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Planning

The first professional experience as part of this degree was undertaken at Kingswood College in Box Hill and represented the first time that I would be in front of a student class in a teaching role.  The initial activity took a high degree of planning from the time that I understood I would be completing this activity up until the time that I stood in front of a class.

To better understand the process, I mapped out the planning and actions for the Professional Placement, which also represented the typical activities for undertaking a new job in any other business like organisation.  The activities outlined in Figure 1 which is included in the artefacts attached, commence with the setting of the task and initial instructions from the teacher at Swinburne and the assignment at the college.  The discussions continued with the supervision and the placement details were provided.

I immediately researched the school to understand the policies and learned about what it was like to teach at Kinsgwood College.  The online research enabled me to understand the curriculum and the courses in business management which is my area.  I also took the opportunity to read the Code of Ethics and Confidentiality policies in accordance with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

I then met with the teachers at the school to gain more specific information regarding the placement and the subject matter, where the class was up to in their learning processes and getting to know my mentor, Sula Tyndall.

 

During this experience, I also learned that the planning activity is vital for teaching as it provides the structure of the expected lesson and retains focus on the lesson outcomes expected.  The plan does provide some flexibility in terms of distractions and I was able to consider different audiences that the plan was for, why the planning was import and and what activities.  This has been captured in Figure 1 which is a type of mind map to demonstrate my initial feelings and thoughts.

Figure 1 – Mindmap of the planning process

The planning process combines all aspects of the teaching and learning process in order to be more effective at implementing and monitoring students progress.  It’s the sequence of events that the teacher relies upon to facilitate learning activities, providing resources and when to be able to ask leading questions versus making students come up with their own.

The planning of my first lesson was hectic and daunting, with some uncertainty about what I would be able to do.  I was able to have some discussions at first with my mentor who gave me some material to get started and then I set about creating a process to plan for the lesson.  Figure 2 illustrates a flow chart that was followed and is based on various material as described by Churchill et al. (2013).  A lesson plan template was also provided by Swinburne which help to give a more strategic approach.

The lesson plan became a living document and provided the needed structure for me to be able to continue.  As each part of the process was completed, more of the document was finished and each new part was an opportunity to revisit the document.  While the process seemed clear, the experience was overwhelming at times and my confidence in my abilities also waned.  During this time, I was able to turn to my mentor for assistance and guidance and I was also able to speak with the teachers at Swinburne.

Howell (2013) describes that facilitating collaboration on ICT is rewarding and is a useful tool to engage the students where they are able to find the path themselves.  It is also more rewarding when students are motivated to participate and engage with each other and teachers in the learning process.  Based on the learning style to be implemented and the strategies to be employed, a further mindmap was developed to enable the planning to achieve the outcome and knowledge that the students needed to gain and this is included in Figure 3 below.

Figure 3 – Planning and Selecting strategies

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