According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, up to 50% of all Aussie teachers leave the profession within their first five years of teaching. Early career teacher attrition rates are an ongoing issue and some reasons for premature leaving, as stated in a document by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), include high work load, lack of support from leadership and lack of ongoing employment. What can be done? According to the same document, factors that improve teacher retention are supportive school environments, job security and adequate preparation for teaching practices and procedures. Now, the last factor is within our power to improve so let’s begin there.
We all understand the preventative measures are superior to reactive approaches. But how far can our proactiveness take us?
Continue reading “Establishing Classroom Routines”
Receiving verbal feedback from students on my teaching is a hit or miss. Helpful comments are purposeful and direct. Comments such as these have led me to adjust my instructional processes such as slowing down my pace, enlarging the font on my PowerPoints and provide more time for students to do activities etc. Though mostly, I am unable to use comments made by students as they are too vague (e.g. “I like the PowerPoint”) or simply out of my domain of control (e.g. “I don’t like this, I have to use too much of my brain”). Of course, I might be able to squeeze some more out of the students, but it is, arguably, the process of questioning that requires more immediate attention. I previously have used quick and informal questionnaires such as exit slips to assess students’ understanding of the material and I have found that it works quite well. There are many variations of exit slips so the activity itself will never be dull. I am now seeking to incorporate formal feedback tools, geared towards assessing students’ understanding of the unit as well as my evaluating my teaching approach, into my repertoire of strategies to gather student feedback.
Continue reading “Fostering Student Feedback”