As a Technology and Applied Studies teacher I spend a lot of time with students completing projects in a practical based classroom setting. This presents many issues in terms of managing the learning environment.
Ensuring safety and safe use of equipment
Ensuring safety and safe use of equipment is one of the most important considerations, for both me and my students. As a teacher you must have knowledge of the general safety guidelines. A sound knowledge of how to safely use equipment and machinery is essential. This includes understanding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements, the dangers associated with practical environments for example, noise and dust and the ability to establish rules that will allow activities to be carried out safely. Unsafe conditions can cause injury to teachers and students.
Effectively integrating additional needs students and Individual Education Plans (IEP) into a practically based classroom environment
I often find it difficult to manage the challenge of trying to effectively integrate additional needs student into a practically based classroom. It takes careful planning to ensure that students with additional needs are given the necessary assistance and equal opportunity to undertake practical based activities. For this to work you need an inclusive environment strategy; the environment must be easily adapted and modified to suit individual learning needs. Once in place, additional needs students should be provided with assistance that will allow them to follow correct safe work practice and procedures. This may be in the form of extra or modified equipment or a Learning Support Officer in the classroom.
Disengaged students who are either not interested or not confident in undertaking the activities can quickly become a problem. They will often distract other students through inappropriate or even unruly behaviour; arrive late to class; require more teacher assistance and redirection back to task. This interruption to the normal flow of the classroom may prevent other students from having the opportunity to learn. It is important to quickly recognise a disengaged student and work with them to identify the reasons for their disconnection with the environment. This may require working with the student one on one for a period of time each lesson to ensure they understand what is required of them, or breaking the project down into small manageable tasks, or even modifying the task entirely. It is most important that your plan has strategies in place to ensure all students are able to achieve. If not appropriately dealt with, a disengaged student can rapidly become a behavioural problem in the class room.
Under resourced or poorly designed classroom
Student disengagement can often occur when there is not enough material, equipment or machinery for the number of students in the classroom. An under resourced or poorly designed practical classroom can be a problem for both the teacher and student. It is difficult to effectively teach without the necessary equipment in an environment that does not lend itself easily to the task. A poorly designed room can also increase the likelihood of an accident occurring. If there is limited equipment and the environment is not ideal you need to look at the project and make sure it is achievable given the limitations. In these circumstances, it also takes an enormous amount of cooperation from the students to effectively and efficiently meet project and learning outcomes. This type of classroom only works when students are patient and prepared to wait to use equipment and work independently when required.
My Philosophy in terms of McDonald’s five key beliefs
I believe personal philosophy affects how you teach and how you respond in the classroom. Your management plan should be a continuous work in progress and a reflection of philosophy,