I believe that I have met the criteria of standard 4.1 Support student participation by doing the following:
- In my classroom, I use the following 4 strategies to set the scene for a safe, inclusive classroom environment for diverse groups of children, that encouraged student participation.
1. I use positive reinforcement. I am able to let students know when they were doing the right thing rather than focusing on the problem. By doing this, students are encouraged to follow the lead of students who were already doing the right thing. This strategy worked well, particularly in terms of students who struggle to stay on task often.
2. In a Year 1/2 classroom, I nurtured the development of caring and supportive relationships within the classroom and encouraged students to work together. As a class, we celebrated diversity, building a safe and supportive learning community. Within this safe space, students were able to participate, engage and explore creatively, together.
The image above depicts two students participating in a problem solving activity and working together creatively.
3. Students were encouraged to be organised and responsible for themselves, their belongings and their actions. Some students were supported more than others, helping guide students through the steps of morning organisation. In this way, all students were able to participate and establish a strong sense of belonging.
4. Students became familiar with the term persistence. I held a growth mind-set and encouraged students to do the same (Dweck, 2006). Sometimes, students needed encouragement to take chances. I supported risk taking in the classroom. Students were encouraged to participate in their learning and development by trying new things, reflecting on and becoming aware of their own learning and gaining independence.
The link above will take you to a clip showing a growth vs fixed mind-set. I believe strongly in supporting students to believe in themselves and strive for excellence. By supporting students in such a way, I am able to encourage full participation and commitment to growth within each individual.
Excerpts From Professional Experience Reports 2012/2013:
“Heidi Reinforced positive behaviour and delivered her desired outcomes in a quiet but firm manner which students quickly responded to. She rewarded positive work habits and behaviour as it occurred which had immediate impact and often had a ripple effect. She gave the students structure for each lesson which supported positive outcomes. Careful planning gave all students a safe environment that supported their wellbeing, self-esteem and encouraged independence”. Year four mentor teacher, 2012
“Heidi is confident in this area. Heidi has developed her relationships with the children and supports them to settle and produce work of a good standard. She is also flexible in her planning and the execution of her lessons. She has been responsible for the class when I have been away and used the relief teacher as a support. Both the parents and children are able to speak with her”. Foundation mentor teacher, 2013
Comments from Deputy Principals – Behaviour Management
“I found Heidi had a firm but fair approach in managing the behaviour of the students and was aware of any students that were off task. She recognised them all as individuals.” (2013)
“Heidi’s positive relationships with students enabled her to manage complex students and enhance her understanding of childhood development. This supported her to deal with behaviour management successfully”. (2012)
Where to Next?
I am committed to developing my understanding of strategies that promote student participation. In order to ensure that even the most hesitant of learners contribute to the learning community, I must develop ways in which all students are included. In terms of students with special needs, I am aware that I need to expand my understanding of strategies that encourage full participation. I will observe teachers and ask questions regarding techniques that work well in their classrooms and seek specific professional development opportunities that will assist in my growth in this area, in-turn supporting all students within my class. I could access professional development opportunities through organisations such as SPELD.