st Response:
1. We began this assignment on Monday and the first step was to brainstorm prior knowledge about the Maori people and Aboriginal Australians. To cater for Student’s needs in this particular task I allowed (name) to work with a partner, other students chose to work in small groups, which I know doesn’t always suit (name’s) learning style/ needs. They created Venn diagrams comparing what they already knew about the two cultures. We also wrote down some questions we had about these cultures ready for our next lesson to direct our lines of inquiry.
2. Today we will begin to inquire into Maori & Aboriginal Australian history. I have pre-selected some video links for (name) (and others) to view along with some printed texts, this will ensure time is not wasted searching online and students will mainly focus on the questions they developed on Monday. We will share the inquiry process in groups or partners. In (name’s) case I will encourage them to continue the investigation with a friend and ‘check in’ on their progress at intervals throughout the lesson.
3. On Thursday we will continue the inquiry process. Again I will provide texts and some sites for (name) to read/search. The main focus here will be looking at the impact British Settlers had on both Maori & Aboriginal cultures and how they differed.
Class discussions will also take place to share learning and understandings; I have created guiding questions & prompts to make sure everyone is on the right track. Notes will be taken independently on their understandings from discussions.
4. On Friday, students will individually reflect on their findings and answer this question on their blog:
How was the collision of cultures in New Zealand different from Australia?
This will involve comparing and contrasting how the Aboriginal and Maori peoples reacted and dealt with the arrival of British settlers.
It is important that in your response to the above questions you discuss both the differences themselves as well as the reasons for them.
Your blog post will need to include a bibliography of websites and texts used.
This is an in class investigation, not a homework task. All students will be given this week to complete the task.
As always I will be supporting (name) with redirection, tuning in tasks and providing relevant texts for their use. The benefit of working with a partner will allow them to use texts selected by a peer too. (Name) has appeared to be quite interested and engaged in this topic based on reactions from Monday.
I hope this has been suffice, it is actually refreshing to write down this process for you as I usually do it naturally without communicating it. This is something I must remember to blog about as part of my personal professional reflection on my practice, of course omitting student and parent names.
If you have anymore questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
Hope to hear back from you soon.
Parent Email 2:
Thanks, but I meant the list of steps on ‘how to do this assignment’ for my child.
1. Write a list of what you know about aboriginal Australians and settlers.
2. Write a list of what you know about Maori people and settlers.
3. Create a Venn diagram.
4. List questions you need answered.
5. Search xxxx
6. View xxx and write down important points.
7. What key words or phrases would you use to search the Internet to answer your questions?
From the IEP I thought (name) was to have a ‘to do’ list. (Name) is a bright student who needs direction – They completed their homework last night then we spoke about the school-based work. The ‘to do’ list will guide and teach them how to do research.
It was the same problem last year as (name) didn’t understand how to do the research and work was left to the end.
Could you please help (name) with a list of steps to follow?
My 2nd Response: Humanities Task Week 3
I have attached a checklist for the inquiry process we have been doing in class. It is a ‘to do list’ which will hopefully guide (name) through the process. I will keep on developing this process, I feel that some steps may need to be broken down even further, which I can do verbally if need be. These are my initial attempts and I will be speaking with the Deputy Principal about receiving extra support from the school as I am finding it challenging to dedicate more time on developing this by myself and would appreciate some guidance and feedback with this. I want to develop a template of ‘to do lists’ that I can update easily and regularly, just need time to get this done and I’m hoping that Learning Support can assist with this process.
Appreciate your support
Will chat with you soon.
Parent Email 3:
Thanks so much, this is what is needed. I am happy to help you develop these if the school is not so helpful.
The parent was pleased with the checklist and process provided. This is an ongoing process to assist one student with his learning needs.
This is evidence of my communication method with parents and how I aim to collaboratively work with parents and other staff to assist and meet the needs of individual students.
