1. Know students and how they learn
Like everything we do it is developed from interactions and relationships with others, modelling and learning from mistakes. If opportunities are suitable, flexible and timely learning will thrive. Learners are receptive to instruction in a supportive safe environment where there their social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual needs are met.
I get to know students through conversation and association with their interests and being responsive to their needs. I participate in engaging activities that support development of relationships with students. As an educator I believe:
Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
I show I care through personal interaction and taking an interest in the student’s personal interests and extra curricular activities. I engage with the community which allows me to engage with the whole child. This ensures our relationship develops and we have a mutual understanding that we are more than the person we are inside the school gates.
Just as an infant learns to walk, first they need to observe the action they wish to achieve, build upon their leg strength, then develop balance, before letting go of the support structures and taking their first solo steps towards independence. This learning is scaffolded to ensure and produce success. My teaching structure follows this scaffold process to ensure all learners can achieve success. This is provided in a number of formats to cater for the individual learner and their preferred learning method.
In learning and educating it is important to follow the same structures that are obviously successful in learning to walk. We have all developed skills through the same or similar structure of learning. When we observe or imagine an end result we are able to take action and plan the steps of learning to achieve these required results.
When teaching students we must share experiences that are accurate to the learning goal, appropriate to the cognitive level of the learner, and is engaging and appealing to the student, this in turn allows the student to internalize the concepts for sustained learning. It is the internalization of a concept that signifies learning has occurred. I spend a vast amount of time ensuring students are progressing as required. This monitoring process allows for scaffold adjustments of the concept development and support to ensure the learner can achieve to their highest possible level.
2. Know the content and how to teach it
With over 14 years of teaching in 3 Australian states I have developed a comprehensive curriculum knowledge and delivery. I have participated as a leader in the implementation of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) curriculum which has been the basis of much of the new Australian Curriculum structure. I have studied at post Graduate level the best practices for the delivery of curriculum content and implemented these into educating all learners.
Scaffolded instruction supports the learner to progress to the next level when their understanding and ability has developed. It is important not only to allow students to progress but to also review their understandings, and make alterations to the pedagogical concepts created.
I understand that the content delivery is as important. I also believe the delivery method for individuals is just as important. I have redeveloped many learning experiences to suit the needs of the learner. This is often done in negotiation with the learner whilst retaining the learning goal as defined by the curriculum. I believe the goal for learning is the priority and the method of transition from one point to the next can follow any path necessary, using resources and networks from all over the world.
My knowledge is exemplified through presentations I deliver to learners and educators in all areas of Pre-Tertiary education.