Professional Development

Some of the goals that I worked towards during this placement were:

Communication Skills- During the first few weeks of my placement, I focused on developing my communication skills. I found that I have several phrases and words I tend to use frequently when speaking one on one with students. This is something that I have tried to work on throughout the rest of my time in the school, but it is often hard to recognize and correct when I am not teaching formally or directly. In general I think that I need to continue to work on my vocabulary and mannerisms moving into my future placements.

Giving Directions- In the middle of the placement I focused more on giving directions, making instructions clear and having engaging lessons. This is something that I seemed to do well at. My cooperating teacher indicated that my lessons were usually clear and engaging for the students and that they were usually able to understand what their tasks were. She did tell me, however, that there were times when the students were unsure of what to do and to help mitigate that, it would be beneficial to give instructions only when I am ready for them to follow them or to pause the work and give reminders while they are completing an assignment or activity.

Awareness and Responsiveness (Classroom Management)- This skill and goal was an important one to my cooperating teacher. She emphasized to both myself and my partner that classroom management is a hard skill to learn and that we should really focus on trying to build those skills. This is the goal that I focused on for the final few weeks. The first step for me was building more of an awareness of the behaviours of the students in general and stopping instruction or taking steps to get them back on track. Throughout the last few weeks that was the step that I was working towards, I made sure to take time to refocus the class if they were getting loud or off-task, and I also started to take steps to remedy individual student’s behaviours by moving them to different seats or having conversations with them when possible. This is a skill that I will most definitely continue to focus and work on in my future placements.