So often teaching professionals use the term “catering for differentiation” but lack the understanding or evidence of how they actually do this. It is something that teachers do on a daily basis, sometimes without even realising it. I think it is important to reflect on moments like these to acknowledge how much teachers do for each individual child in their classroom. It is important to provide an education to our students, but it is more important to ensure that the education they are receiving is in fact suitable for their learning needs, styles and preferences. Are we catering for differentiation? Well in my case, I think so.
My colleague Paul Huebl, stumbled across a brilliant teachable moment whilst demonstrating how to record audio tracks and insert them onto blogs. I thought it was a great idea and attempted the same task with my students too.
The task was for our students to provide words of wisdom to the Year 5’s in preparation for Year 6 in 2014. I asked my students to prepare a sentence about Year 6 and how to be successful within our year level. Students were encouraged to create their own phrases or find an inspiring line online.
This was out result:
Here are the post it notes of their words of wisdom as a wall display in our classroom:
This is where I found my inspiration: Visit Paul Huebl’s blog for the full post:
Blog Post by Paul Huebl:
As part of teaching my students how to record and mix an audio file as a substitute for writing a blog post, I created this. Making it up as I was going along, I thought it would be a good idea to have each of my students come up with ‘words of wisdom’ that they want to share with next year’s Year 6′s. I thought it would be interesting for my current students to reflect on something that they see as important for ‘surviving’ Mr Huebl as a teacher. All the kids participated with good humour and this is our result.
Day 2 of the CEGSA Conference.
Keynote Speaker Dr Alec Couros
These are the notes and links provided by Alec Couros today. Worth a visit:
These were my tweets during the keynote presentation:
- Don’t limit a child to your own learning as he was born in a different time. Love this! @courosa #EdTechSA
- @courosa How are you living and learning in a connected community? #EdTechSA
- How are you contributing to the learning of others? This is the question we should ask our students and fellow teachers. #EdTechSA
- A real learner in the wild: rube goldberg video http://m.firecold.com/videos/audris-rube-goldberg-monster-trap … #EdTechSA @courosa awesome! (I loved this clip and want to share it with my students)
- @courosa Network Literacies: how we learn in the digital age http://emedia.rmit.edu.au/edjournal/node/44 … #EdTechSA (a good read, something I’d like to explore further)
- We don’t just enjoy now, we participate! Interaction online, making meaningful connections is important #EdTechSA
- Wait to be curious, we google answers to questions without wondering and problem solving ourselves first. Good point @courosa#EdTechSA
- Kids don’t need their teacher in the classroom 1:1, there are teachers all over the Internet! #EdTechSA
- EdTechSA @EdTechSA12h 365 Photo a Day Challenge as shared by @courosa http://bit.ly/4wSHiL #CEGSA #EdTechSA (Love this idea too)
I found Alec’s presentation refreshing and motivational. I am eager to attend his Spotlight session: Teaching and Learning in a Connected World (15th August 2013) & Masterclass: Developing Key Literacies in a Connected World (17th August 2013).
If you want to register for these visit these websites:
Workshop Notes: Session 1
The New Matrix for Education by Leo Marsden
You Tube: www.lmarsden.com
These were my notes from this session with some of my own reflections:
Why aren’t we engaging/allowing student to utilise phones within the classroom?
Don’t limit students by telling them which tech to use.
BYOManageDevice: This gives teachers starting points to know what resources will be used.
BYOOD (Bring your own other device)
Internet monitoring not Internet filtering. Using Facebook with Yr 12 kids, is this okay? What is the difference between Edmodo and Facebook? Why are we saying no to Facebook? What are the rules of conduct using Facebook in education? (This point isn’t relevant in the primary school setting as students are too young to have accounts, however, lots of students have FB regardless)
Google Hangouts: look into this. Limited to 9 people chat, if you register as a school you can have 15 students.
We discussed Blooms revised taxonomy: Creating being the focus and where we want our students to aim for on the pyramid.
Let students have choices in how they present and direct their inquiry. I feel that I do this already within the classroom. I would like to work on being even more flexible and allow extra time for passion-based projects such as Genius Hour.
If your students are engaged they will not misuse technology.
