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Skill Review Sheet – Management

Graduate Standards – AITSL
Professional Practice: 4. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning
environments 4.1 and 4.2

Planning for Effective Management
Was your lesson plan
effective for managing
the class?
e.g. How did the
students react to your
lesson overall and to
your planned activities?
Did anything unexpected
happen?
Did you provide a variety
of activities?
Were you satisfied with
your timing, particularly
for the end of the
lesson?
Did you feel you were
able to change things if
needed?

My lesson plan for my fourth lesson (Academic Excellence year
seven students) was effective for managing this class. My lesson
plan was structured, stimulating and catered for different learning
styles. I began by recapitulating some key points from their
previous lesson, and went through my learning objectives and
expectations (WALT and WILT). Students were excited and
engaged throughout my lesson. Their memory of my first lesson
informed their perception of this class, which was positive. They
cheered when I explained that I was taking the lesson; a welcome
surprise that contributed to a warm and welcoming learning
environment.
Like the week before, I was taking a lesson on picture books. As
students had been learning about picture books for three weeks, I
wanted my final lesson to be markedly different from my previous
one. They responded to my lesson with intrigue and excitement
because I had changed the formula. Instead of reading through a
picture book and deconstructing the various elements, I had
completely removed the images from the text and had broken the
text up into fragments. When I explained to them that they would
be working in pairs and receiving excerpts from the text (in random
order), they were drawn in by the mystery of the task. I had
explained to them that this would be an exercise in context and
had gone through my learning objectives and expectations with
them, but they were pleased that I had offered them something
completely different to do. Additionally, I drew symbols in the
corner of their extracts that corresponded to the order their extract
belonged in the narrative. They did not know which order their text
was from, which encouraged them to work efficiently, so that they
would eventually find out.
I provided a variety of activities. One required them to describe
what was happening in their scene and then to explore where it
might belong in a wider narrative. The main activity was the most
stimulating, as I instructed them to consider how they might
illustrate their particular scenario. I prepared a table for them to
complete with a list of visual elements. They needed to describe
what visual elements they would use and justify their choices. This

was an exercise in creativity and required them to delve into their
memory banks so that they could use their information about the
elements that constitute a picture book. After they had completed
this table, I revealed on my PowerPoint the numbers that
corresponded with their symbols. With this information alone, they
were able to discern where their extract belonged in the text. The
next sequence was reading the text in chronological order. Once
we had read this aloud, we had a brief discussion about the
significance of context. Their initial responses to their extracts
were not wrong, but now that they had context, they were able to
envisage the wider story.
I was not 100% satisfied with my timing, but I managed to tie
everything together. Some of the timing issues were out of my
control, as the siren sounded late and there were more items on
my mentor’s agenda at the beginning of the class than I had
anticipated. I also underestimated how long it would take my
students to cut and paste their activities into their books. All of the
activities ran smoothly otherwise, save for the disruptions from a
boy whom my teacher had to temporarily remove from the
classroom.
As I was conscious of time, I altered one of the items on my
agenda. After reading the written text in order, we were originally
going to examine the front cover of the picture book. However, I
was aware that time was of the essence so we read the book in its
entirety with only a brief preamble. I managed to communicate to
the students everything I had intended, and they grasped the focus
of my lesson: how separating written text from context creates
vastly different meanings and evokes different responses.
However, while it was a successful lesson, I was not pleased with
the way I ended the lesson. I did not get the chance to run through
my WALT and WILT as I normally did. I am, however, satisfied that
the students grasped the relevance and purpose of the lesson,
which is essentially what WALT and WILT were there for.
If I could change anything in this lesson, I would have the exercise
initial questions on the same page as the extracts. In hindsight, it
seems obvious that these strips of paper should be combined to
save cutting and pasting time, but that it what reflection is about.
Additionally, I would have students read the extracts in order,
rather than read it aloud myself. Finally, I would not read through
the entire picture book at the end of the lesson. If I had left this out,
I could have focused more on unpacking the title page of the book
with students and helped them connect their new knowledge to
their understandings of the written text.
Having the students read the extracts and leaving the picture book
from the lesson was actually my original idea. I had only included a
reading of the full picture book because my mentor recommended
it the day previously. I thought that the picture book reading would
take too much time, so I decided that in order to save time, I would
read the written text myself. I see now that the picture book could
have become part of a different lesson. It certainly provided a full
picture of the text, which related to my lesson on context, but

