Monday, September 10, 2012

Welcome to My Teaching World

Sign in Casey Grammar School library with a little personalised editing

At first it seemed like just more work.
But o how exciting to break the habit of the paper tome!
There must be a way to enhance, to energise the annual appraisal presentation.
E-folios seem to be the trend.
But few have all the gadgetry for links and files and pages that would be desirable.
None could offer a record of annual appraisal variations and keep a database of those changes.
There had to be a way.
So here I am trialling a two way connection.
Pamela Adams - Teacher Portfolio is my base connection hosting my resume, my schools and my activities at those schools.
It is the constant with bricks added when needed.
But this blog represents the "reflection" element of my appraisal process, with links to my creative activity on other websites.
The blog is the variable with regular diversions.
We'll see if this arrangement stands the test of time.
(But I still have some hard copy responses for my 2012 appraisal - just to be safe for now)

Overview: A positive teaching/learning environment must be founded on teacher enthusiasm. High quality classroom teaching skills must be equally founded in a secure knowledge of the topic AND a willingness to adapt the “language” of the topic to the level of the student – at least initially. In short, a well-prepared unit of work is only effective if it “connects” at the student’s level. Without this “grounding point”, students cannot be expected to reach their full potential; students need initial confidence in their own ability to achieve. . Believing that ALL students have the potential to achieve MUST be a basic teaching value.

 Personal Values: My own particular personal values are reflected in my lesson aims. As a teacher, I aim for students to enjoy a positive learning experience. More importantly, I hope the experience is relevant and worthwhile enough for each student to find spiritual growth; to apply that experience to life itself. I aim to develop a natural curiosity in all students to learn of world societies and cultures and literatures. In short, I dare to hope there is something in these lessons that enhances each student’s appreciation of, and desire for, a “quality” lifestyle.

My view of assessment has changed over the years.
Once I valued assessment as an end of unit or semester measure of performance.
Subconsciously I valued it as a guide to content and explanation and individual attention to students without formal record.
Now my records include:
*formal assessment - comparative across the year level
*individual assessment - e.g. past years of NAPLAN on SREAMS, verbal responses, quality and relevance of current homework.
*comments on students application to work in class
All this is particularly easy in the application of OneNote
I am still exploring ways in OneNote to streamline this kind of record so it's available to future teachers of each student in my class.

Reflection - JOURNEY AHEAD
I am currently looking at new ways to manage the operation of my classes.
Edmodo - review and screen shot 5th September 2012 - is a social network for teachers, students and parents + communities sharing subject and inter-curricular resources.
For now, I am considering using this for solving a problem with my Year 10 English class.
Many in this class are absent on their Outdoor Education and /or sport commitments.
One student attends an external training facility two days a week.
The problem is keeping all students equally up to date with class activities.
So far,  gmail connections with all students has been quite useful.
But I wanted more.
Can Edmodo provide some interaction among the students - sharing ideas + a better platform for marking homework and assessments online than Moodle?
More to come!

ImageChef Word Mosaic -
Created with Image Chef' Word Mosaic

Explore and create
Connect with old and new times
Keep wonder alive

To teach is to keep learning

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