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Teaching Practice: A Reflection Essay

2364 words - 10 pages

Energy, enthusiasm, patience, friendly, confidence and knowledge.
‘What are your expectations of yourself as a student teacher?’
To help the students to learn to their best ability?
To motivate and encourage each student and understand each student at their own level?
To complete the designated subjects that have been assigned to me from my cooperating teachers?
To give the students the best knowledge that I have learnt from my experience in school, college and the business world?
To engage students in the learning environment so that they are well equipped for their junior cert and leaving cert exam?

This was the question posed to the naïve student teachers.
What I wanted to ...view middle of the document...

A class gets a reputation easily by other members of staff and there may be truth about what is being said. Following advice and information given about certain students it is difficult to enter a classroom, first lesson and know that discipline will be the main issue. Between discipline and classroom management issues, I was a bundle of nerves walking into a class of twenty-five students, boys and girls. I soon learnt that to ‘establish an orderly and attractive learning environment’ a certain amount of ‘flow’ in the lesson must occur. This comes hand in hand with ‘establishing clear and fair discipline’. I asked students to be quiet, apparently they were not used to being asked to do anything in contrast to being told what to do. The first class, I got through! For the subsequent classes, students decided they wanted to discover how far the teacher could be pushed. I had my aims and objectives for the class just as the students had!

‘For effective learning the teacher manifests a helpful disposition, particularly when work is difficult to understand; promotes nice, friendly but firm relationships; encourages personal contacts with learners; and avoids shouting.’ (Morgan and Morris, 1999)

What Morgan and Morris allude to here is a lot to focus on in a lesson, without yet mentioning the actually pedagogy. I tried to get the students on board by indulging in ‘you are responsible for your own learning’ and ‘I am here to help you’ attitude. If I had removed 10% of my students this may have been an ideal situation. It didn’t take long for me to realise that a relationship has to be buildup with the students if you want this type of discipline control to work. Trying to get rhythm and flow to the class with constant interruption of telling students to be quiet, not speak out of turn and to listen to each other is taxing on the teacher and annoying to the students that want to learn. Being of a patient and friendly manner did not aid the situation. With soaring noise levels and at the end of my ideas to keep control there was only one possible result, and that was for me to shout at the main student.

‘Closer examinations of traditional discipline practices reveals that it is a recipe for conflict to get one person to control another. Effective classroom management is based on the principle that each member of the class, student and teacher, is responsible for his own control.’ (Humpreys, Tony, 1996)

I had fallen into the trap of pinpointing one student as the main problem, shouted at him, gave him the attention and he used it to his advantage. The student did not like to be shouted at, he probable felt ‘cornered’ or ‘trapped’ and he did what anybody would do- stood up for himself. By doing this he under minded my authority, laid out a string of abusive answers and basically brought the situation to another level where he was in control of the whole situation. A confrontation will only result in the other...

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