because there was little time to properly discuss the book in its
entirety, I feel that I did not utilise it as well as I could have.
Overall, there were small items on my agenda that I felt I could
change. I had learned by this stage that it was okay to deviate from
the plan if time was slipping away, if something else was not
working or, from an alternative angle, if I recognised the potential
in something else to work more effectively. However, generally, I
did not feel like I had the experience or confidence to change
anything too drastically in case I strayed too far from my learning
objectives and could note get the class back on the right track.

Was your organisation of I was meticulous with my organisation of materials and resources.
materials and resources I created an informative and visually engaging PowerPoint
presentation to accompany my lesson. I had notes to accompany
efficient and effective?
the PowerPoint (with additional questions to ask and facts or
definitions I might need). I prepared all of my activities myself and
e.g. Did you and the
ensured that I had everything photocopied. I needed 30+ strips of
students have everything paper for my extracts, all paper-clipped with the corresponding
you needed?
symbols on these pages. I also ensured that the picture books
were in the classroom prior to my lesson and made sure that I had
Did you plan how and
my own copy.

when you would
distribute and collect
materials?

I scanned the title page of the picture book to display on the slide,
as it would be easier for every student to see. I also displayed the
symbols and corresponding numbers on a slide so that every
student could see where their extract belonged. I brought spare
glue and whiteboard makers and ensured that there was a stack of
scrap paper for students who forgot their books. Prior to the
lesson, I ensured that the technological equipment was compatible
with my laptop and in working order. I also had my PowerPoint
saved onto a USB, so if technical issues did arise, I could use my
mentor’s computer.
Unlike my earlier lessons where I began distributing the exercises
before, or as, I was delivering my instructions, I learned quickly
that students were easily distracted. I factored this into my
planning and decided to distribute the materials (such as the first
activity) after I had delivered my first set of instructions. I would
explain what needed to be done and also had the instructions
displayed on my slides, and then I would distribute the materials.
As for collecting, the work had to be glued into their books. The
only thing I had to collect were the picture books, but there were
only six in total so there was never an issue with time or
distractions when I collected the books.
With supplementary activities, I made judgements based on
student progress when I would distribute the next activity. After
their first exercise, I delivered the new set of instructions and
distributed the table for them to complete. I remembered to
distribute them after I had delivered the instructions, otherwise
chaos, confusion and time-wasting would ensue.

Were you aware of
classroom procedures
and school disciplinary
policy? How much did
you know about your
students?

I observed various classroom procedures and became
aware of the school’s disciplinary policy.
In terms of classroom procedure, I observed many patterns
and routines throughout my professional experience. For
example, provided that the teacher was in the room, it was
an unspoken rule that students could enter the classroom
without lining up. They would take their seats and remove
their exercise books and writing equipment. The first few
minutes were dedicated to housekeeping duties and,
occasionally, roll call. However, I noticed that my mentor
would usually take attendance after she had given students
instructions for the lesson. Attendance was a time-waster, in
her opinion, so she did it quietly as students worked. Of
course, this is logical when you know all of your students.
If students were late, they were required to go to Student
Services to get a late note. If a student was feeling sick they
would immediately report to Student Services. There was a
school nurse if they needed. If students had a music lesson,
they could leave the lesson quietly. If they needed to go to
the bathroom, they needed to get their diaries dated and
signed. There were also uniform slips if students were not
able to wear the correct uniform. If a student needs to use
the library outside of lunch, recess or their designated
reading time, they must present a library permission slip for
access.
If students finished their work early, they needed to inform
the teacher so that she could give them additional work. With
five minutes to spare, the teacher would conclude and
ensure that they packed away their materials and tidied their
areas. My mentor explained to me that if the classroom is
unkempt when the next class walks in, it is going to be
chaotic. A messy space is an unproductive space. I noticed
that teachers do not have much control over dismissal of
students at the end of the lesson. The moment the bell rings,
students are out the doors. Even if the teacher has a couple
of points to make, the students will be standing and edging
closer to the exit.
In terms of my teacher’s classroom management, she had
many low-key strategies at her disposal. She would often
raise one hand into the air for silence. She would often set
students a time limit as they worked. If it was short exercise,
she would count in five second increments. If it was a longer
activity, she would set a timer. This added a sense of
urgency to their work. Whenever students asked a question,
they were required to raise their hands. When I was there,

