Friday, 8 July 2016

PLG - Reflection and Looking Ahead

Today we were given the opportunity to look back at our first six months and reflect on the time. The task was to look at where had I come from, where am I currently sitting and where am I looking ahead for the remainder of the year.

To begin with, I thought about where I was at the end of last year:

  • I was very aware of my pedagogical content knowledge (or self-perceived lack of) and was conscious to ask questions whenever possible.
  • I had little exposure to a MLE/ILE - I spent some time in Term 4 observing at Stonefields but still did not understand the principles of how the hub actually worked.
  • What worked in my favour was that I did understand the principles of collaboration (from work experience) and felt confident enough to discuss and adopt into my teaching practice.
  • The use of the technology - I was amazed by how adept the learners were with their progressions and how they used the tools to support their learning - a lot of my questions were about how we as teachers were able to create and nurture this awareness.
  • An assumption that teaching is more on the learning in a high decile school rather than behaviour management.

Where am I currently?

I am reminding myself that this is my first year and that the management of my energy is key to maintaining elements such as passion and resilience in my teaching practice.  I am consistently being mindful of this.

I need to stop myself sometimes and reassess - I am my own worst critic so I was saying things like “I don’t feel that I have done much” however when I stopped to take stock - I have actually achieved a lot.  Another thing that I have stopped doing is comparing my experience to that of other beginning teachers.  The jumps I have made with both the use of the school systems and learning process has really helped me to develop strong relationships with both my learners and colleagues and I feel more confident coming into the back half of the year to take risks with the design of learning.

I have developed a strong relationship with my mentor teacher especially with the team teaching now and feel more confident discussing my practice with her as she can see it in action more when we are teaching.

We were asked to share a highlight of the term with our cohort - for me, I shared a couple of different areas which I had worked hard on developing. The work I am doing with my top reading group in evaluating texts with the use of Google Forms is really helping me map progress and shift in their critical thinking skills and giving more insight into other aspects of their literacy abilities. I also shared some of my own creative aspects in teaching numeracy through art.

What are the next steps for me?

  • Energy management - it is going to be a busy term with everything so making sure I am looking after myself first.
  • To get out into the other parts of the school to observe - majority of my observations have been in our cross hub team.
  • Continue to work on the consistent firm but fair mantra - the kids have such keen senses of justice and this often can be the tipping point in relationships.
  • There are relationships with some families that need to be built up for the last half of the year - again the constant and consistent messaging needs to be applied here.
  • Dial up the active reflection while in practice - I am doing this however not documenting as much and am conscious that this are key nuggets that I need to take into my future practice. Is there a way I can adopt some of the digital affordances in my own practice?
  • Continue to challenge and find the “why” in everything I design and engage with my learners.

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