A full year in the classroom and half way through the first term of my second year, I am certain about one thing, teaching does not get any easier. Well not at this point for me right now anyway.
Before I started my career, I was told that if I can survive my first year of teaching I will be ok for the rest of the years to come… In some ways that is true with all the ups and downs, excitement, positive energy and all the learning that comes with being a first-year teacher, although are my ‘training wheels’ really off now that I am a second-year teacher?
I use the term ‘training wheels’ as teaching is like learning to ride a bike for the first time, you sometimes fall down but get right back up and try again. I definitely feel as though my first-year experience has really helped shape who I am as an educator and has led me to go into teaching this year with a completely different mindset to last year. Although I am in my second year, there are still so many things I don’t know and things I am still yet to learn.
It is important for all teachers who have past their first year of teaching to remember that it is ok to still ask for advice and support when teaching in the classroom. When I am unsure of things or even just wanting some advice on where to next, I know that I can turn to my ES1 team, fellow colleagues and learning coach. No teacher knows everything, although every teacher brings different experiences, advice to give and support to provide. No matter what amount of experience a teacher has, no one should feel embarrassed to ask for help.
This year, ES1 has had a significant increase of students, from 29 at the end of last year to now being at roughly 85 (with the potential to take up to 120 as the community grows and expands). Not only have numbers increased with students in ES1 but has also gone from two teachers to now four Early Childhood and Primary teachers working together to meet, prepare, deliver and evaluate lessons in the classroom.
How do four teachers work together across the stage? There are two teachers in each space with roughly 44 students (being able to take up to 60) and the ratio being more than 1:30. Although there are two teachers in each space, the four teachers make the time most afternoons in order to share and evaluate the way lessons went and prepare for future lessons we will deliver. Communication and collaboration is the key to successfully doing this. We ask our students to do this on a daily basis as part of our 6 pillars of learning therefore we are expected as teachers to also model this through our own teaching and learning. The question is, have we mastered it yet? We work well as a team and work really hard to ensure consistency across both classes although we are still in the process of making this work even better to ensure the best learning for our students.
We meet, prepare, deliver and evaluate together.