The five artefacts that I have included in this portfolio help to showcase the ways in which I have grown as a teacher over the course of studying my Bachelor of Teaching in Secondary Education at UTS. I have chosen these five artefacts because they demonstrate the effectiveness of student-centred learning in a variety of different situations. They show how the ways that different teaching approaches can be used in the classroom to provide meaningful and authentic tasks that genuinely engage students. They show how teaching is a profession that thrives on community and collaboration. They also demonstrate the importance of actively promoting literacy in the science classroom.
I believe that teachers need to have both content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge; that is, they both know their content and know how to teach that content to their students. After all, teaching is at its heart all about the students. Our students need to be able to take ownership of their learning once they leave our classroom and so our job as teachers is to provide them with situations that allow them to do so, ensuring that it is in a way that is authentic and meaningful to them.
In order to make this happen, I believe that a teacher needs to be like a builder. Builders have a tool for almost every job, although some tools are more fitting for certain tasks and not every tool can work in every situation. A teacher, like an experienced builder, needs to know what tool will work best in a variety of different situations. Teaching the same way in every lesson is unlikely to give students the best opportunity to learn and grow, so teachers need to be able to use a variety of different approaches depending on what will work best for their individual students. Accordingly, I believe that teachers need to be lifelong learners, continually reflecting on our practice and adapting in order to help our students learn in the best way possible.
Below is a brief summary of each artefact.
“Whiteboarding” is an artefact from my first practicum that shows how I gave the students a new approach to group work called “whiteboarding”, in order to more effectively reach students from a non-English speaking background (NESB).
Google Maps challenge demonstrates how I have incorporated the student-centred use of information and communication technologies (ICT) into my lessons with mixed success. I went out on a limb and I saw how engaged the students could be, but I also saw how crucial it is to thoroughly plan and anticipate problems that may arise.
TeachMeet shows how I have made efforts to participate in the professional community. It also shows how vital it is for us as teachers to collaborate, share new ideas and support one another.
Separating Mixtures cloze activity discusses the importance of developing scientific literacy whilst ensuring that the tasks have been adequately planned and given enough time in the lesson to be successful.
Games-Based Learning demonstrates that it is possible for a whole school to move towards more student-centred learning. It also shows how to effectively manage change at the school level by involving staff throughout the process and ensuring frequent opportunities to give feedback.