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APPROACHES TO TEACHING AND

LEARNING

ME AS A LEARNER

ALEKSANDRA PERIC
3809997

Who am I as a learner?
As I learner, I like to search for accomplished mentors such as teachers
and lecturers who have had a significantly large teaching experience.
The reason I like to engage with them is to seek valuable information
which could be beneficial for me towards the future in my learning and
teaching.
Successful mentors, in my point of view, have the following
characteristics:
- Leadership
- Initiative
- Independence
- Organisation
- Being Open Minded
- Accepting and Inclusive

These are just some of the characteristics I wish to show as a teacher,
which is why I like to seek people who show these same characteristics.
Another way I like to learn is through lectures, professional development
seminars, educational videos and through students as I feel that even
when I am teaching, I still learn from them every day.

Who am I as a learner? (Example)
Drawing upon my personal experience from my
teaching block at Brookside College P-9, where I
had the PSD coordinator as my mentor, I have
learnt many things in relation to becoming a
successful educator.

This includes observing different classes, planning
lessons, attending meetings, teaching and
communicating ideas and information, attending
professional development seminars and learning
about Autism. I also sought out extra curricular
activities to enhance my learning, searched
positive leadership members of staff as mentors,
and display characteristics, such as initiative and
made my presence known within the school.

Also, through group work within tutorials I have
constantly been learning and I am able to
consciously be attentive of the opinions of others
in order to develop an informed personal stance
on issues presented and have an open mind
about real life issues relating to education and
student learning.

Who am I as a teacher?
What is effective about my teaching?

As a teacher, I firstly want to figure out the basics and find out

WHO ARE MY STUDENTS?

- demographics (age, ethnicity, gender mix, etc.).
- predispositions (hopes, fears, positives/negatives, level of interest).
- knowledge of/experience with subject/me.
In what context will my students engage with course information?
- large lecture hall, open plan learning, closed off classrooms, being outside.
- lighting and sound issues.
- time of day.
Establish cognitive / behavioral objectives for student learning:
- What do I want my students to know?
- What do I want my students to do with what they know?
- Analyze, synthesize, apply, evaluate
Who am I as a teacher?
How do I engage all students in my classes?

Create an Emotionally Safe Classroom
Students who have been shamed or belittled by the teacher or another student will not
effectively engage in challenging tasks. My class will always have a rule that will state
"We do not put others downs, we dont discriminate based on sex, gender or race and we
do not laugh at people." In order to have this rule, I first need to apply it to myself for it to
work affectively as well as to my students. This is the foundation of a supportive,
collaborative learning environment. To learn and grow, one must take risks, but most
people will not take risks in an emotionally unsafe environment.

Create an Intellectually Safe Classroom
I believe that it is important to begin every activity with a task that most of the students in
the class can do without my help. A task such as getting my students to pick up a pen
and start writing down the date and learning intention for the day and start off by saying,
"Please begin," they should pick up a pencil and start working successfully without me
having to repeat myself every class on what they need to do. It should be easy and clear
that they know the date and learning intention needs to be written down every class
unless stated otherwise. This gets everyone on the same page. Then I need to make
sure that my students know that these initial easy tasks will always be followed by
increasingly challenging ones. Creating rich and complex tasks so that various students
have a chance to excel and take on the role of helping others is essential in my classes.

Who am I as a teacher? (Example)
Within English and Humanities, it is
important for me that my students
understand the context I am trying to
teach and more importantly, they feel
comfortable enough to engage in class
discussions and participate in group
activities. Making sure the students
understand the topic I am teaching, I like
to go around and have a chat individually
with each student to know they are on the
right track such as shown in the picture
on the right. Investing time with students
and making sure they are doing the right
thing is beneficial for student learning and
rewarding for myself as a teacher.
To create and support inclusive models of
practice we have to accept that these
wont just develop organically but will
require support and an investment of time
and effort made by all involved.
(Shaddock, Giorcelli & Smith 2007, pp.5)



What is my understanding of learning and
teaching?
What constitutes effective teaching and learning and how do I know my students
are learning and developing?

