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Assignment 2 PP2 102094 Christopher Tierney 18593424

Key Moments Reflection:1000 word reflection on Professional Practice 2


Instructions: Choose three key moments where you had critical learning insights into your
teaching practice. Discuss these in terms of the following
1. What was significant? What were three key learning moments which transformed your
thinking about teaching and learning practice? Describe the teaching moment and its
significance to you. (330)
Classroom management
During my professional practice experience at Jamison HIgh School I was presented with
a range of challenges in the classroom. This differed from my previous professional
practice experiences at Cherrybrook Technology High School and Kellyville High School,
which required much less behaviour management than this experience. I believe this to
be significant in my professional development towards a well rounded teacher with a
range of behaviour and classroom management skills that have been tested in a real
world environment. Most importantly, in the year 9 music class my abilities were put to
the test as two very disruptive and disobedient students constantly misbehaved and
acted inappropriately. I learnt the proper escalation processes for calling a students
parent and when to pick your battles with students.
Making Adjustments
Many students from year 7 to year 12 have been assessed by a psychologist. These
students were placed on what the school called the register which is a list of students
with learning difficulties and that have been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and ODD. Using
this list I was able to make adjustments to my lesson plans to suit these students and also
make changes in the classroom on the fly. This particularly helped with students in year
9 that had low literacy levels and required individual attention. During practical lessons I
could sit down with these students one on one and teach the essential guitar skills at
their speed.
Planning
Thinking ahead and anticipating your next class is a crucial element in teaching. I have
found that having little idea or no lesson plan or record of planning disadvantages me in
the classroom. Having a lesson plan allows for me to look at what is coming next and, if I
am at a loss for words, what to say. Multiple times in this practical experience I
attempted to teach without a lesson plan. Some of these times went smoothly but many
others were much more difficult. Having the lesson plan always meant I knew what was
coming next and if I did not reach the content that I could move that to the next lesson
without forgetting what I had or had not done.
2. What you learnt. How have these three key learning moments changed the way you think
and practice teaching? (330)
Nothing goes to plan
Even in the best of circumstances, nothing you do will work out exactly as you hoped. In
some situations the lesson will go so well that you run out of things to do and need to
think on your feet to make up missing content. In other situations, the lesson wont
progress past the initial content and as a result will push other lessons back and you will
have to play catch up.
Dont take it personally
Assignment 2 PP2 102094 Christopher Tierney 18593424

If a student is always acting out, misbehaving or disrespecting you that is not an


indication of your abilities but an indication of the type of student they are. Any personal
remark about you made by student is not something to take to heart, but something that
means you should take the time to remind the student that they are being disrespectful
and what they are saying is rude. My mentor teacher said that: if they dont know how
to behave, teach them. This is something that I have found useful in applying to things
that students say in a deliberately hurtful manner to other students, or when they are
being disobedient or misbehave.
Each day is different
Having bad days is inevitable. As a pre-service teacher I am still learning, and have been
told that it takes multiple years to get used to classroom and behaviour management. I
was of the mindset that because I am near then end of this teaching degree that I should
not be having terrible lessons and out of control children. However, that is simply not the
case and can happen to the most experienced teachers. If a bad day happens it is best to
go home, relax and reset for the next teaching day to try a fresh approach.
3. Why did it work/didnt work? What strategies worked well in your teaching? What strategies
did not work and why. Support this section with reference to pedagogical theory. (330)
Planning
As I have emphasised above, planning for lessons and units of work is extremely useful
for myself. However, I have been resistant to planning as it has been time consuming and,
personally, feels reductive. This is not an isolated feeling as Tummons (2010) reveals that
many teachers also do not enjoy the lesson planning process and will do a more basic
overview rather than in detail. Tummons (2010) goes on to reveal that those teachers
that do willingly participate in the lesson planning process feel that it is a worthwhile
experience that aids in their professional development. After my own experiences I
believe this to be true and understand planning to be an essential part of my own
teaching practice.
Winging it & Reflection
In many ways winging it is appealing - no planning or thought required. But it has many
downfalls, especially when lessons dont go as though and when you are left with dead
time in the class. As I have stated above planning is crucial to my own success. I have
found that, upon reflection, without a lesson plan the majority of my lessons have a lot of
dead time, which leads to inactive students who will therefore misbehave, talk and be
disruptive as they have not been told their next instructions. Pultorak & The Association
of Teacher Educators (2010) indicate that through reflection, teachers question their own
practice and research or find solutions to the problems. Reflection also allows for the
experimentation and implementation of a range of strategies in the classroom.
Verbal/Non-verbal communication
Using a variety of communication methods in the classroom has been, in my experience,
the best way to approach the wide range of abilities in the classroom. It is also a good
way to avoid straining your voice and repeating yourself again and again. Stopping and
waiting with arms folded for students to be quiet has been one way I have been using
non-verbal communication to assist in classroom management. Teachers straining their
voice can occur for a number of reasons such as the volume of classroom noise during
teaching. Personally, I use a relatively loud voice when teaching which, has been linked
with teachers straining their voice (Chen, Chiang, Chung, Hsiao & Hsiao, 2010). Hence,
why it is so important to use a range of delivery methods in the classroom.
Assignment 2 PP2 102094 Christopher Tierney 18593424

References:

Tummons, J. (2010) The assessment of lesson plans in teacher education: a case study in
assessment validity and reliability

Pultorak, E., & Association of Teacher Educators. (2010). The purposes, practices, and
professionalism of teacher reflectivity insights for twenty-first-century teacher

Chen, Sheng Hwa, Chiang, Shu-Chiung, Chung, Yuh-Mei, Hsiao, Li-Chun, & Hsiao, Tzu-Yu.
(2010). Risk Factors and Effects of Voice Problems for Teachers. Journal of Voice, 24(2), 183-192.