This week I have been in all my classrooms, but only prepared three lessons. I came to work every day, but didn’t teach Biology, Maths or Science. This week was the first week supervising a new student teacher, in her final year year of a graduate diploma of education. Tara is a confident, well-presented and very well organized young lady. She has an excellent rapport with students and is very willing to take on board any suggestions for improvement. She has planned and prepared effective lessons, provided encouraging feedback to students and sought advice when required. She has embarked on her web2.0 journey with this blog at My Blog.
During the next four weeks of her five week placement, I hope I can assist her to further develop her teaching skills and support her school experience. I remember the important lessons from my own practicum experience – using a ‘hook’ to engage students, planning quality tasks with clear learning intentions and leaving time to ‘wrap up’ the lesson. I remember shadowing a tall, energetic man who seemed to be juggling a dozen balls at once – as he strode up the hallways he greeted students with a smile, reminded them of extra-curricula activities and kept ahead of administrative tasks. I remember asking him how he coped with stress and he told me how much he loved fishing.
This teacher is Tara’s father, nearing retirement now, but a great role model to his daughter. I hope I can assist Tara to become the great teacher her father is, but with new skills for 21st century learning. As well as sharing appropriate resources and classroom management strategies, I hope I can help her achieve her teaching goals. To be a great 21st century teacher she will need to encourage critical thinking, problem solving and informed decision making. She will need to be innovative, flexible and able to adapt to changing technologies and department policies. To be a great 21st century teacher she will need to demonstrate excellent communication skills, the ability to collaborate effectively and the capacity to build knowledge collectively. Tara has an exciting and fulfilling career ahead of her – how would you ensure she develops the skills that enable her students to reach their fullest potential?
My first response to this post was from the Maths Hombre via Twitter, who wrote this very interesting and useful blog post, “Self Assessment for Teachers”.