This is the time of year when teachers at our school are required to write our performance and development review document that consists of our goals for the year and our plans for professional development and improved performance. As an ‘accomplished’ teacher, with nine years of experience, I am required to demonstrate high levels of the following:
- Knowledge of relevant curriculum areas, student learning processes and resources
- Classroom teaching skills and constructive strategies that allow students to reach their full potential.
- Effective assessment and reporting strategies
- Effective responses to emerging educational initiatives and priorities.
- Communication skills and professional behaviour
- Organisation and management of aspects of the wider school program.
- Improved teaching and performance skills through critically evaluating professional practices.
- Professional assistance to other teachers in classroom related areas.
Over the past 12 months I have been a part of the literacy coaching program, designed to improve the literacy of students across the school in all their subject areas. This program allows me to spend time with my coach and mentor, discussing teaching strategies that can improve comprehension of scientific terminology and understanding of science concepts. We have employed several strategies that have been effective in both middle years and VCE classes. These include:
- Exit slips
- Cornel notes
- Reciprocal teaching
- Explicit learning intentions and success criteria
- Collection and use of student data to inform teaching
- Catering for individual difference.
All my efforts with integrating technology into the maths and science curriculum and providing online VCE Environmental Science classes to students across the state may not be fully recognised without data to show that these strategies have been successful in improving student learning. So, I think my goal for this year is to try to provide the evidence for improved learning using ICT in my maths and science classes. I have anecdotal evidence, from the students themselves, that they enjoy using netbooks and find it easy to access information as well as organise and retrieve their work. They enjoy having ownership of their personal device and like the ability to personalise their netbooks to suit their own styles of learning.