Thursday, 26 September 2013

Andrew Fisher: Words from a New Teacher

Karyn’s Introduction:

Beginning your teaching career is always challenging. That first year of teaching is a blur of peaks and troughs, of experiencing the highs when a students gets something and the lows of realising just how much you have to learn, when you might have thought the hard learning was all over with your training.

Andrew joined us this term- the third term of our third year- as a beginning teacher. 

He has been working in a multi level Year 5-10 area with four-five other teachers spread across two adjoining learning spaces. These are his reflections so far.

Is what we are doing here really helping them to be future learners and bring them into a new and unknown future? 

This is really new to me and as a newbie to this school and this style of learning it is still a really big learning curve with the constant use of technology in the school and the idea of learning spaces not classes. This is quite challenging and I personally feel that is broadening my horizons as well as opening the learners to new possibilities that were previously unavailable to them.

Whereas I have been brought up and trained in the old system where classes were separated from other classes and we all stayed in our own space and there really was no real learning interaction between groups and classes in a school, let alone by multiple year groups.  This separation really does need to change and it is heartening to see that some are trying and blazing that path to new school structures and being inventive and finding new ways to have the students take responsibility for their own learning and really own it.

Even as the systems are changing the teachers colleges are not wholeheartedly adopting or even teaching this as an alternative to the classic approach to learning. We need to be more flexible in our thinking and in the ways that we are working with and relating to the students in our classes. I really feel that a traditional teachers college learning environment with the lessons at Normal and Model schools don’t prepare you for a school that is more innovative and really embracing the new standards in learning.  

Admittedly after leaving an environment such as that and coming into a school you will never feel that it has prepared you at all completely or sometimes at all. It really does not prepare you at all for the schools that are different and follow a more progressive or alternative path that is open to new ideas and trying new and different ways of working with children as learners. As they are looking at  “old school” some schools are really reaching forward with new philosophies and “new school” thinking this needs to be part of what we are learning as new teachers coming from our “higher education system”.

As always there are questions we need to consider when moving forward and looking at different ways of student learning that need to be embraced by our “higher education system”, like:
  • How is school changing? 
  • What are the challenges going to be when we are adopting to these new kinds of learning?
  • What are the benefits of this learning to the students? What does it mean for their learning and futures?

These are questions I hope to begin to understand as I carry on with my journey here but will probably never fully answer.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post Andrew. I have thought for a while now that trainee teachers don't spend enough time in schools. Every student and every school is different, and nothing can beat hands on experience. Its ironic that we are preparing students for the future, but in many cases, neglecting to prepare future teachers.