1. Knowledge of Subject Matter : Exemplary
In my many years of teaching , I always try as much as I can to go down to their level to create learning experiences that make the topic as meaningful for my students. Especially if you teach a Playgroup wherein all if not all are first timer in school. As teachers, I modify to meet according to my student’s varying readiness levels, learning preferences and interests. I also process engaging activities to make sense and for them to master the lesson presented and create a learning environment that works and feels like its their second home.
2. Knowledge of Child Development and Learning: On Target
If there was a big challenge for me in handling this class is to have 4 children with special needs. It is no joke to handle all of them at the same time but special thanks to their therapists and parents who met with me and have created modification behaviour plans to those who have behavioural issues and tantrum issues with my Down Syndrome child and life skills/tantrum issues with my Cerebral Palsy child. I constantly review their school records and exchange texts with their yaya’s if there’s an immediate concern I need to deal with. But if there are serious issues/incidents then I try to talk with their parents and set a meeting with their therapists. But overall, I try to maximize children’s play activities for them to develop on how to get along and interact with each other to avoid biting incidents and will be able to handle their anger management issues amongst themselves.
3. Adapting Instruction for Individual Needs: Exemplary
Since we started classes last July, I have instilled that it’s a classroom that respects differences wherein each one has their own likes, dislikes, some with special needs and while others don’t have, some may work independently while others work collaboratively and if they can follow simple directions given by their teacher. There’s a big challenge to understand how to design learning opportunities appropriate to children’s stages of development, learning styles, strengths and needs but a teacher should never stop in finding ways to make it as interesting as possible for their child to attain learning.
4. Multiple Instructional Strategies: Exemplary
Observing my class for the first week, I started changing my toy manipulatives the kids use during Choice time period to fit with what they like and interests them the following week. I guess I did the right thing because each one of them were able to be engaged and seemed to be very interested with the toy manipulatives I have prepared for them and would look forward to be in their Playgroup class and would even share it with their parents that they like to be school. I remember letting the kids play with the big legos we have in school and let them follow simple 3 step patterns and have divided them into 2 groups and have observed how they develop their critical and problem solving skills. To those who lost and did not get the stars cried while the winners were the ones who went home with a big smile and have shown their 2 big stars to their parents. It is a constant challenge for teachers to find interesting yet basic approaches that will help promote instructional strategies to enhance learning.
5. Classroom Motivation and Management Skills: Exemplary
A well-organized learning environment with a physical set-up conducive to classroom goals and helps promote positive relationships between and among children and teachers can result to the success of a class in a given school year. That’s why even if we have the smallest room in school, I try to maximize it by letting the kids use the backyard playground for them to have the feel of what it’s like to play outside and be under the heat of the sun. I also have a behavioural chart were I give a star to those who behaved well during the day and no star to those who misbehaved and a movie time on a Friday if they are all good for the week. This seemed to be very effective to these children and have been used to the routine since July. It would be a bit challenging if there’s a long weekend or break that everything will just have to start over along with them again.
6. Communication Skills: Exemplary
With a tech-savvy kids we have now, lessons are integrated with the use of a laptop or to show some youtube videos they all enjoy watching. Kids these days are computer literate that they know how to use the gadget, that is why I often assign each one of them to turn it off or to gently close the laptop monitor. Teaching a Playgroup class also include a lot of story telling time, that’s why whenever I story tell I always have different voices and would choose big print rich story books for children to enjoy. Asking them simple to open ended questions from each of the stories would let me know who’s listening and if they like the story or not. Oftentimes, with the help of Powerpoint and Google I make teacher made stories to make it more personal and interesting for the kids and back it up with an Art activity related to the story or theme for the week.
7. Instructional Planning Skills: On Target
I usually plan the lesson for the week with appropriate pacing based on the child’s interest and participation. In this class I learned to modify and accommodate lessons based on children’s interests and motivation. I just don’t bombard and pressure the kids with too many stuff and just simply want them to enjoy the simple things in life and their time together.
8. Assessment of Student Learning: On Target
There is never a time that I don’t evaluate my student’s progress and learning. Any given milestone or regression to any of my students I always write it in my observation notebook, so when there’s a need for me to make a narrative report or talk with their parents or therapists I use it as my reference tool. In my Playgroup class other than ensuring their intellectual progress, it is also important to develop their physical and social skills. There is also a need to monitor and evaluate the effects of class activities on both individuals and the class as a whole. These are all important to own instructional approaches and interactions based on children’s responses and successes or failures.
9. Professionalism, Effective Practice: On Target
I honestly need more exposure to observe other Playgroup/Daycare classes and attend Special Need conferences to improve my teaching strategies with these students. To be always updated, there’s a need for me to be constantly working along with the therapists of my Special Needs students for me to help them with their concerns and issues and just come up with interesting activities that they will all enjoy.
10. Relationships: Exemplary
As their teacher, I always try to get along with my students and know when they are not in good mood. That’s when I do consult the help of their parents, yaya’s or therapists, to help me figure a way to bridge the gap and promote student’s well being . Even if they say that there’s no perfect workplace, we can choose to make it better by getting along with each other to make the school a productive learning environment for the entire school year.