I was a conscientious student in year 11 and 12. I studied hard, I prepared for all of the tests and spent hours revising essays. When it came to thinking about what I should study after school, teaching was definitely not seen as desirable amongst all of the many other options – doctor, lawyer, scientist… even ‘plumber’ seemed like a more challenging and rewarding option than a teacher!
Now, having spent a few years in a STEM industry and beginning to undertake teacher education I know I was very wrong. I wonder where this perception of teaching being something you ‘fall in to’ when you fail to get the marks for another course come from? Teachers literally have the responsibility of educating children – the custodians of the future!
And there’s a lot to know in order to create a positive, safe and engaging learning environment for students… that’s before learning the subject-specific curriculum. Students are very different today than they were even nine years ago when I was at school. I had the internet, sure, but I was a consumer of knowledge. 21st-Century learners are constructors of knowledge, through personal blogs, online forums, in games and on platforms such as YouTube.
This brings us to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. Even as someone approximately two months into being a ‘Pre-Service’ teacher I can see the value of this resource. Starting with ‘The Australian Professional Standards’, with nine standards as outlined in the below video:
These will be the guiding principles I use throughout my course and placements to help me connect learning to practice. I will attach the standards as tags to my journal entries/blog articles to develop my ‘road-map’ of learning.
- Know students and how they learn #knowstudents
- Know the content and how to teach it #knowcontent
- Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning #planning
- Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments #supportiveandsafe
- Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning #reporting
- Engage in professional learning #professionallearning
- Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community #engage
The learning curve has been pretty steep so far, and analysing my past to understand my ‘story’ and how it will influence the way I teach, challenging. This is especially the case with COVID-19 thrown into the mix and cancellations of our first placements.
Despite this, I am loving all that I am learning and I am excited to see what this second half of the semester brings!