Please remember (as mentioned): I was given very high accolades for my statement (quote: if not the, then one of the best i have ever seen) but PLEASE do not feel it is okay to copy mine as you will get caught. This supporting statement is attached to your P ermanent File so if it is the same as someone else's you will no doubt be caught and probably done for some sort of copyright.
This is a Personal Response. There is no Right or Wrong.
PART 1: EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY
1. Within your teaching subject/area how would you ensure that you maximise learning experiences and outcomes for all your students, having regard for their different abilities and backgrounds?
I strongly support the view that there are many significant factors that effect successful learning in the classroom. The teacher’s role in maximizing learning experiences for all students is accomplished through accommodating needs, learning styles, preferences and interests (PTS element 2.1.3. NSWIT, 2006), as well as developing positive social interactions, learning environments and personal confidence (PTS element 5.1.1-5.1.3).
In a mainstream classroom it is not unlikely to have a range of students with mixed abilities including additional support needs, special education, ESL, Indigenous learners and gifted and talented individuals (PTS element 2.1.5). A good teacher enables and inspires every student to learn to the best of their ability, regardless of any circumstances that may hinder their academic development, through the process of differentiation. Differentiation can be implemented in three ways: through the content, the process or the product. When a teacher is able to differentiate lessons and cater for the individual needs of students’ within the classroom, an inclusive classroom environment is created and promoted. As well as this, fostering positive relationships with families and caregivers (PTS element 7.1.1-7.1.3) will ensure maximum outcomes can be reached with support to develop a positive habitus relating to learning. It is through these key facets that learning experiences and outcomes are maximised for students with varying capabilities and backgrounds by the teacher.
2. How would you go about planning a unit of work, and how would you know if your teaching of the unit was effective?
In planning a unit of work I would develop my program in collaboration with the BOS Syllabi and Units of Work documents and drawing on the NSW Quality Teaching Framework (NSW DET, 2003) and the PTS. Whilst organising a unit work, I would base my method on the Backwards Design approach developed by Wiggins and McTighe (2005). By implementing this model, teachers are able to reflect upon what it is they want students to know/ be able to do/demonstrate at the end of the unit and work backwards, rather than attempting to develop assessment strategies at the end. Assessment is developed before planning the learning experiences and instruction. In developing a unit of work, drawing on and assessing individuals prior knowledge through pre-assessment practices is important in planning for activities (PTS element 2.1.4) and understanding the impact of this knowledge on learning.
As well as pre-assessment, formative and summative assessment strategies allow for the teacher to decide whether teaching actually led to the expected learning and enables direction for future planning of teaching and learning. If students have demonstrated the necessary planned outcomes of the unit during assessment strategies (PTS element 3.1.6) this is a key indication that the teaching of this unit was effective. Teachers are also able to recognise if the teaching of their unit is successful through thorough reflection (PTS element 6.1.1). Through reflection, by reflecting on what you teach, how you teach and why you teach the way you do, the teacher is able to evaluate evidence to test beliefs about teaching and learning, look for evidence to justify methodologies of teaching and ultimately make a decision over whether or not the learning outcomes were achieved.
3.How do you see your role as a member of a professional team?
Implemented within the aspects of the capacity to contribute to a professional community (PTS elements 6.1.4- 6.1.6.), are key qualities that hold significant value for individual members of professional teams. Being apart of a professional team necessitates having common purposes and objectives and working together to reach these outcomes. Through being an active member of a professional team, the importance of meeting regularly to discuss plans, programming, progress and issues for whole school, stage, class and individual students
is also identified. I believe that being an effective member of a professional team extends beyond the classroom to the school and wider community. I see my role as a professional team member as being expressive, approachable, open and flexible to ideas, support and feedback. I see my role as being respectful, being involved and making contributions as well having effective communication with peers, parents, students and other stakeholders in order to reach the desired outcomes of working within a professional team.
PART 2: PERSONAL INFORMATION
1. Please outline your reasons for wanting to become a teacher in NSW public schools.
My basic reasoning for becoming a teacher is justified by an unfathomable desire to help others and make a difference. Teachers, for me, represent stability and consistent figures in young peoples lives. Personally, during my education, I faced many challenges both academically and personally, during which it was these dependable people that shaped my resilience and demonstrated the support others can give. For me, the ability to make a difference is therefore supported through my students having at least one person in their lives that they can trust, can come to for support and that has the ability to inspire them. This empathy and passion has also developed into several tangents including sponsoring children both domestically and internationally, teaching overseas, donating and volunteer work. In being a teacher, while not imposing views, I believe it is important to build awareness surrounding important issues such as the environment, people and animals.
As well as this desire, I have a genuine love for learning and want to share and develop this characteristic with children. I love to read widely and learn, I recently began to teach myself Japanese simply for enjoyment. I believe that instilling this quality in others is a key inspirational factor in becoming a teacher. I believe that creating an enthusiastic learning environment that enables students to feel safe and confident is achieved through a legitimate passion for what you are teaching. Being surrounded by a culture where the pursuit of knowledge is the main objective is obviously a key validation in becoming a teacher.
2. Please indicate any co curricular areas in which you have qualifications, experience or abilities that would assist you in your role as a teacher. Examples could include sport coaching, performance skills (in drama, music or dance), outdoor education, first aid, information technology skills, youth leadership skills or other interests and hobbies.
Personally, my overseas professional experience was the most amazing and confronting experience I have encountered. I love to travel, immerse myself within new cultures and connect with different people but this type of learning encounter opened my eyes to having little option or support to communicating with and teaching EFL students through attempting to overcome language barriers. This experience in teaching, learning, socialising and communicating with EFL children, intensely aided my acceptance of other cultures and further developed key skills such as non-verbal communication, patience, understanding and inclusiveness.
Currently working as an Inclusion Support Worker for pre-school aged children has enabled and assisted me in recognising and catering for students with additional support needs. This role entails programming for academic and social encounters as well as conversing with parents and therapists. This experience significantly assists my role as a teacher through the fostering of inclusive learning environments, catering for children with additional support needs and conversing and satisfying both professional (therapists and directors) and family requests in regards to learning and support.
By engaging in recurring and recent first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis training these qualifications evidently assist in dealing with emergencies and crisis both inside the classroom and school as a whole. This qualification is important, not only in dealing with health emergencies but also with behavioural crisis in the classroom. By maintaining a “cool, calm and collected” appearance catastrophic events can be prevented and/or dealt with in a professional and appropriate manner without building unnecessary tensions and concerns in other students.
A final important ability that assists my role as a teacher is fostering creativity. I believe that children’s creativity is often stifled by teachers’ attempts to create a traditional “well managed” learning environment. The importance of creative arts and kinaesthetic learning I believe is often overlooked. Whilst fostering these types of learning experiences and meeting curriculum demands, different learning styles are catered for and learning is conducted in such a way that it is not obvious and intellectually demanding.