Differentiation in Classroom
I approached the beginning of my teaching practice as the starting point for applying all my previously acquired knowledge. I was not confident on whether my knowledge base is sufficient to start, but still was looking forward to new wins and challenges. I kept in mind that teaching is also a continuation of learning for teachers, since their effectiveness could not come out from the very first lesson. I also recognised the factor of difference in social and educational backgrounds of student in one class.
To understand them, I might either require to read additional literature in pedagogy or to ask an advice from my colleagues. My personal experience related to the issues described started from self-reporting on insufficient planning and engagement through initial phases of my teaching practice. Primarily, this resulted into failures to deliver plenary sections even if indicated in lesson plans; insufficient assessment of student’s progress by the end of a lesson; lack of details in tasks preparation resulting into lack of task extensions should the main task being accomplished fast as well as poor facilitation of question-and-answer sessions. Reflecting on my teaching style, it was more like lecturing, where talking was more important than teaching. Children in my class behaved passive, mainly listening to the mathematical concepts. I should have taught them to understand and apply rather than to get familiar with.
Other drawbacks included lack of praising for students giving brilliant answers causing poor motivation efforts put in delivering course material; I once came to the lesson unprepared in the thought that the worksheets that I made as a task had not been printed out in a sufficient enough way to be readable.Stretching and challenging children are important elements of the educational process applied by teachers. The purpose of these activities is twofold, providing children with required experience of problem solving and decision making on one side, and developing a knowledge base in a particular subject on the other. These issues have been notices by my mentor, saying that I have not stretched and challenged all pupils, which is an important element of the educational process applied by teachers.
Basically, I realised that my approach was not following one of the important standards of adapting teaching to respond to strengths and needs of all pupils. At this point, I had first familiarised myself with a concept of differentiation, while initially being confused about the true meaning of the term. My mentor stressed on the importance of differentiating students in the classroom, which was further followed by my personal research on the subject and evaluation of previous successful applications of the concept.The first case occurred in my first placement while explaining the topic of probability theory to the year eight students. I used PowerPoint slides to demonstrate the probability of getting a counter of a red, blue or green colour during the experiment. There was a colour blind child in the class who appeared to not differentiate colours on the screen, thus required additional help …