Thursday, 9 February 2017

A New Year, A New Class, A New School...

A New Year, A New Class, A New School...

My First Few Weeks

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to teach at Tamaki Primary school this year and have loved getting to know the staff and students over the first few weeks of Term 1. Having already relieved at Tamaki Primary I knew that I would enjoy the teaching environment and love the diversity of the students at our school.

In terms of my teaching focuses this year, I have 3 main areas which I want to focus on in terms of my approach to teaching. Each of these are areas of teaching that resonate with me and are what I want to improve in.

Firstly, as a teacher I want to encourage the families of my students to become more involved in their child’s learning. It is important that they take an interest in what we are doing at school and in how their child is progressing. It is my hope that I can get parents more involved in their child’s learning by taking a ‘past & present’ approach with the various inquiry topics we cover. I hope to encourage parents and whanau to share their experiences with the children of what life was like for them when they were at school.

The second area of focus for me is to incorporate 'Talk Moves,' more in my teaching. I have already witnessed how great these teaching methods are at empowering learners. I want to develop more confidence in using Talk Moves in my classroom as it makes students more engaged in the learning process.

The final goal for myself is to try to focus as much as possible on using positivity, encouragement and empathy as my core teaching tools. I believe that positivity is the greatest tool we have as teachers. Many of the children we teach have a perception that they are '"dumb," which is a huge roadblock for them when it comes to learning.There have been numerous studies that have looked at how a young learner's mindset develops. This happens very early with them forming either a negative or positive self perception as to their own level of 'intelligence.' Those who think they are not smart or good at things typically withdraw from learning and can often display negative behaviours as a result of how they feel. It is also proven that people who are from ethnic minorities are far more likely to face these sorts of challenges. We as teachers strive to break down these 'learning walls' that children may put up within our classrooms.The only way to do this is through positive reinforcement. The focus shouldn't always be on praising children for 'intelligence,' all students develop further when the focus of praise is on their hard work and individual efforts.
The article below is fantastic and offers some great tools for teachers.

Lets see how I go with my goals in 2017...


Using Praise to Enhance Student Resilience and Learning OutcomesHelping students 'bounce back' in the face of difficulties