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Learning Outcome 3

Develop professional relationships with students, teachers, other teacher candidates, school staff, parents and others.

Throughout the semester, I have had the privilege of working on developing professional relationships with students, teachers, teacher candidates, school staff and parents. I demonstrated my professional practice by addressing students and staff in a kind and professional manner and engaged in building relationships with others in the school community. Through extra-curricular activites, I have had the opportunity to participate in Art Club after school in which I worked with my mentor teacher, the department head and others within the department to clean, design, decorate the classrooms and school walls that reflect their work and interests. Students were given multiple opportunities to display their own works across the school and decide on activities they wanted to participate in. During my lunch, I would communicate with others in the staff room to get to know teachers and staff such as the special education teachers, admin, EAs, science teachers, gym teachers and other teacher candidates. For students who needed accomodations and support, there was sometimes an EA who would sit with a student to help support them during classwork and for others or ELL students there was accomodations or modifications in grading such as understanding and applying concepts.

I had the opportunity to discuss with some of the guidance counselors at the school about course selection, course creation, current student interest and more about the STEAM and SHSM programs at the school to support student learning and well being. I learned about the school's S.L.I.P (Student Learning Improvement Plan) Goals which changes each year, however this is an equitable plan approved by the principal and board that acts as a guide for what the school is trying to achieve by the end of the school year that benefits student learning. For example, one of them was a literacy based goal in which they hoped to improve students who are at a level 2 in literacy to level 3 for those with IEPs. I also learned that the students have a great interest in sports, hands-on learning, technology and multiculturalism which is something I would take with me when considering future lesson plans. Through the STEAM Program, students are able to apply in the enriched program with a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math that begins in Grade 9-10 and continues into SHSM in 11-12. In this way, students have taken interest in these programs because they are able to develop their skills and knowledge in various subject matter through experiential learning practices that makes learning more meaningful and engaging.

I also had the opportunity to shadow and teach my mentor teacher's classes as well as my department head's class. From my observation, the lessons are direct, organized, easy to follow and allows for a lot more time to explore with new concepts and ideas that are introduced. It reminded me of something that I learned in one of my courses at York in my Visual Arts teachable class that teaching the arts is essentially learning to express one's freedom, creativity and critical thinking. By allowing time for students to experiment and explore with new concepts, it gives them opportunities to be encouraged to learn from their own mistakes and work towards improving their skills. Students are also able to recieve constructive feedback from their work and given opportunities to resubmit them in to increase their mark and showcase their understanding of art concepts. I learned that the teachers in the department often collaborate when teaching the same grades to ensure that everyone was on the same track of the direction and goals they would like the students to reach by the end of the semester. Through my own teaching experience, I thought it was beneficial to have the ability reteach the lessons to different groups of students especially if students struggled to understand new concepts. I was able to adapt my experiences to the needs of the students and break down instructions that were easy to follow was beneficial for all students to capture their understanding of new concepts.

By the end of the placement, I had the opportunity to observe and communicate with parents at parent-teacher interview night. During this time, I was able to listen and discuss with students' parents about students strengths in the classroom and areas of improvement. Parents spoke about their concerns they had about their child, whether it was about getting assignments done, how they act in the classroom and towards my mentor teacher and friends they made in the classroom. My mentor teacher and I reassured parents about their child's behaviour and observations about the child in the classroom. My mentor teacher and I also discussed with the student about their plans for the future and ways in which we could further support their learning. Below are images that demonstrate this learning outcome. Please click on the images for more details.


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