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The Reflective Practitioner

by Jordan Mawbey

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THE REFLECTIVE
PRACTITIONER
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A Reflection on Teaching Experience
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A Reflection on Teaching Experience


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By Author Name
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Jordan Mawbey ST10116598
Senior Phase Reflection
My experiences, strengths and challenges in the Senior Phase.
Senior Phase Reflection
My experience in the Senior Phase began with a somewhat
unconventional start, after beginning my teaching experience in the FET Phase during the 1st 4 weeks. Despite having to adjust to a lower academic level of understanding, as well as lower levels of maturity, my experience in the Senior Phase was mostly positive.

I learnt that learners in this phase of the school generally have more respect for authority. I learnt this through my efforts to instruct the class and discipline them where necessary – I noted that, whilst these learners are navigating the tumultuous period of early adolescence, the learners tend to appreciate a strong sense of authority and direction within the classroom. I consider my ability to act as an authority figure within Senior Phase classrooms as one of my strengths within this phase.

In a similar way, I also learnt that, having a more significant age gap between myself and Senior Phase learners, as opposed to FET Phase learners, acted as a strength as the learners tended to treat me as a knowledgeable individual. I learnt this as the learners felt comfortable to ask me questions without inhibition. For example, during a Life Orientation Careers lesson, a learner confidently asked me what an NQF level was – this changed my perception of myself as a novice teacher to someone who is capable and ready to impart knowledge upon teenagers.

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EARLY ADOLESCENCE: Learners in this phase are still maturing and require a structured learning environment.
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EARLY ADOLESCENCE: Learners in this phase are still maturing and require a structured learning environment.
Contrastingly, this larger age gap between myself and Senior
Phase learners also acted as a challenge during my teaching experience. Having interacted with older learners first, I initially found it challenging to address some behavioural issues which were attributed to childlike immaturity. I learnt, after reprimanding a group of learners by telling them that they would have to stay in during break time, that Senior Phase learners respond well to structured discipline which is backed up by continual action.
Senior Phase Reflection (Continued)
Another challenge which I encountered within the Senior
Phase was the process of gauging prior knowledge and the level of understanding which most learners possessed. For example, many pieces of information which I considered to be common knowledge, such as the process of choosing subjects at the end of Grade 9, were relatively unknown to learners who had not yet reached this stage in their education. In this way, by asking learners what their understanding of such concepts was, I was able to alter my understanding of where each learner was in their educational journey.

In addition to my classroom experiences, my involvement in
extracurricular activities, in which many Senior Phase learners were involved, influenced my feelings about teaching to a significant degree. The opportunity to see the learners outside of the classroom context, as unique individuals with diverse interests, talents and hobbies, has taught me that a teacher needs to see the whole individual instead of simply seeing a learner in a classroom.
Overall, my experience in the Senior Phase was eye-opening and more enjoyable than I had anticipated.
 
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