C. have knowledge of the relevant curriculum documents of Aotearoa
Ka Hikitia and Tataiako:
- I have been able to infuse Te Reo throughout lessons and class instruction - Kapai, Ka kite, Haere mai, singing waiata such as: Tutira Mai, and studying Matariki (Maori New Year) because I know it is important to include language, culture and identity in learning.
- Demonstrating Ako through conversations with students - emphasising that Teacher's don't know everything and we are constantly learning too.
- Demonstrating high expectations - pushing students to achieve their work, but in a way that benefits them and is character building (not allowing them to just give up sometimes).
(Ka Hikitia and NZ Curriculum requirement).
- Being culturally sensitive and more thoughtful when having conversations with students - intentionally asking them about their culture and what they know about it etc. (Ka Hikitia and Pasifika Education Plan).
Pasifika Education Plan:
- It was Samoan language week this week, so including Samoan language in the classroom was a powerful way of being inclusive of cultures, and also allowed those who were Samoan to be the experts in the class. A mum came in at the end of the week, and she was Samoan, and she could help the kids with their Samoan too (my AT saw her walk in and invited her to help). Matariki is coming up, and I would love to include this in the class room and be more inclusive of Maori language during the next few weeks.
- After studying Maori and Pasifika education, and coming to understand the important role of whanau for these students, I made sure that I introduced myself to the parents that I crossed paths with this week (normally I would've been a lot more nervous or withdrawn from these conversations). And I could tell that they appreciated this, and I found that I was able to learn so much more about the child in my class, just from talking to their parents.
"She maintained high expectations of the learners throughout the placement and we had much discussion about students working in their ZPD (Zone of proximal development)."
- Laura Nalder, Pt England School
D. have content and pedagogical content knowledge for supporting English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners to succeed in the curriculum.
I observed that an EAL student in my class was competent with his Maths compared to the rest of the group he was in, however struggled with the English side, and even struggled during Guided teaching when I was explaining the strategy to the group. He zoomed through the Equations worksheet but as soon as the questions involved more English he really struggled. This was an opportunity to get alongside him and help him with his English by explaining the question. I allowed him to skip a few questions and go back to answering the equation questions, which allowed him to both struggle (with the English) but also feel a sense of achievement (answering the equation questions).
When I next took that group for Guided Teaching in Maths, I made sure that I wrote out the question in written form as well as in an equation - to benefit the EAL student. He was still being stretched and was learning something new.. but it was in a way where he could understand it slightly easier.. while still having the written question for him to figure out. (see photos below). I also spent time with him afterwards teaching him how to number his work correctly. He didn't understand how questions had both a letter and a number.. for example. 1a, 1b, instead he would just write in his book 1, 2... Once I sat down and explained it to him, you could see the lightbulb moment when we finally understood, and understood how the work was marked too!
- Observe, observe, observe. During lessons, whole class and small groups, observe what the student is struggling with. And then be strategic in finding a small step that they can achieve.. and often it will mean adjusting the task to make it different from the class/group.
- Help them with the small things, it may only take a couple of minutes of your time, but it will help them in the long run. Even if it's asking a student to help them with something you've noticed (if it's possible).