Preparing for professional experience

Challenges with prac

As a part of this week’s learning path we were asked to answer two questions about fears or challenges we have with professional placements. My responses are as follows:

  1. The top 2 challenges/problems/mistakes you have faced or made on prior Professional Experiences.

– Not being aware of the behaviours of all students. In the past one of the recurring comments I have received in regards to my lessons is that I often don’t notice minor behaviour issues such as a couple of students talking amongst themselves at the back of the classroom.

– Being confident in the content that I am teaching. I tend to not deliver my lessons as well when I am not as certain that the content and way I am teaching is what’s best for the students

  1. The top 2 fears/challenges you have about your EDC3100 Professional Experience.

– I have always had a fear of the mentor/school staff sitting at the back of my class and judging my lessons while I teach

– Being ready with a plan B when things go wrong. I don’t want to be standing in front of the class with a blank stare when my Youtube clip won’t load.

To see another student’s response to similar questions regarding our upcoming prac, visit Maddy’s page.

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Many of my fellow pre-service primary teachers (Maddy, Tahnee and Lucy) have written about their confusion and concern over prac, the exact way that I am feeling currently. I know that we have all been on professional experience placements before but every new mentor and course requires something new of you. For this course, we have to incorporate ICT within our lessons. However, As I have not taught in this classroom before, I no very little about what different forms of ICT I have access to as well as how good the students are at using these ICT’s. It makes me very nervous as I feel I will have to have multiple back up plans for every situation.

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Developing PCK

As future teachers, although we may possess a deep understanding of a specific concept or skill, it is important that we are also able to foster this understanding in our students. This overlap between the knowledge of the subject being taught and the pedagogic knowledge of how to teach it is known as Pedagogical Content Knowledge (read more about PCK here).

As we prepare for our practicum in the next few weeks, I plan to develop my pedagogical content knowledge through:

  • Theory learned during preparation (e.g. from curriculum documents and other publications)
  • Experience gained through previous placements and specific knowledge gained through previous courses that I have completed.
  • Analysing factors related to my personal background which may influence my PCK

I will also avoid ‘recipe-style learning’ such as only teaching through a text book, or focusing on only the fun aspects of the subject, marginalizing other important content or skills.


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