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Help! Improving my teaching practice.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jameswalker12, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

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    I am a new teacher (KS1) and I have identified some
    areas in my teaching practice which I would like to improve. However, I really
    need help from experienced professionals to help me do this. I ask people at
    school and they are fantastic but I feel you can never ask too many people for
    help and advice. The areas I have identified are as follows (please feel free
    to comment on techniques to help me improve in these areas:





    <ol start="1"><li class="MsoNormal"><u>Pace</u> - I feel
    that I sometimes rush through concepts and move on too quicky<li class="MsoNormal"><u>Making silly mistakes
    with the IWB</u>
    - I try to use the smartboard a lot to make the
    lessons very visual for the children but I always do silly things like try
    to write on the board while I have the rubber in my hand (which doesn't
    work <img alt="Embarrassed" width="19" height="19" />) and then the children
    laugh at me (in a nice way) but this still undermines me.<li class="MsoNormal"><u>Explaining tasks</u>
    - this is difficult for me to explain what to do to five groups without
    all the others getting board and not listening. What is a good way to
    manage this and check that the children have all understood before you let
    them go off to work?<li class="MsoNormal"><u>Confidence</u> -
    I think this is the biggest area for me not only in my job but in my life
    also! I do struggle with my confidence and I need to be more confident. I
    know I am good with the children and I want to become a great teacher but
    I constantly 'throw myself on my sword' and attack myself when something
    doesn't workout. Another problem is when being observed; I don't interact
    as well with the children as I normally do and I think it is because I am
    struggling in this area.</ol>

    Don't get me wrong, I won't let these things stop me from becoming a good
    teacher (and some people say that I am already good) but it's knowing myself
    that I need to improve these areas before I feel completely confident. For
    example, I have been playing rugby for about 15 years and I feel totally
    confident to do demonstrations and play infront of hundreds of people and this
    doesn't phase me one bit and, without being big headed, I think this is because
    I know I am good at the sport. However, I need to know this in relation to
    teaching also.





    Please feel free to fire away and help me in these areas.





    Cheers,
     
  2. Hi all,

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    I am a new teacher (KS1) and I have identified some
    areas in my teaching practice which I would like to improve. However, I really
    need help from experienced professionals to help me do this. I ask people at
    school and they are fantastic but I feel you can never ask too many people for
    help and advice. The areas I have identified are as follows (please feel free
    to comment on techniques to help me improve in these areas:





    <ol start="1"><li class="MsoNormal"><u>Pace</u> - I feel
    that I sometimes rush through concepts and move on too quicky<li class="MsoNormal"><u>Making silly mistakes
    with the IWB</u>
    - I try to use the smartboard a lot to make the
    lessons very visual for the children but I always do silly things like try
    to write on the board while I have the rubber in my hand (which doesn't
    work <img alt="Embarrassed" width="19" height="19" />) and then the children
    laugh at me (in a nice way) but this still undermines me.<li class="MsoNormal"><u>Explaining tasks</u>
    - this is difficult for me to explain what to do to five groups without
    all the others getting board and not listening. What is a good way to
    manage this and check that the children have all understood before you let
    them go off to work?<li class="MsoNormal"><u>Confidence</u> -
    I think this is the biggest area for me not only in my job but in my life
    also! I do struggle with my confidence and I need to be more confident. I
    know I am good with the children and I want to become a great teacher but
    I constantly 'throw myself on my sword' and attack myself when something
    doesn't workout. Another problem is when being observed; I don't interact
    as well with the children as I normally do and I think it is because I am
    struggling in this area.</ol>

    Don't get me wrong, I won't let these things stop me from becoming a good
    teacher (and some people say that I am already good) but it's knowing myself
    that I need to improve these areas before I feel completely confident. For
    example, I have been playing rugby for about 15 years and I feel totally
    confident to do demonstrations and play infront of hundreds of people and this
    doesn't phase me one bit and, without being big headed, I think this is because
    I know I am good at the sport. However, I need to know this in relation to
    teaching also.





