Education Professional Resources Name University Professional Resources. An important dimension to dimension to teaching, is the set of personal talents, skills and strategies that teachers have. As we use these in our daily work in school, it is easy to become worn out and tired, and so it is vital that we develop our own personal arsenal of materials and resources which we can draw on to replenish our ideas and help build up our professional abilities…
Ormrod’s classic textbook on Educational Psychology, mentorship from an assistant head teacher, the Norton Anthology of World Literature and the wonderful array of video materials available on “youtube.” When working with children on a daily basis there are many events which surprise, delight and frustrate teachers. An understanding of child psychology is essential if we are to make sense of behaviors that occur and adapt our teaching strategies to the different learning styles and approaches of each child. In the area of special needs, for example, there are a lot of prejudices that people have, including unfortunately some parents and teachers, and so it is useful to have firm knowledge on which to base lesson plans. Ormerod’s book (2006) is an example of a textbook which breaks down complex theoretical ideas into scenarios that we all recognize in the classroom. The theory is explained in terms of examples, and this gives teachers a great deal of material for thinking and comparison. The section on brain development in chapter 2, and gender differences in chapter 4, for example, give factual underpinning for teachers to enable them to devise learning plans that are flexible and diverse in order to meet different types of student need. An extremely useful source of guidance for new teachers is the presence of an older and wiser professional who has already built a successful teaching career. One such person that I can personally approach is a friend of the family who is currently an assistant head teacher in an elementary school. Sometimes it is good to talk through fears and insecurities with someone who is not directly concerned with my studies or my work, and at other times it is good to talk through some of the perspectives that managers have. It is good to float ideas with this person, and hear both positive and negative reactions to them. The presence of children from many cultural backgrounds is an increasing part of school life these days and so one resource that I find useful for professional development is the Norton Anthology of World Literature. The stories and legends from different parts of the world broaden the mind, and provide interesting material for reflection. They can even be used in teaching to ensure that examples are not always drawn from one cultural source. There is plenty of material urging teachers to become culturally aware, but there are few indications of how to do it. I find dipping into these reference books are an amazing way to learn about different cultures, the past, and distant places. When I deal with people from a particular group I can look up what there is in their literature and gain some background which helps me understand them better. The youtube organization is a collection of home made videos which are placed on the internet for people to use at no cost. I find them extremely helpful for particular topic areas, for example there are videos on learning skills, professional presentation skills, negociation, etc. for aspects of professional life, and there are motivational videos on time management, planning, study skills etc. The quality is variable, but this in itself is a learning experience because the videos can be viewed critically, drawing out some good points and rejecting the bad ones. As a teacher I am intrigued to see ...
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