they had pre-prepared groups. Whenever there was a group
activity, they knew exactly where to go. My mentor rarely
raised her voice to get the attention of the class as her
presence and voice carried enough weight to command the
room.
I noticed that my teacher despised interruptions to the
classroom. If it was the PA system or a student monitor with
a message, my mentor noted to me that they were
unwelcome distractions. I realised what she meant by this.
Any interruption to the classroom tended to break the
students’ concentration. The school monitor system was
something I found intriguing and completely impractical. If
you were selected as a student monitor, you did not attend
classes for the entire day. It was the monitor’s job to assist in
Student Services and deliver messages to classes all day, or
perhaps sit in on other classes and act as a scribe for
students with learning difficulties. The system has merit, but I
could not believe that these students missed out on their
learning for a whole day.
This list is not exhaustive.
In terms of behaviour management, my mentor has some
autonomy in the classroom. Usually, her control of the
classroom was sound. When students were especially
disruptive, she would move them or threaten to email or call
their parents. One year eight boy, who was increasingly
disruptive in my mentor’s classes, was asked to stay back on
two occasions while I was there. The first time, the teacher
gave him the option whether he wanted his parents to be
contacted or not. If he chose to behave, she would not
contact them. The second time, she did email his parents to
touch base. I witnessed him in class one day. The teacher
used the ‘I will count to three’ technique. I did not think it
would work on a thirteen-year old, but she said that if he did
not move seats by the time she counted to three, she would
call his parents immediately. She had enough conviction in
her voice to convince him to move.
The school has other systems and procedures in place for
misbehaving students. I should preface this by saying that at
the beginning of the school year, students are given Good
Standing on their records. This can be taken away, however,
which means that students are not allowed to participate in
out of school activities (excursions, social functions,
performances etc); therefore, maintaining Good Standing is
important to every student. There are different kinds of forms
that teachers can complete and send to parents (letters of

concern or commendation). How the parent is contacted is
up to the discretion of the teacher; however, if it is of a
serious nature, they need to go through the official and
formal channels. There is a certain slip that the teacher can
fill in which can have a student immediately removed from
the class.
The school also has a rewards program that encourages
good behaviour. It is a policy that recognises positive
participation in school life. This policy is connected to various
commendations, points and awards that students
accumulate throughout the year. This school only has issues
of minor misbehaviour. As most students are part of a
specialised program, it is in their best interests to behave
because, if they do not, their place could be compromised.
Student suspension and expulsion at this school is a rarity.
Throughout my professional experience, I began to learn
about the diverse personalities and backgrounds of the
classroom. I learned of an ostensibly confident and talkative
twelve-year old who came from a tumultuous background.
He was bright and cheerful, but my teacher believed that his
purple hair and chirpy personality was a façade. She had to
keep an eye on him for obvious reasons.
I learned about students who were part of the school’s
program that catered for learning and social difficulties. I
observed that there seemed to be little cultural diversity in
the classroom; however, this is not necessarily true. One
cannot always discern someone’s cultural background from
surface appearances.
I mostly learned about the disruptive students. Some had
records of disruptive behaviour, whereas others had no
record of misbehaviour at all. This required that my mentor to
try and investigate with Student Services the students’
histories, before she contacted the family.
I was able to observe which students excelled and those
who struggled, those who were boisterous and those who
were quietly confident. I was made aware of some of the
poorer students, and came across students who were
wealthy and spoilt. Whilst I developed a rapport with many of
my students and became accustomed to their personalities
in the classroom, I only really ‘knew’ them on a surface level.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude in the Classroom

How did you demonstrate
to the students that you
valued them, and enjoyed
the teaching/learning
process?
e.g. Tone of voice, facial
expression, sense of
humour, introduction to
students and topic.

