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Currently, I am working as a Pastoral Senior Teaching Assistant at Tile Cross Academy. My role entails supporting learners, with complex behaviours such as, Autism, ADHD, Cognitional and Learning and Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. The learners I work with as stated in (Morris, H. 2017) Exemplar copy within pct2u Moodle ‘also present with low-level reading and writing ability as well as those who attend minimally or do not access their mainstream school’ lessons at all.
My role entails supporting the learners to overcome barriers in their learning and teach them skills to manage their behaviour in lessons.
Working with learners with challenging behaviours, I believe it is important to build a positive relationship with them to assist in achieving the latter. This is further supported by, as stated in (Morris, H. 2017) Exemplar copy within pct2u Moodle, Hook and Vass “Building positive relationships with children is at the heart of effective behaviour management” (Hook.P & Vass.A, 2004)
As stated in (Rayner, F.
2017) Exemplar copy within pct2u Moodle ‘Within my role I must treat each learner as an individual, rather than a member of the class or group and value their requirements so that their needs are met.’ My role involves informally assessing learners and creating Individual Pupil Profiles which is catalysis to obtain and share information regarding the learners’ needs and learning requirements with staff. Utilising theses profiles have as stated in (Rayner, F. 2017) Exemplar copy within pct2u Moodle ‘enable me to plan activities and assessments that will give the learner the best chance of success.
’ and cater for their needs. This has strengthened my philosophy of valuing each learner as an individual. To underpin personalised learning, I have provided learners with learning opportunities, which have met their preferred learning styles, along with a balanced diet of a challenging and creative curriculum which has aided in developing their skills and prepared them for the future.
My role has taught me progression needs to be planned for and differentiation and meeting varied learning styles are key to effective teaching and learning. I believe allowing learners to work and explore at their own pace consequently leads to progression. As stated in (Rayner, F. 2017) Exemplar copy within pct2u Moodle Petty (2014 page 514) describes differentiation as ‘an approach to teaching that attempts to ensure that all learners learn at their maximum rate, despite their many differences’. When I prepare and deliver lessons, I make a conscious effort to ensure that I set work at an appropriate, but challenging, level to ensure that I met the learning demands of the learners and progression is made during the lesson. Similarly, to check learners are making progress, as stated in (Morris, H. 2017) Exemplar copy within pct2u Moodle, ‘I also assess learning through observation to check that learners have understood my teaching at all stages, and gained the necessary skills to successfully complete objectives. I use formal and informal assessment techniques to establish whether learners have achieved all learning outcomes.’
I also practice and appreciated the value of sharing learning objectives and success criteria’s with learners. Knowing exactly what is expected and how they can achieve it allows learners to focus more clearly on tasks and achieve. Thus facilitates effective self and peer assessments, as there are clear objectives to assess against, consequently encouraging learners to take more responsibility for their own learning. Furthermore, according to (Rayner, F. 2017) Exemplar copy within pct2u Moodle ‘Being able to organise learners based on learning needs, knowledge or skill will also help learners to cope better with the learning environment’ When teaching, I focus on drawing out ideas from the learners instead of spoon-feeding them. I endeavour to ask pertinent questions and introduce activities geared towards reflective learning, learning by practical application and learning by self-realisation. I have made used of creative visual aids, the use of ICT, in appropriate lessons to help learners to retain information. I have organised small group discussions and workshops which provided a more effective and relaxed atmosphere for learning and encouraged learners’ participation especially amongst the quiet ones.
Finally, my role is heavily focused on what impact I have on my learners. I continuously reflect on the effectiveness of my lesson and I find it is my responsibility to evaluate my lesson utilising feedback from the learner’s and observers. During plenary time, as a means to find out how well my lesson has gone, I ask the leaners to write down a new thing they have learned during the lesson. I also use tumps up and down to discover if my leaners understood the lesson and met learning outcomes. This assists me in making the appropriate changes in future planning and delivering of my lesson.
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