Wednesday, 24 October 2012

How to write a CV/Job Application

CV (1 page)
  • Name
  •  Address
  •  AIM – one sentence or statement
  •  Employment history (teaching only) (unpaid and paid incl pex and tutoring)
  •  Tertiary education
  •  Training and development
  • Referees.  (contactable) (only 3)

  • Position Criteria (heading)
  • Approval to teach K-6 (subheading)   eg: a classroom that fosters mutual support, a challenging curriculum and is a happy and safe place is essential for chn to reach their potential
    • exhibit excellent classroom practice by providing….
  •  End with a mini conclusion
    • at XXX public school I would

EDPD402, (2012), EDPD402 'Introductory Lecture', Lecture notes, University of Wollongong, Faculty of Education, accessed 7/09/12


What is teacher centred and student centred learning?

Unsupportive Mentors

Below is a useful site which may provide some insight into your option and what you can do if your support staff or mentor isn't providing you with the guidance you require.

Strategies for Dealing with an Unsupportive Coworker

Tips to foster friendships for the students in your class.

In order to form healthy friendships, students must develop interpersonal skills to learn how to communicate and engage with peers. It is important to remember that children learn best through example. Teachers should remain to be a good role model for their students, expressing positive attitudes and values towards other people. Children will be more likely to do the same with their own friends.


Tip 1 – Encourage play dates

Communicate to parents the benefits of students visiting other student’s houses to play. Students will be provided with multiple opportunities to listen to their friends and their friend’s family and sharing toys. They will also be exposed to different family dynamics and cultures that the students will learn to accept and value. Try to observe the social dynamics in class and discuss with parents with students their children are compatible with.

Tip 2 – Teach the essential ingredients of a healthy friendship

Explain to your students how honesty, trust, respect and loyalty are the essential ingredients to a healthy relationship. Make sure you provide your students with easy to understand definitions to these things, as they may not truly know what they mean. Role playing scenarios are a great way to involve students in the learning process of what makes a good friend.

Tip 3 – Group involvement in tasks

Program lessons that involve students’ in group work. This will provide students with the opportunity to spend time with their class peers and to develop communication skills. Especially for students that are shy, group work will help them develop socialisation skills with peers they are familiar with.

Tip 4 – Positive values and attitudes

When students are encouraged to interact with peers, they will form better values and attitudes about school and learning. When their friends are present, they tend to enjoy the school environment more.

Tip 5 – Piaget’s theory of play

Piaget’s theory of play explains the important link between child’s play and cognitive enrichment. It is integral to students’ social development that they are provided with the time to simply play games. This is a great way to teach them important social skills such as taking turns, listening, cooperation, leadership and sportsmanship. The more that can practice and understand these concepts, the better friend they with be. The good ‘ol saying, “treat others the way you want to treated” is an important mantra to be expressed with your students (Red Chair Press 2012).

Tip 6 – Learn to live in someone else’s shoes

It is important for your students to realise how another person is feeling, especially in their friendships. Discuss with your students the different situations their peers may be placed in and how this makes them feel and how they think their friends feel. Teaching them how to recognise how others may be feeling or another person’s point of view is an important milestone to building friendships.

Tip 7 – You must crawl before you walk

You must not force your students to interact with particular children or form friendships. This sort of pressure will not do any good and will only overwhelm your students and may turn them off the idea of making friends. Instead, provide your class with a little advice and encourage them to interact independently. Let them figure out what works for them at their own pace (Red Chair Press 2012).

Tip 8 – Clubs and Sports

Research social events of the local area that may be of interest to your students. Activities such as visual art classes, performing arts workshops, sporting teams and Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts are an effective way to include students in a social setting where they already have a common interest in the extracurricular activity. Provide this information in class newsletters so the parents are informed. If there are families who may not be able to afford the registration of these activities, organise a round robin event with the involvement of other schools competing.

Tip 9 – Social Skills Rule!

Collaborate with your students in the making of a class behaviour agreement that consists of a list of social rules that the students believe negatively impact friendships. For example: not to snatch things off others, keep your hands and feet to yourself, don’t call people names e.t.c.

Tip 10 – Be a good role model

Remember to be a good role model. If your students see you engaging in conversation with other teachers, the children’s parents and talking to the class about friends of your own, they will begin to learn what friendship means and what it takes to maintain one.


Dray, S. (2011). How to teach children healthy friendships, last accessed: 19/10/2012,

Red Chair Press (2012). Tips to Foster Friendships for Children, last accessed: 19/10/2012,

Steuber, E. (2012). Activities Promoting Friendship Between Children, last accessed: 19/10/2012,

NSW Quality Teaching Model

"The NSW Quality Teaching model provides a framework to focus attention on, and provide 

consistent messages about, pedagogy in public schools. The model can be applied across 

all Key Learning Areas from Kindergarten to Year 12" (DET, 2006) 

Select one of the links below for further information:

Quality Teaching in NSW Public Schools - Discussion Paper

Part A - Linking the NSW Professional Teaching Standards and the NSW Quality Teaching Model

Summary of the Quality Teaching Framework 


DET, (2006), Professional Learning and Leadership Development,, accessed 24.10.12

The Department of Community Services

 The Department of Community Services (DoCS) is a NSW government organisation that is responsible for supporting and promoting the health, safety and wellbeing of children and young people. DoCS professionals work to protect children and young people from the risk of harm such as abuse and neglect and also provide care for children and young people who are not able to live with their families.