I began my lessons by introducing myself and expressing my
interest in being there. Right from the beginning, I showed an
interest in their learning experiences, which I endeavoured to
reflect in my lessons.
With my year seven students, I communicated how much I
valued them through verbal communication as well as my
body language. I made an effort to learn the names of my
students, which broke down some barriers that existed in my
first week. I also found that I was providing praise that was
productive, specific and genuine. I would often rephrase, or
encourage the student to repeat what they were saying to
the whole class, thus indicating how much I valued their
responses.
I felt confident and comfortable with the year seven students
and I communicated this through my smile and warm facial
expressions. Whilst my assertiveness improved, I began to
learn how to balance the authoritative tone with a friendly
tone. My tone of voice varied in each class, but I believe that
my whole way of being was different with the different age
groups. I adjusted my vernacular and manner according to
the setting. Also, in putting such effort into making the
lessons interesting and stimulating, I was showing students
that I valued them.
I found that humour and pop culture references
demonstrated to students that I was interested in their lives
and could relate to them on some level, thus making them
responsive to me. I made painstaking efforts to relate the
topics to their own lives. In order to do this, I had to
understand what this particular demographic would be
interested in. In my year nine class, for example, I decided to
use the Capitol in The Hunger Games as an example of
overt control. In this same lesson, I wanted to use filmic
examples to represent ‘ignorance is bliss’, but had to hold
back because I realised that the movies I had originally
planned were made before they were born. I did not want my
references to be outdated.
I connected well with the year seven students, particularly a
couple of bright, but easily distracted boys. When I
overheard them talking about a TV series, they did not think I
would know that they were saying; however, when I briefly
weighed in on their conversation, they warmed to me. How
would Miss Guise know that? Well, I did. I also knew that
they were not doing their work, so I redirected their attention
to their tasks. It was not so much of an effort for them to do
this once they considered me in a new light.

My willingness to help students grasp concepts was a
testament to my desire to help them embrace their learning. I
enjoyed walking around to every group to assist where I
could. It was satisfying when I could clarify something that
had previously been puzzling.
I tried to conclude my lessons by reinforcing everything we
had done and learned, sometimes with a quote and a
picture. I also liked to finish my lessons by thanking them for
their efforts. It was a genuine pleasure to teach them and I
wanted them to know it. I also wished them well as they left
the room.
Which aspects of your
teaching style do you feel
helped you maintain
class attention?
e.g. Variety of activities,
class or group
discussion, pace of
lesson, interest at class
level.

I feel that my variety and willingness to adapt my manner
and vernacular to the classroom setting assisted me in
maintaining students’ attention. Firstly, I always prepared a
PowerPoint with a combination of images and text to entice
them. Sustaining their attention was the difficult part, but I
tried to create a variety of activities to keep them occupied
and engaged.
In every class there was a combination of independent,
group and partner work as well as full classroom
discussions. I think that this variety helped me maintain
classroom attention.
I tried to incorporate examples and references that
transcended the textbook or the classroom. For example, I
referenced The Hunger Games and Harry Potter franchises
to respectively demonstrate certain concepts and make them
more relatable. I used the Panopticon prison and an
accompanying illustration to demonstrate a form of control
that related to a novel my year nine students were studying.
I knew how to speak to the different year level. It was a
challenge with the year nine students at first, as they were
not as motivated to learn in the first place, but they warmed
to me in my second lesson. I asked them to relate ideas to
their own lives. They did not have a problem telling me
anecdotes. By making it relatable, some of the concepts
were not as difficult for them to comprehend.
I think my willingness to adapt and change helped me
maintain classroom attention. I had tried and tested different
methods in my first three classes, but my activities generally
followed the same structure. By the fourth lesson, I had
reflected on my previous classes and acted on the advice of
my mentor. I did a lot less talking in this lesson, and allowed
more time for students to work and write. The pace was

different as well. While my time management was not
executed as well as I would have liked, the overall pace of
the class was not as rushed as some of my earlier lessons. I
managed to maintain their attention through the stimulating
activities that tapped into their creative faculties.
Did the students know
what was expected of
them?

