EDFX110 Visit 3 Friday 27th March 2009 Yr 4 class School context From my observations and visits to date, I see that the culture of the school has most of its energy focused on the curriculum and outcomes. Most teachers appeared to be concerned with getting through all the activities set out in the curriculum. The children were constantly reminded of the work they had to be doing and the work that was yet to be done. Teachers & their work I spoke to the teacher and asked her how she saw teaching and her role in it. She replied that teaching was a very challenging yet satisfying job because there was a lot of preparation and work involved but being able to help children, pass on knowledge gave her a good feeling at the end of the day. She believed her role was one of a nurturing one like seeing the children as plants that needed to cared and looked after in order for it to grow. What she considers most important is the learning and the developmental needs of the child as she believes that by focusing on the needs of the child in terms of learning and development would empower them to do anything and succeed. I really admired this teacher as the class was just boys (it is a co-ed school but in this year level there was not enough girls). Despite boys being very mischievous, she managed to embrace this characteristic evident in most boys allowing them to be themselves yet teaching them the necessity of order and discipline. She would be firm at times and yet speaking to them as though she was one of their friends. I think that the teacher’s ability to come to their level enabled her to be trusted by the boys and allow her to order them and teach them. Who is in? What the child experiences in a classroom are related to the types of attention they receive. The type of attention children receive from the teacher differs from child to child. There are a variety of ways teachers interact with students during lesson: - Asking questions Praising Reminding to pay attention Reprimanding Not waiting for child to answer question Observing the patterns of teacher and student interaction during the day From my visit in the school, I saw that not all children receive equal attention from the teacher. It appeared that all children in this classroom were treated quite fairly, there were no students who received more favourable attention over the other. All the children did not participate equally as some children were more confident and vocal than others. To overcome this I noticed that the teacher would request certain children to respond to a question even though there would already be students willing to answer the question. The nature of the children’s participation was not the same. Some children participated to get attention from the teacher and his peers. Some children genuinely wanted to give an answer. Some children did not even participate at all and were clearly distracted. What might explain the differences in the students’ participation could be their self-esteem, confidence level; whether they are encouraged or given the opportunity to voice their opinion or participate in conversations at home; whether they feel their contribution would be accepted or validated. Question for the week: How is a balance struck between: 1. The curriculum & outcomes; 2. Teaching & classroom mgt; 3. Learning & the developmental needs of the child? Understanding and knowledge of children’s lifeworlds is vital to better direct your attention and resources as a teacher whose goal is to empower children with the necessary tools and skills to play a part in designing their lifeworlds in the future. To assist in this area, a combination of using the curriculum and classroom management would be necessary. The curriculum would provide activities that would be a vehicle to build a child’s skills and classroom management would be required to create a suitable and appropriate environment to encourage the children to reach high performance and gain motivation in completing the activities. The ability to communicate the importance of discipline would enable students to start thinking and concentrating on their task. I believe communicating to children the goal we, as teachers, are trying to achieve in them would enable them to take responsibility of their learning.