Reflective Statement CIT Sem1 In the last two years I have had two major transitions, the first was when I transferred from industry into lecturing, finding myself in a college on the one side of the desk. The second was then being enrolled as a student and discovering myself on the other side of the desk. Both steps have taken me very much away from my comfort zone of getting production lines to work, to all the way back to my university days staring at a blank page trying to get my brain to work. The first session of the CIT course has gone very quickly with a surprising amount of material covered leaving me with a lot to take on board.
Watching someone teach seemed to be a good place to begin, our first opportunity was to watch a video of a Vocational lesson taking place with level 2 and level 3 students, a similar setup to my Engineering TFS class. Reflecting on this lesson, some of the strategies I could take from it were the way the lesson was structured with clear instructions at the start, a variety of activities, using the more experienced students to help the first year students, motivating them and consolidating what they have learned.
Peer observation was a good opportunity to see how an experienced teacher within my own college and subject structured their lesson and the techniques they used, it also made me appreciate how difficult it is to formally reflect on someone else’s teaching. The Gardner’s theory of various learning styles of visual, kinaesthetic and auditory showed me that not all activities are going to work for all students, hence the need for variety with in the lesson to stimulate the learner.
The introduction to the LLUK and the Domain A professional values and practice was probably the biggest step in the course, where you are asked to plan the learning by creating schemes of work and detailed lesson plans. “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”. This was then broken down further in the Domain D where the individual needs of the students being taught had to be considered. This was put into practice, first in a group activity, were a scheme of work was designed and lesson plan extracted from it. This gave a good opportunity to coordinate or efforts as a group and presents our work to the rest of the class.
The second opportunity to do this and receive feed back was during the first class observation which allowed us show progression within our teaching and start putting in practice what had been learned so far. Teachers and the Law, was a useful reminder of the responsibility we have as teacher within the class room, that we have a duty of care towards the learner, especially when they are under 18. Not only is it a legal obligation, but it is set out as a contractual duty of care also covered in the LLUK in Domain A and our signed contract of employment.
The most inspirational part of the course to date would be the Behaviour Management presentation, which served to confront the teacher’s fear of the disruptive class or impossible child. Developing positive relationships with the students seems to be at the heart of this topic, which in some cases could be time consuming and hard work, but inevitably rewarding. Key skills in achieving good classroom management are rewarding the student with constructive praise, giving clear instruction and introducing novel stimuli and humour to create a stress free environment.
In addition to the presentation on Behaviour management, I have been able to sign up to the Behaviour Needs mini course and receive some very useful materials and tools that have help with my class room management to try an make it a more stimulating learning experience. Domain BK1. 2 Probably the most nerve wrecking experience of the first session, more so than the lesson observation was the Micro Teaching activity. Looking back, it was actually enjoyable and worthwhile when you could see yourself in the playback, and identify the type of teacher you are, again laid out in Domain BK2. 6 which ask you to evaluate your own practice.
This gives me the opportunity not just to suit lessons to fit the learner but also my own teaching style. The exercise made me really think of what goes into the different stages of a lesson, i. e. the BEM principle. “The view is that we learn more in the first 12 minutes and the last 8 minutes of a lesson” (Duckett. I and Tatarkowski. M; 2005,27), taking that into consideration we should have 3 BEM’s in a typical lesson. The function of a good opening is “To induce in participants a state of readiness appropriate to the task to follow, through establishing rapport, arousing motivation and gaining attention” ( Hargie.
O and Dickson. D 2004,262). Setting out the objectives, displaying them for the students to see, so they know what the expectations of the lesson will be has now become a fundamental part of my teaching. Before we looked into Blooms taxonomy, I thought there were just questions and answers, now I am aware of effective questioning on so many different levels. In the past I have used questioning considerably within my lesson, but would like to develop this skill so that it can be more “effective”. Conclusion.
Experiencing teaching for only one year, with no formal training, was a huge challenge, but one which I felt I dealt with to best of my abilities. The course so far, has enhanced my teaching abilities, which should make me a more reflective teacher willing to try new strategies and learning from want can go wrong in a class and maximising on what went right. (958) References: Duckett,I. and Tatarkowski, M. , 2005. Practical strategies for learning and teaching on vocational programmes. London: Learning and Skills Development Agency, p. 27. Hargie, O. and Dickson, D. 2004. Skilled Interpersonal Communication. 4th ed. London: Routledge, p. 262.
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