I was transparent. At the beginning of my professional
experience, my mentor told me that what I am doing in a
classroom should not be a secret to the students. This is why
I always began my lessons by recapitulating what they had
recently done before outlining my learning objectives and
expectations for the lesson. As mentioned previously, I did
this using WALT (What am I learning today?) and WILT
(What am I looking for today?). They were always displayed
on my slides as I introduced the lesson and I always clarified
every point, either as I was reading them aloud, or in the
lesson. Additionally, I often reiterated these objectives and
expectations throughout the class to reinforce the lesson’s
direction and purpose.

Were you able to redirect
energies of attention
seeking students? Did
the students have
enough to do?

I was successful at redirecting attention seeking students.
I always prepared extra activities or questions for students to
complete in the event that they finished quickly. In fact, I
generally over-prepared for my classes.
Low-key strategies were effective in redirecting energies of
students. Sometimes all I needed to do was give them a
look, whereas other times I would walk up to their desk and
point to the blank page that they needed to fill in. Nine times
out of ten, if I told them to get back to their work, they would
do it. I found that ignoring some students’ remarks was the
smart thing to do. Sometimes students were so transparent
and I had to make a judgement not to take their bait.
Most of the attention seeking students could be managed. I
did find that one boy particularly challenging. He certainly
was not violent, he did not use any profanities, and he had a
positive attitude. However, he could not help himself but
involve himself in other people’s business or call out when I
was talking. I found that I could manage him by saying his
name sternly and telling him to get back to his work. On one
occasion, I was talking to a different student and heard him
trying to get my attention. Without even looking, I pointed my
finger at him to wait his turn, and there was silence. He
needed constant reminding to get back to his work.
Sometimes I reinforced that I was watching him by saying his
name and nothing else. Whilst I redirected his attention for a
moment, I found that he would return to his irritating

behaviour a few minutes later.
I previously mentioned some boys who were more interested
in their TV shows than the English lesson. Just by showing
that I understood how cool their tastes were, I helped them
to engage. After I broke down that barrier, I asked them what
they were up to and they were happy to show me their
progress. I redirected their attention to their work and
showed just as much excitement in that as their previous
discussion. I even got a high-five.

Dealing with Minor Misbehaviour
Were you aware of what
was happening in all
parts of the classroom?
Did you know what each
student was doing?

In my first class, I was not always aware of what was going on
around the room. While I was speaking, I was generally aware
when students were chatting, whispering or fidgeting. However,
there were occasions when students were supposed to be working
on their assigned activities but were discussing their weekends
instead. My mentor informed me after my first class that a couple
of girls were talking about their hair. I did not even notice.
From my second class, I made sure that I had my eyes and ears
open to the operations of the classroom. It was easy enough to get
the class to quieten down, but I needed to have eyes like a hawk
when it was time for students to work on their exercises. I
constantly walked around the room to monitor progress and
remind them to work. Students did not always realise that I could
often hear what they were saying, or that from a few metres away,
I could actually see that they were not doing their work. It was
amusing to see them suddenly become engrossed in their work
the moment that I had reached their desk.
Possessing an awareness of what is happening in all parts of the
classroom is no easy feat and I am sure that there are things that I
let slip without even realising. This will come with time and practice
I know. I discovered that I have to be vigilant at all times because,
the moment my back is turned, there will be one student who
decides to do something other than the required task.

Did you take any action
when you observed poor
behaviour? Why? Why
not?

