This has been a bit of a late post, but I have finally finished my two (!) placements for the semester. I know that I was really nervous coming into this semester as I’ve previously had some bad experiences in the past with my mentor teachers and the like, but I am happy to say that I did much better this time around!
That’s not to say that I didn’t have some… let’s say… “miscommunication issues” with one of my teachers, however, I think I handled it much better than last time.
Now I’ve worked out that I have one more prac to do and then my final internship!
The end is getting so close now….
As I mentioned in previous post, I have just finished my fourth professional experience placement and am due to start my fifth in less than a month. I’ve been pretty fortunate (like Samantha) to have worked across a broad range of year levels.
- Year 3,
- Year 7,
- Year 6, and
- Year 3 + Library.
After this semester, I will still have three more placements, so I think by the end of my entire degree I will have a good idea which year level suits be better.
Not only is my next placement with two different mentor teachers (Year 3 and library), it is also my first placement in a private school (Catholic in this case). I’ve wanted to experience teaching in a private school just to see the difference between the two types of schools.
Last week I completed my fifteen day placement for EDP3333! I was planning on posting about that on Friday or Saturday, but (of course!) I was too exhausted to do so.
I have to say, since my last placement did not go well, I was very anxious coming into it. However, I am happy to say that was probably my best placement so far!
My mentor was great (she was a nice balance between casual and strict- so I was comfortable in my teaching sessions when she was observing me), the class was good (first class I’ve had with no special needs, actually), and the school itself was fantastic. If I were to have one complaint, it would only be that the school itself was a 20-minute bus ride from my house, which of course is horrible at the end of a long day….
Since that one went so well, I’m now looking forward to my EDC3100 placement. I’ve yet to meet my mentor/s (that’s on Monday), but I’m going to be placed in a Year 3 class AND in the library. Something different…. but hopefully a great learning experience too!
During Week 2 of EDC3100 – ICT and Pedagogy, we were asked to share our own pedagogical knowledge, using the following template:
- What your “bit” of pedagogical knowledge is.
- The context within which you might use (have used) it.
- Why it helps student learning.
Think, Pair, Share
This activity asks students to individually think about a subject or idea, then break into either pairs or small groups where they discuss the ideas they came up with. Then, they share their ideas they formed as the pair or group with the rest of the class.
The think, pair, share activity can be used throughout all year levels. It is especially valuable when the class is talking about personal experiences, as each person will definitely have differing ideas and stories, which can then benefit the other students in the class who are listening. I used it in my first Professional Experience, when I was teaching mathematics (fractions, sharing, grouping), asking students what they thought certain concepts meant and also in reading lessons (comprehension).
Why it helps student learning
By using think, pair, share, the students’ minds will be open to other perspectives. In certain history lessons, for example, students are often asked to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, to think about how they might have lived and how it differs to how we live now.
In my first year of studies, I completed a birth to 8 course. In this course I came across the Piaget’ Cognitive Development Theory. This theory states that there are four stages of development that children go through – sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. Although I haven’t personally worked with infants, I do agree that from my observations, that younger children do have different thinking to older children. If these stages are understood, then the teacher (i.e. me) will be able to adequately create learning activities and assessments that are appropriate. However, I don’t think that all people go through these stages in the same timeframe. If we look at students that are intellectually disable, for example, they may not reach the stages at the same time as another child with no intellectual disabilities, or even an extremely gifted child. There is also the trouble of clearly identifying which stage the child is in – are all stages easy to identify and therefore classify the children in.