    Please feel free to fire away and help me in these areas.





    Cheers,
     
  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Perhaps you could start with learning the difference between phase and faze and bored and board?
     
  4. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Sounds like lack of confidence is the root of the three 'problems' listed above. Get a supportive colleague to observe you if only for 15 minutes and give you some feedback.
    Don't worry about the whiteboard mistakes, just don't let the children see that it bothers you, laugh it off.
     
  5. kym131218

    kym131218 New commenter

    Hi I am a new teacher and I always make silky mistakes with the board and I just say oops silly me and laugh it off. With regards to planning maybe u are doing too much in one go. MinImize your planning so u cN get one thing covered at a time, with regards to explaining to 5 groups. Ask your ta to explain to the group they work with, out instructions on the board ready or ask children to go and figure out what they need to do. They lime this. Thnchevk their understanding when you have your other groups underway. Being observed is gard and I fall to pieces. I am observed now by someone who I have made a good friend from and feel so laid back. As for the head observing me..... Well I'm sure my nerves will settle as time passes. X
     
  6. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I agree entirely.
     

  7. Thanks everyone!
    Harsh-but-fair, are you serious? Who cares about a few typos on an Internet forum? LOL, I love smug and self - satisfied sticklers. [​IMG]
     
  8. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    But they're not typos.

    Could it be that you are this dismissive of all advice you don't want to hear?
     
  9. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren New commenter

    Be nice, HbF - he did say he would welcome any advice in the areas he listed.
     
  10. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren New commenter

    Hi James. Sorry to hear you're going through a rough patch. I'm not a terribly experienced teacher, but I'll see what I can do.
    </ol>OK - is that actually really true? It could be that this is just a feeling you get from being nervous - sometimes our own assessment of our lessons is skewed. But if you have real reason to think that's so - like an observation, or the children regularly showing they haven't absorbed the comments - then it is an area to work on. How about adding a brief section to your lesson plan where you can check the children's understanding? Maybe, before you set them to work, ask them to explain to you what they are going to do, step by step? You could reinforce this with learning targets - say, a diagram of the things they're going to do, or numbered bullet points/drawings. And then there are tests you can do to make sure they understand the actual concepts themselves.
    </ol>Perhaps you could make a list of the mistakes you commonly make and then take half an hour after school to deliberately practice doing things the right way? Some careful rehearsal might help here.
    </ol>Hmmm - this is just a thought, but how about making it into a game? Draw a table on the board for the five groups and explain the tasks to them (using a pre-prepared diagram to show - could simply be 5 circles with a few key words and symbols in each one). Then quiz them on their understanding of it - 2 points if they get it right, and one point to anyone else who can correct them if they get it wrong.
    For example: "So, group 1, how many sentences do you have to write? 5? That's right, 2 points for you. Group 3, how many sentences do you have to write?" (no need to do it 1-2-3-4-5, keep them on their toes, just so long as they all get covered). "4 sentences? No, I'm sorry. Anybody else? Yes? 3? Yes, that's right, 1 point for you." Deduct a point from a team for squirming or not listening, add points if necessary for good listening, and give a small prize to the winning team.
    I hope that was all clear!
    Oh, and by the way - if you have a TA you could have her explain the tasks to 2 groups while you explain to the other 3.

    </ol> Fair enough - I understand just how you feel!
    Perhaps this quote from Thomas Carlyle will help: http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/Outline_of_Great_Books_Volume_I/thomascar_caj.html
    Start at "Full of such humour..." - if you get past the melodramatic Victorian language, I find it quite inspiring! What I take from it is that we should see life's problems as a game to be attacked and won - in your case, that might be the tendency to put yourself down, and to be afraid of the disapproval of the observer. To hell with the observer! Who is he to criticise you! Do your best, and show him what's what! Imagine you're in a game of rugby - put your head down and run, and plough through anything in your way.
    Good for you, James! I'm sure with that kind of attitude you'll overcome these little obstacles and go far. Good luck!
     

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