Class Room Teaching Practice

Philosophy

My aim as a teacher is to provide a stimulating learning environment in which children have the opportunity to fulfil their maximum potential. This aim draws largely upon my ability to motivate and communicate to children a belief in their own ability to succeed academically -something I feel is fundamental but often lacking.

My classroom environment is loaded with resources endeavouring to provide practical learning experiences, that encourage interactive problem-solving and ownership of knowledge.

I always recognise "progress and improvement" over the "attainment of the highest level". Attainment is still important but is often simply a measure of prior academic experience or opportunity and not necessarily representational of the quality of learning that has taken place.

Thus I have a preference towards open ended cross-curricula activities. Activities that provide for whatever level a student may be at while allowing for extension.
Learning needs to focus on essential skills and processes rather than facts and to value the learners interests and culture when considering themes. 

When students look around their room I want them to be surrounded by and be able to see their success!
                                   

Environment and Resources

To implement these ideals has involved me in many projects building up new skills and resources all the time. Early on, I began putting together computers out of spare parts and I now have often made use of my own seven computers within my class room. Their integration within my class programme is valuable and the class always has it's own library of students beautifully published stories.


I have also collected, built and purchased my
own music resources and I now have my own
set of fifteen guitars, four 5' marimbas
(that the senior students helped to make during technology
and mathematics measurement last year
), and numerous recorders, flutes and whistles.

Education Outside of the Classroom

I believe that Education Outside of the Classroom provides a powerful vehicle for learning.  My studentís horizons and experiences have been broadened through many varied outings and camps. I have organised several whole class, syndicate and school camps that have included:

  • "Camp Real Mc Coy" -that took 34 Glen Innes students up the Kauaeranga Valley for the first half of the week and up to Fantail Bay for the second. Students experienced abseiling, climbing, canoeing, up to 5 hour long tramps - one to the Hut on top of the Pinnacles during a thunderstorm, snorkeling, fishing and no junk food or flushing toilets for a whole week. We even had a herd of Sperm Whales breaching out of the water just in front of us one evening at Fantail Bay. On the last morning we had to settle for a visit from the local dolphins and a chilli bin full of fresh fillets of fish grilled on the barbecue for breakfast.
  • Senior camp to Lake Waikaremoana -camping and sea kayaks.

Mountain Experience Camp - High Ropes Low Ropes,
Climbing Wall, Mountain Safety Activities, Snow fun
and a days awesome skiing.
 
Fishing trips- for groups of students catching and
studying native fresh water fish for our class aquarium.

    Canoeing Trips.


 

Some of these exciting educational trips have involved heading up fundraising committees and are a good example of my ability to facilitate positive parent and community involvement. In 2000 I lead an exciting whole school trip to Auckland for 6 days of exciting activities. Even though I organised for us to stay in a large marae and we did all our own cooking, this trip still required the fundraising of $6500 -a large task for a small rural community. Within four months our we had raised just over $9500!

Administration

Wherever practical classroom administration systems have been computerised to increase clarity and decrease double ups and unnecessary paperwork. These systems have been very successful in helping me to organised effective curriculum delivery and assessment. To view a sample of my Planning

Behaviour Management

Within my class and school a high standard of behaviour is maintained. I am an advocate of leading by example, students making informed choices for themselves and teaching cause and effect. I have often experienced success with supposedly very difficult students through a balance of counseling and discussion within a safe environment. Not only setting up clearly defined boundaries that have consequences for crossing them but also opportunities for rewarding positive behaviour.

I often find students who exhibit insecure behaviour and lack a sense of purpose are turned around within a positive classroom environment. The difficult student needs to be given the opportunity to experience success and find new ways to gain attention and reward.

Individual Differences

Within rural or urban, high or low socio-economic areas I have enjoyed the challenge of meeting individual needs of students that in many cases find classroom learning situations difficult. My own educational experiences help me to relate to both students who struggle and those who feel academically successful.

With the view that every student is gifted I have certainly seen many high expectations fulfilled.

Teaching for me is also the exciting business of change and development through self-evaluation and working with others as a team, always moving and growing to ensure continued success.

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