Effective teaching and learning assists students to participate in the social and cultural
practices of the classroom in ways similar to the practices of the society in which they
are growing up. (Teaching and Learning, p.193)

I will know my students are learning and developing through; their willingness to
participate in various activities, their results through summative and formative
assessment for educational development. Also, their confidence in executing work, and
approaching myself for assistance will indicate mental development, as they have
improved their ability to enhance their intrinsic knowledge. Their interaction with their
peers, teachers and members of the community, as well as their behaviour will indicate
their interpersonal development.

Another important thing Id like to address I believe constitutes effective teaching and
learning is including all students no matter what their physical or mental abilities are. It
is important to do this so all students feel included and welcome to participate in
classes and dont feel like the odd ones out. The term inclusion has many different
meanings. As a social philosophy inclusion means fostering acceptance, belonging,
and community in schools and other social institutions for diversity of students, families,
educators, and community members. (Browness, Smith, Crockett & Grifffin 2012, pp.4)

What is my understanding of learning and
teaching? (Example)
In order to sustain development
students need to be made
consciously aware of how they can
improve and what is required to
improve. The image indicates one-on-
one assistance with students,
developing skills and understanding of
terminology in a book.

This assists the students educational
development. The student questioning
for clarification on terms indicates the
student developing their interpersonal
skills, as well as their mental
development. Taking the time to help
students when in need is crucial for
students development and
engagement in learning.

What is my understanding of learning for
the future?
How should we be preparing students for the future?

Our students should be prepared following the VITs principles of learning and
teaching, specifically an environment promoting independence,
interdependence and self-motivation, whilst also being supportive and
productive. (Department of Education and Early Childhood Education)

Ensuring students are provided with this environment could assist students
be more positive about coping strategies and doing well in their school work.
Students should be motivated to try their best in every aspect of their
schooling and that will be my number one priority as a teacher, as well as
making sure they can work independently in certain tasks and in group work
when need be.

Examples of this within the classroom could be consistent guidelines for all
students, group work as well as consistent marking of work for students within
the classroom.

What is my understanding of learning for
the future?
How does my teaching look to the future?

I want to base my teaching around the dynamics of my class, as no two
classes are the same. My teaching approach needs to be adaptable, and
suitable to challenge my students. I dont want to enter a class and
expect students to be on my level and adapt to the way I teach. I want to
find out my students abilities and establish what I need to do to help them
rise to their full potential and reach their goals.

I want to include relevant forms of material within the class, and include a
variety of methods in an attempt to engage my students and the variety
of learning styles available to attempt to distinguish what engages the
class best.

My teaching should look to develop students for their future, and attempt
to create motivated members of the community, therefore as a teacher, I
need to ensure my energy and enthusiasm is brought to every class I
teach.

What is my understanding of learning for
the future?
What should schools look like in the future?

Schools should be challenging their students, and promote positive
attitudes from all engaging with the school within the community.

From observations on my teaching rounds, I also feel schools should
be more supportive of teachers, rather than constantly placing hurdles
in front of them. I feel this causes teachers to be more run down, and
removes their focus from the important aspects of school, educating
our youth. In my placement, I felt that a lot of the teachers were
stressed out most of the time because of the amount of work they had
to do and it took away their passion for teaching, and for some, they
resented their job which heavily impacted students learning.

I believe the main focus of schools should be to create a
collaborative partnership between teachers, students and parents to
allow for an excellent level of learning to occur, in a safe, nurturing
and enjoyable environment.

References
Brownell, M., Smith, S., Crockett, J. & Griffin, C., 2012,
Inclusive Instruction : Evidence-Based Practices for
Teaching Students with Disabilities, Guilford Publications
Frydenberg, E., & Reevy, G., 2011, Personality, Stress and
Coping: Implications for Education
http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/support/pa
ges/principles12.aspx?Redirect=1
Viewed on 3 October 2014
Shaddock, A., Giorcelli L., & Smith, S., 2007, Students with
disabilities in mainstream classrooms, A resource for
teachers Commonwealth of Australia