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Patrick Bruce Swanson

Personal Statement
Relationships:
I believe that having a positive relationship with all members of the school community is
incredibly important for a teacher to possess. It allows for a positive learning and
working environment and helps to promote student wellbeing. On my teaching practicum
I made sure to engage with students individually or as a group before the lesson started.
In doing this at the start of the lesson I was able to turn time wasted by students
accessing their lockers and preparing for the lesson into time spent fostering a positive
classroom relationship and atmosphere. In the German lessons I was able to incorporate
this into the lesson itself by greeting students in German and asking them simple
German questions (eg. About the weekend) to both help communicate with the students
and to get them ready to learn German. Good mutual communication with other
teachers is also incredibly important to create a positive work environment, and allows
for teachers to easily support each other, and develop lesson content that may
compliment the curriculum of other subjects (eg. Links of Geography and junior science
curricula).
Student Learning:
In order to be engaging to all students in the class, it is important to look at each
student’s individual learning style and make sure that the classroom does not entirely
favour one style over another. For this reason during my practicum I made sure that I
developed varied lessons to engage the whole class. In the German class this
incorporated listening, writing and speaking exercises with the language, as well as
individual and group work to target students’ best linguistic skills and intra- or
interpersonal learning preferences. I have often used ICT in classrooms, both as a way of
presenting information and encouraging individual research from students to increase
their understanding of the subject.
Curriculum:
I have a strong knowledge of both the German and Geography curricula, including both
the Australian Curriculum (years 7-10) and SACE (stages 1 and 2) for both subjects. In
German this knowledge of ACARA learning outcomes has helped me to vary classroom
activities to show both language as a communication tool and as a method for cultural
understanding, the latter of which allows students a unique insight into another country.
As I have not yet been able to teach Geography during a placement I have only been
able to incorporate ACARA Geographical inquiry skills into lesson and unit plans I have
prepared.
Safe Work:
I am aware of DECD OHSW policy. In terms of child safety I understand the importance of
a safe learning environment, where children should feel supported and safe regarding

Patrick Bruce Swanson

any problem. In handling this I have found it important to stop any harassing behaviour
as soon as it starts by removing one party. On my placement harassment or classroom
conflict was pre-empted by not allowing students to sit near each other who had
repeatedly disrupted the class or had issues with one another. It is important to
understand each student’s individual wellbeing and context, as we as teachers have an
important duty of care to students both in the classroom and on school grounds.