We asked 6 of our presenters, what they believe are the most important elements for improving student outcomes. In the second part of this blog post, we here from our other 3 interviewees, all experienced classroom teachers and TTA presenters:
Stage 6 teacher, Government and Independent schools in Modern, Ancient and Extension History. Senior marker for the NSW HSC, Member of the Independent Schools Examination Committee. Highly regarded author of History texts and Study Guides Australia wide.
In Stage 6, what has always worked for me is to focus on general planning and organisation.
For example, map out every lesson of the year. Start by knowing exactly how many lessons you have in a year, the topics, number of lessons per topic, how many lessons will be personal research, how many will be video and so on.
You can also be spontaneous; but being anal about planning means that you can ensure variety in your teaching – and that helps kids.
And talk to people – share ideas…you will pick up great ideas – sometimes quite simple ones.
Mathematics Consultant, K-8, across Australia and the USA. Secondary teacher. Lecturer The University of Sydney.
For maths, the starting point is improving teachers’ knowledge of the content.
Student’s results will naturally improve if teachers better understand how the curriculum fits together across the years, because in any classroom students will span.
This is particularly evident in the middle years, where it is common for children’s learning to regress or appear that way, for example, with fractions and algebra. In some Year 7 classrooms, only ½ the class will be learning at a Year 7 level.
Student outcomes could be improved if primary teachers had a better understanding of where students are coming from and going to – for example a year 5 teacher needs to know Year 3 and 4 content, as well as the content for Years 5,6 and 7. Student outcomes would also be improved if secondary teachers had a better understanding of the Stage 2 and 3 curriculum.
Principal and teacher at Williamstown High School, Victoria. Teacher of history, social education and English Years 7 – 12. Widely published author in the area of The Inquiry Classroom. Experience teaching across Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and USA from Year 3 to university level.
- Understand individual learning goals for students
- Have a never-ending focus on growth; not merely completing tasks
- Ensure opportunities for students to discuss and throw out new ideas, to make mistakes and to take risks with learning in order to refine their ideas. Mistakes are really good. They are gateways to learning and growth if followed by reflection.
- Provide opportunities for students to reflect and synthesise new material, so they connect prior knowledge with new understandings
TTA offers ver 300 fully accredited, high quality practical professional development courses for teachers, delivered by over 200 experienced presenters across Australia via face to face or online. www.tta.edu.au