I always took some form of action when I observed poor
behaviour. In the beginning, I tended to use my voice to express
my concerns to the student/s, but my mentor encouraged me to try
other techniques. Taking a page out of my mentor’s book, I began
to use low-key strategies. With the disruptive year seven boy, I
found that I had become more confident and assertive when
dealing with him.
I used a combination of strategies with him. Sometimes I just said
his name in a disapproving voice. Sometimes I walked to his desk
and pointed to the question that he had yet to complete. It was not
always a disparaging tone, however. I found that encouragement
can promote good behaviour. I said things to this student like: ‘I
know you can do this question. I’ve heard you discuss it with your
friends. Show me that you can answer these questions before the
ten minutes is through.’ When he was particularly disruptive, I
gave him choices: ‘do you want to mind your business and get

back to your work or do you want me to get Mrs. [mentor] to
intervene?’ He would return to his work when I brought my mentor
into it
At other times, I would gesture for him to get back to his work and
mind his own business. I recall reading out a passage to the year
seven students and I could see him giggling and whispering to
some other boys. Whilst reading the passage, I paused and
added, ‘I am watching you, [name].’ In my earlier lessons, I felt
like I was letting a few things get away from me, but I appreciated
that these problems would only compound if I allowed students to
walk all over me.
Sometimes I would say things like: ‘I’m just going to stop for a
moment because I can hear somebody talking.’ I found that I was
echoing a tone my mentor used. Without much volume, I was
assertive enough to convey that their behaviour was not
acceptable. There was a passive-aggressive element to this way
of speaking. If I am honest, I am not sure that this approach is
necessarily my style. There was an element of sarcasm in the tone
that I find rude, but I do know that it was more effective than
yelling or escalating a situation.
There was one occasion where I did not take action, but wish that I
had mentioned it to my mentor. When she was taking attendance
one morning, one boy politely and exuberantly greeted her with a
wave. He was an effeminate and flamboyant student. I saw a girl
from the opposite end of the room mock his wave and pull a face
that conveyed how stupid he looked. I saw the boy’s face fall. My
mentor was busy, so I did not interrupt the class. I made eye
contact with the girl and gave her my own look that told her that I
had seen her belittle the boy, but by the time the class was over I
had actually forgotten about it. I know that this was not a major
incident, but it was an occasion that, upon refection, I wish I had
done something. The school was a supporter of the LGBT
community. I have no idea what the boy’s sexual orientation was,
but I interpreted the girl’s gesture as unnecessarily cruel.

Did you use non-verbal
cues? e.g. Contact,
pause, gesture,
movement toward
student/s concerned.

I used most of these non-verbal cues at different times. One year
seven girl decided to make a paper bracelet whilst I was reading
the class a story. Without breaking the flow of the story, I simply
tapped my fingers lightly on her desk and shook my head to subtly
convey my disapproval, and she sat the paper down.
When some students were talking, I edged closer to them and
used my proximity as a tool to encourage them to return to their
work. The only time I made physical contact with students was
when they high-fived me for my good taste in TV shows. I
observed my teacher patting students on the back or the head to
encourage them, but I was not going to push any boundaries.
When one boy was out of line and butting into other people’s
conversations, I actually held up my index finger, whilst still looking
at the person I was discussing something with. This indicated to

the impatient student that he was interrupting and needed to wait
his turn. It actually had an effect, because he fell silent until I had
finished addressing the other student’s question.
Besides using cues for discipline, I used a limited range in my
delivery. I used the ‘thumbs-up’ signal in one lesson when
recapping some points with students. They can put their ‘thumbsup’ with me to show me they were engaging. I also raised my
finger to my lips when I wanted silence in my year seven class.
This was an effective follow-up of a verbal request and worked
hand in hand with waiting time. For example, I would say: ‘Okay
guys, pens down, eyes to the front’, and would then put my fingers
to my lips and wait. The year seven students were responsive and
I would always hear them ‘ssshhh’ each other as they quietened
down.
For my ten-week professional experience, I would like to develop
some non-verbal cues for classroom management. I observed my
mentor using one hand to silence the classroom and I think that it
will be worth my while to establish some cues to maintain a quiet
classroom without needing to say a thing.
In general, I think I need to ensure that I am always aware of the
non-verbal signals I might send. Are my words matching my body
language? Do I look bored as I try to engage my students? Does
this non-verbal cue mean the same thing to every student in here
(cultural differences)? Essentially, I need to ensure that I am not
contradicting myself in any way. I want a productive, safe and
open learning environment. My non-verbal behaviour must support
this desire.