As Friesen’s 2009 work around the Teaching Effectiveness Framework suggests, we improve our practice in the company of our peers. At Connect Charter, there has been built in time for collaboration and designing learning together. With my grade/subject-matter partner, we designed and planned learning together which really helped me to improve my ideas and thinking about creating purposeful and effective learning. On several occasions we also had the wonderful opportunity to teach together, which in addition to creating more support for learners, also affords the opportunity to provide teaching practice feedback.
In Practicum I, I defined some goals around planning for learning, and am happy to share progress towards these goals.
Goal 1: Encouraging and supporting student voice as part of my practice, and how I can improve to better meet their needs:
- Asking for teacher feedback and insights, coinciding with student assessment and reporting
- Using assessment data to think about the ways I could re-teach ideas in order to create student success
- Checking in with individual students more often to check for their understanding and developing learning plans and strategies
“Experts” are individuals who understand something well and can apply it. Students can become experts, too – and our role as teachers is to facilitate the use of their prior knowledge for this capacity! For this activity, students became art critics, and analyzed and compared pieces of of Renaissance and Middle Ages Art (to understand which was which, and to critique its adherence to style).
When challenged with created a long-term plan for our Physical Education Curriculum course, a colleague and I created Unit Plan for a grade 12 blended, and primarily distance, plan for physical education to integrate with everyday life to students’ best and personal abilities.
Our assessment reflected on innovative and inclusive approaches. It was a particularly exciting challenge in developing content outside the usual scope of my degree – and eye opening to recognize the similarities that all learners share (including as teachers).
Recognizing my extraordinary work as a Teacher’s Assistant at the CBE’s Education Centre. I spent a semester (3 days a week) developing and co-ordinating student leadership and engagement programs with Learning Innovation and the Office of the Superintendent with the CBE, where I worked with students, teachers, administrators, and the community.