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QTS AO Route. My response for TS1. Kindly suggest/guide

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by mayurbuddy, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. mayurbuddy

    mayurbuddy New commenter

    My original post is here:

    https://community.tes.com/threads/q...evidence-tlf-your-suggestions-opinion.779146/

    Finally here is my response for TS1 (AO route to QTS). Kindly go through it at your convenience and let me know what you think. I have tried to use the teaching standard to structure my response.



    Just as I would nurture a plant, at the beginning of each academic year, I aim to create the most appropriate conditions & provide a safe environment for my learners to flourish. My objective is to ensure that the pupils explore and achieve their fullest potential. And I do take pride in the fact that most of my students like Chemistry as a subject and me as their Chemistry teacher. I always conduct a Subject Induction at the beginning of each academic year. This includes: An introduction to Chemistry as a subject and why it is the most important subject, a short inspiring/motivational video, me acknowledging and addressing their greatest fear and need – English as a second language, a few non-negotiables for classroom behaviour & participation, what is expected from them as students in and out of class, what they should expect from themselves, the attitude they should develop (on a personal and academic front), etc – all of which is a part of their classroom and day-to-day environment.





    English is a second language for all of my students and although they have learnt the language from primary school, they have never really implemented or used it for academic purposes. And it is for this reason that they are either shy/reluctant/nervous/uncomfortable/afraid/passive to speak/express themselves in English. This is when I say “I know that English is not your first language and that you find it difficult to understand and express yourself in English. All I expect from you is that you try. I do not care (at the moment) whether you are right or wrong, or whether your pronunciation is not upto the mark or whether you can only spell a word but don’t know how to pronounce it or whether your sentence is incorrect/incomplete or grammatically incorrect. All that matters to me at this point of time is that you tried.” And it is at this very moment that I speak a sentence or two in Chinese that is incorrect (intentionally). They soon realize that as I am struggling with my Chinese but yet trying, it is okay to be wrong. This encourages them to try and ensures that they are comfortable/not nervous while discussing/talking/replying either to me or among themselves in English. This tactic works wonders and classroom participation improves drastically almost instantly. So now when I ask for the chemical name of NaCl/Al2O3, I will get a lot of answers. Also, I have found that students are usually discouraged from participation or replying when they are wrong. So when I am brainstorming an idea or when I have asked a close-ended question, and if they answer it incorrectly, I would rather say “Not Really” or “Not exactly” or “Its partially correct” or “you are half way there.” This gives them a sense that it was worth trying. I remember, when I asked “For which element doest the symbol K stand for?” and one of the pupils replied “King.” It was hilarious and we all laughed at that moment. A moment later, I took this opportunity to explain that they should not laugh at/embarrass/unknowingly insult their friend/classmate for incorrect answers/funny pronunciations/for not understanding the questions. We can enjoy the humour to lighten the mood but the laughter should not be directed at one pupil for you should treat others only the way you would like others to treat you – with respect. This in my opinion is developing their character as a individual. This gives them the confidence and courage to speak their mind or express their opinion without the fear of being judged either by me or their peers. Chemistry also includes a considerable amount of laboratory work and all the pupils are explained general safety hazards and precautions along with specific guidelines for some experiment. For the 3rd or 4th visit, I would ask them to begin the experiments as soon as possible because we do not have enough time. This is when many of the students will forget wear the labcoat and put on the safety googles while some would do so as a habit they developed in a very short time. This is when I will know that actual learning took place. And I would reinforce the safety guidelines once again for the remainder of the students.






    I have also found that for some learners, a mere personal touch during their learning process helps to improve their performance. Last year I had 2 pupils with short attention span. I call Harry my ‘best friend’ and Bill my ‘good friend.’ So while discussing/brainstorming/reviewing a topic, when they aren’t paying attention or nor listening, I would redirect a question to them by saying, “yes my good friend, what ……….” Or “My best friend will answer this question …….” This always makes them attentive and puts them back on track. I have found this to be more effective for making them attentive and active in class. Two- three weeks after the beginning of the new academic year, I would make WAGs for each of the students wherein the learner would define their short-term (15 days) and long-term (mid-term, terminal and final exams) goals. These goals are defined by the pupils and I might guide them/give suggestions. These WAGs are continuously reviewed and updated collectively by me, my co-teacher and the pupil. Short-term goals include academic vocabulary, practice worksheets, clear pronunciation of a few key words, etc while long-term goals include what they want to achieve on the academic front and personal front. I have a section of the learning wall dedicated for chemistry. Pupils post their learning of the week – which acts as a review/self-evaluation. I have introduced a “challenger” concept wherein, if a student is confident of his/her learning, he/she can challenge other students (and even teachers) to ask him/her any question in regards to the topic they feel confident about. Students are encouraged to post what they did not understand/any questions they have from any of the previous classes. They have the option to be anonymous if they want to be. Not only does this enable me to assess their learning but it also tells me which of the learning objectives I was not able to accomplish and to what extent. I will post a HOTS question either weekly/bi-weekly/after the completion of a topic. This is a challenging question which really demands not only their understanding and application of the knowledge they acquired but also their out-of-the-box thinking. The question challenges their comprehension, reasoning and logic. They can solve the question either in groups or individually and what motivates them to solve it is the reward of 1 mark towards their mid-term/terminal exams!!! When it comes to catering differentiation among learners, it is never enough as to what I can do to cater differentiation. I use differentiated worksheets where possible, peer-to-peer learning, give the personal touch, more classroom participation from students with a short attention span, etc. I know that there is always something extra that I can do to enable the pupil explore his/her potential further. The class gradebook is not only a formal record of their performance, but it also enables both - me and pupil to see to what extent we have achieved our goals as set in the WAGs. The learners also get an opportunity to be realistic and amend their WAGs. Every year, a few students either have consistently managed to achieve their goals while others are showing a slow and steady progress on their learning curve and this is how the pupils realize the challenges they face ahead.




    During class, I persistently insist that you fail only when you stop trying. Within a short time after the beginning of the new academic year, they are willing to run the extra mile because they know what to expect from themselves. But at the same time, I take extreme care to ensure that the learner does not feel pressurized. I also ensure that he/she does not compromise on the time they spend on extra-curriculars/hobbies. Because it’s a holistic development that I aim for rather than just an academic one. An act/behaviour is better learned by the pupils when practiced (by me) rather than just being told. Punctuality is the one of the most important personal/professional traits. How can I expect the students to be on time in class after their break or to submit their work on time if I am not doing either of them? As a result, I am always very determined to be on time in class. Also, while conversing with me in English they tend to make mistakes – in terms of pronunciation, grammar or structure of the sentence/word. I do correct them, but after they have finished and sometimes even after I have replied to their question. I always make sure that when I correct them, they feel that they learned something (a sense of achievement) and not insulted/embarrassed. I believe that reinforcing appropriate classroom behaviour by getting angry on the pupils isn’t the right way for them to learn character/behaviour. I ensure that all students understand the non-negotiables for classroom behaviour – To pay attention during the class, Always keep your notebook handy, Avoid eating during the class, Use of cellphones and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited unless told otherwise, Refrain from insulting comments and physical/verbal abuse of your peers/classmates throughout the entire year and its okay if you cannot do the homework, as long as you tried. As and when an incident happens violating the non-negotiables, depending on the issue – either an incident report is made or he/she is given a reminder; hence reinforcing behavioural expectations. Also, as teenager care about their image/reputation more than anything, I always deal with the serious issues on a personal face to face basis rather than at that particular moment (in the presence of their classmates).
     

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