If you can Google the answer you are asking the wrong question?
Process for successful technology implementation:
Supply the equipment. Have the right equipment to suit the learner.
Support the usage of that technology.
Initiate the learning.
Thoughts: Where does this fear of tech come from? If you break it, you can get it fixed, if you don’t know how to use it you can ask for help or find the answers yourself, play with it, learn from it, be a lifelong learner.
Find technology mentors to help you climb the education matrix. This is where Digital Leaders can play a role within the school context. I also agreed with the notion that we should be learning from and with our students. We (teachers) are learners, this should be modelled to our students.
Educational Podcasting with Passion
by the Ed Tech Crew: Darryl and Tony edtechcrew.net
At this point of the EdTechSA (CEGSA) conference we were experiencing technical difficulties and had a power blackout. We did not have access to our online resources and my laptop and phone battery were dead. I went back to basics and took some handwritten notes:
Here is a summary of my learning from this session:
Some people like to blog, these people are writers. Some people like to talk, these people are podcasters. Podcasts should be between 5-15 minutes long for beginners, but some podcasts can go for hours. If you are someone who has difficulty speaking publicly, have a script ready before you podcast.
If you are going to start your own educational podcast, keep these things in mind:
- Do podcasts with a partner, keeps you motivated and lightens the workload.
- Make connections with people
- Use podcasts for professional development
- To maintain a podcast keep it up to date and spend 2-3 hours working on it per week. Research time is not included in this process (keep that in mind).
- You don’t need the most high tech tools, get a good mic for sound quality.
- Here were some pics from the whiteboard. They explain the processes involved in podcasting:
Podcasts are available for you and your students to access to assist in learning. A range of different podcast streams were recommended. I have also worked with students using Garageband and iMovie to create Podcasts. I do not have much knowledge about podcasting so this session was useful in learning about different podcasts available. The presenters also promised to email me with links (resources for podcasting) after the presentation. Here are just a few of their suggestions:
- Call Recorder (on Mac only)
- Skype in Education (look this up, you can do a conference call with up to 10 people for free)
- Google +, Google Hangouts
- YouTube has great editing features to edit movies
- podbean.com & podomatic (used for hosting and subscriptions)
- mathstrain.tv- kids generated podcasts
- The Digital Human
- TWIT (This Week in Tech)
- Stuff You Should Know
- Future Tense
- 60 Second Science.
Last but not least…
Technology Integration in the classroom: By Paul Huebl
Why do we need to integrate?
There are so many opportunities for us to be connected educators who can connect our students with the world.
Technologies allow students, teachers, parents, the community (everyone) to connect. Learning is a social function, you learn from being social.
How are we going to deliver the digital technologies curriculum? Teacher training will be required to support this process.
AITSL: Standards (2.6, 3.4 & 4.5) require that we teach using digital technologies as part of our teacher registration standards. This is motivation enough to get on board if you aren’t already.
How to integrate:
If you are engaging with substation tasks too often think about level of engagement and how this benefits the learner.
C Content Knowledge
P Pedagogical Knowledge
Rich engaging learning using the TPACK model.
How Paul Huebl Integrates:
How are you going to use tech in your teaching?
If you plan it well it will work well.
Improvisation: Google Doc
Experimentation: giving things a go.
Get involved in the learning experiences
Virtual Excursion idea using iPads
Shadow theatre, School’s got Talent. Passion based learning.
http://goo.gl/kkGMA Slide share of Paul’s presentation.
I work with Paul and found his presentation engaging and informative. I particularly enjoyed learning about the TPACK and SMAR models to effectively integrate technology into learning. I think I am good at doing this but require more focus to recognise opportunities for integration. Developing my knowledge base on the different types of tech available and being creative with my implementation will assist me here.
What a day! I thoroughly enjoyed the CEGSA/ EdTechSA Conference. I am looking forward to future EdTechSA events and plan on attending committee meetings to see if I can volunteer or be of assistance at the next conference. I would love to discover an area where I may present at a conference in the future too.