Being new to the Teaching Profession, I sometimes wonder how effective I am as a Practitioner? I am only in school two full days a week and I often wonder how? If at all, am I impacting on students’ learning of science?
When I arrived to school this morning, Student A walked up to me in the playground. “Good morning Mrs McKenzie!” he says cheerfully. After a brief exchange of greetings, Student A enthusiastically told me that he had written a poem for me about science. Curious, I asked what it was about? (The previous day I had done a diagnostic science activity with my students and asked them to draw me a picture and to write a story about “What happens to puddles on the ground? Where does it come from?” This activity was going to give me a snapshot of the students’ understanding and knowledge of The Water Cycle). With eyes beaming, Student A said that it was about “Puddles.” Naturally, I smiled (my heart was also bursting!) and commended him on using his initiative to extend his learning and for being an awesome learner! I told him how excited I was about reading it.
Before the start of the school day, I was also talking to a couple of teacher colleagues in my Whanau (syndicate) group. Feedback about the students was that they were enthusiastic, loving science and enjoyed having me at school teaching the students science. The students are motivated, interested and did not need to be reminded to come to class. By observation I have found that students are beginning to embrace the Nature of Science. They are becoming more curious about their learning, about the world around them, asking more questions and gaining confidence when contributing. My colleagues have asked if I could remain teaching their students next term even though I am timetabled to teach in another level of the school.
Students have been coming to class with science books that they have chosen from the school library. Other students have beamed about how they have persuaded their parents to order scientific books from schoolbook orders. Student B cried in class one day because he didn’t want to leave science class to attend his writing session (just to clarify, I think all subjects in the curriculum are as equally as important as each other). I gave Student B the choice to stay or go to writing and he chose to stay in science. One happy boy! Students are getting to know me and I am continuing to develop building professional student/teacher relationships.
I have so much more learning to do in this Program!
Every day I am given opportunities in which to learn and reflect on my Practice, BUT I’m going to take the small victories that come my way. Despite doing so many things wrong (believe me, I have made plenty of mistakes and I have learned that it’s okay to be fallible), I must also be doing something right? I’m going to keep being passionate, creating interest and making connections. I also believe that establishing effective relationships within the school environment and community is crucial to making positive connections.
In closing, I will finish with what my university Lecturer left us with last Monday… “What ever you do, do it with passion! Teaching science is no different.”
Passion will just radiate more passion. If you love what you do, do it well!