Expectations of behaviour

During our staff development day to kick off term 2, one of the discussions was based around some of the behaviours we had experienced with students from K-6. We asked ourselves the question of what might have been the main causes or contributors to these behaviours and how can we move forward in a positive way where students learn about the culture of our school. As a staff, it was important that we reviewed how the PBS4L framework has gone so far and how we can ‘develop further consistency around teacher expectations’ to assist in reducing ‘incidents or intensity of incidents’ throughout the school community.

The question is, how do we distinguish and establish what each staff member believes to be a minor or major issue within our school community and how might we deal with these issues which arise?

The key to success in these circumstances means that ALL staff members need to have consistent expectations of behaviours at all times and the way in which we may deal with certain situations.

I think about the students at the school in which I teach and some of the expectations around behaviour. Why is it that the concept of how to act or behave appropriately is harder for some students to grasp? It is important as educators to remember that every student throughout the school have each come from different experiences, various cultural and family values, expectations and prior knowledge of how to act and behave. It is virtually impossible to control how students act outside of school, although as teachers it is essential to ensure that we are prompting, redirecting, teaching and providing students with the chance to make the correct choices at school and hopefully further apply this outside of the school environment.

As mentioned above, PBS4L (positive behaviour support for learning) was something that was looked at during our staff development day to “ensure a consistent school wide positive approach to behaviour management.” We have put our ideas together and created a matrix, which provides examples of our school key values (respect for self, respect for others and respect for the environment). This matrix displays how these key values will be demonstrated through our students and has been unpacked with not only the staff but with the students themselves so that they are made aware of the expectations which will then form the culture of our school community.

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University vs experience

Did university prepare me enough for my future teaching profession?

The first term of the year has flown right by! Whilst Kindergarten embraced their first term at a brand new school, along with stages 1-3 in February 2017, it was my first term of teaching altogether as a new graduate! The question is, did I feel university completely equipped me for my future teaching profession?

I believe the answer is no, university did not prepare me for all aspects of the teaching world. Until you are put in certain situations and experience it for yourself it is hard to know what to expect just by completing 3000 word essays. I believe it is all about the practical experience, which enables us to grow and extend to be the best possible teachers we can be for our 21st century learners.

My first term so far has been incredible, exciting, overwhelming, extraordinary, and exhausting all at the same time. You are probably thinking how can you be feeling all of these emotions at once?

Coming into Kindergarten this year I have experienced many tears, toileting accidents (not just the wet!), challenging behaviours, various learning abilities, EAL/D students as well as lack of sleep. To add to that, I have come into the new world of teaching through ‘agile learning spaces’ all which have helped shape my ideas, pedagogy and ways of thinking when it comes to assisting my students to become motivated and engaged learners.

I have been very fortunate this term to be supported by an amazing grade partner. We work collaboratively every day and most nights to plan and cater for all the needs of our students. There are so many things which I could share based on how we work collaboratively in the classroom and what it looks like for us as teachers and for our students although I am going to save that for one of my future blogs!

I not only have a great partner to work with by my side, I am also grateful that I work with such a great team of colleagues that surround me. Everyday is a treat with the staff members and I feel extremely supported and encouraged. At the beginning of the year a few of the staff members had said ‘no question is a silly question.’ It got me thinking, without asking questions, how do would we learn? How do we grow and extend our current knowledge to think outside the box whilst supporting, guiding and mentoring our students learning to prepare them for their future. I’m still growing myself, and with that, I continue to do so throughout my entire teaching career! Bring on Term 2!