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No matter what year level of your course you are in, each Professional Experience Round provides you with opportunities to improve your competency with the assistance of, and under the watchful eyes of practising teachers. Such opportunities are not to be taken for granted, nor wasted.
Student teachers who enjoy successful rounds do so because they take a truly professional approach to their time in schools.
Consider the following:
Be prepared for your teaching round by reading and absorbing the information in your Professional Experience Handbook.
Especially know the University’s expectations for your particular teaching round and develop your own personal set of "competency objectives".
Always contact the school no later than the week prior to your practicum to confirm your starting date and the name of your supervising teacher.
As early as possible discuss with your supervising teacher his/her expectations of you with lesson planning and your role in the classroom when you are not actually teaching a planned lesson. Also seek to understand the school and classroom rules that exist and are to be implemented.
Learn the names of every child in your classroom in the first couple of days as well as their strengths, weaknesses, interests and defining traits. Identify children who regularly require assistance.
Maintain a diary, record observations & educational language, gather teaching materials, checklists, examples of students’ work and various items for your portfolio and be sensible when you write comments.
Seek and value as much feedback from your supervising teacher as you can. Be honest when evaluating your teaching. It is important for your development that you know your strengths and possible areas of weakness.
Attend scheduled yard duty, staff meetings, planning meetings and if possible seek to observe & assist specialist teachers.
Be aware that classroom teachers have demanding workloads and obligations to many other members of the school community including students, colleagues, parents, non teaching staff, the Principal and visitors before they may be available to address your concerns.
The impression you leave at the school is important. Often it is based on punctuality, dress, work ethic, language, social skills, reliability, interaction with students etc.
While principals and their individual preferences may vary they are still the best people to talk to about the DEECD’s employment processes. Seek an interview with your principal to further your knowledge and understanding of what you should do to enhance your employment prospects.