So this week I sat down with my head teacher to work out what my goals were for this year. I thought I’d talk about them a bit here.,
1) Develop my behavioural management skills.
This is an obvious one for a new teacher. I had a truly excellent lecturer on this topic at Uni, but there’s a huge learning curve once you start putting it into practice.
Lots of people, when I tell them I’m a high school teacher, tell me that they couldn’t handle working with teenagers. To which I say, fair enough! But the last two weeks have taught me a very important lesson about behaviour management – when a student it misbehaving, it’s not the teacher that suffers the most. It’s all the other students in the classroom.
I don’t want my students being picked on. I don’t want to see them wince when the noise level gets too high. I don’t want to have to stop doing pracs because people aren’t being safe. To a certain extent I can deal with a chaotic lesson or a student mouthing off, because years of growing and maturing have left me with plenty of emotional resources to draw on. Most teenagers haven’t developed that, and I hate to see this making them unhappy in my classroom (the unhappiness I inflict is an entirely different matter, of course).
2) Increase my knowledge for working with autistic students.
When I was told I would be taking a special education class for science, I was hugely intimidated. Then I actually met the class and started to work with them, and I realised that this wasn’t going to be the class I stressed over – this was going to be the class where I got to be creative and make science as fun as possible. The personalities of the students, their relationships with the support staff, and the support from my faculty have all combined to turn an imagined ordeal into an opportunity to grow as a teacher, and I want to take advantage of it.
3) Creating a portfolio of resources for Yr 11 & 12 Physics.
Because of small numbers, my Physics class contains students from Year 11 and 12, studying their respective curricula in parallel. It’s a tough situation, but it means that the students have developed some kick-ass independent study skills. I want to have the resources to feed their brains, so that when I’m doing one thing with one year in class, the other students never have to spend a minute twiddling their thumbs.
So there you have it, my goals for this year – or my professional goals at least. My personal goals include checking out the local Yum cha, touring at least one winery, keeping in touch with friends and completing every achievement for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Now to find the time…