Currently, there are seven regional DoCS offices and over 85 Community Services Centres throughout NSW.

Below are some links that provide further information about their services.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)


NSW Family and Community Services (2012a). Parents, Carers and Families, last accessed: 21/10/2012,

NSW Family and Community Services (2012b). Preventing child abuse & neglect, last accessed: 21/10/2012,

NSW Family and Community Services (2012c). Research Centre, last accessed:21/10/2012,

Managing Stressful Situations

This section will provide you with a number of resources you can use in the classroom to defuse negative behaviours when students get restless in the classroom. They can also be used a ‘brain breaks’ for students, or alternatively used as transitions between lessons.

’20 minute Brain Breaks’ –

‘Ten Simple Activities to Encourage Physical Activity in the Classroom’ –

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Grouping Students

Providing students with opportunities to work in groups in the classroom can be successful in producing a wide range of educational outcomes including; improved achievement, and positive interpersonal relationships with other students. These outcomes however, are only achievable when teachers set up conditions that motivate students to prepare and engage in ‘give-and-take discussions’ (Michaelsen 1998). Simply allocating students groups does not mean students will be engaged with one another, thus it is crucial that you thoughtfully plan group work and the types of groups you will be using (BHE 2012). When implementing group work in the classroom your chief role is to plan, manage and monitor the learning environment ‘so that students can collaborate and engage productively in learning’ (Killen 2009 p222).

When forming groups in your classroom you have three choices. You can;
1) allow your students to form their own groups
2) form groups by random
3) place individuals learners in groups for a specific reason

If you choose to take the third approach, the basic choices are to make the groups heterogeneous or homogeneous (Killen 2009).


The first type is heterogeneous grouping. Heterogeneous means to group students of different ability levels together. This definition can also be extended to include grouping together students of different ages and races (BHE 2012).


The second type is homogenous grouping and simply means grouping students who are similar together.

Setting Up Group Work

¨     Start by introduce group work gradually to your class. This can be achieved by progressing from pair work to larger groups; short periods of time to longer periods of time; teacher formulated groups to student formulated groups (Killen 2009). As this will allow students to gradually assume greater responsibility.

¨     The nature of certain tasks you set will ultimately determine the type of grouping strategy that you implement in the classroom. While numeracy groups may be suited best to ability groups, the group for a problem-solving task for example, may be based on student interests (Marsh 2004).

¨     When implementing group work in the classroom be sure to make it clear what the purpose of the task you have set is, as well as the steps required to be complete within the time frame provided. As well as making it clear what you expect of the final product and how you plan to assess it (Killen, 2009).

See De Bono’s six thinking hats (De Bono 1992) for a way of assigning specific roles to students in group work tasks.

Take a look at the following links to find more detailed information on cooperative grouping strategies:

Checkout the following link to find one strategy that a practicing teacher used in her class to allocate roles for students in groups:


Bright Hub Education (BHE) 2012, ‘The Importance of Group Work in Your Classroom’, URL: (Accessed 23 October 2012).
De Bono, E., 1992, ‘Six thinking Hats for Schools Book 2. Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Killen, R., 2009, ‘Effective Teaching Strategies: lessons from research and practice’ eth edition, Cengage Learning, Victoria: Australia.

Marsh, C., 2004, ‘Becoming a Teacher: knowledge, skills and issues’
(3rd Edition). NSW, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.

Michaelsen, L, K., no date, ‘Three Keys to Using Learning Groups Effectively’, URL: (Accessed 23 October 2012).

Aboriginal Liaison Officer

The role of the Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO) is to assist the Principal in developing effective relationships between your school and the local Aboriginal communities, so as to “close the gap” on Aboriginal disadvantage (Redfern Jarjum College 2012). Other duties of the ALO will generally include; 
- developing consultation and communication strategies that engage the local Aboriginal communities;
- developing and implementing strategies that address the needs of Aboriginal communities;
- assisting the school and the Aboriginal communities to develop, review and implement relevant programs, engaging with the communities in a way that generations long term loyalty and commitment to the school, through value added services and programs;
- assisting in volunteer activities and events that promote the recruitment of volunteers;
-responsibility for the appearance of students and modelling appropriate dress and manner.


Red Jarjum College, 2012, ‘Role Description – Aboriginal Liaison Officer’, URL: (accessed 23/10/2012). 


What Makes a Good Program?

What should be in a program?

- Evidence that you have thought about the children in your class
- Evidence that your program reflects the school policy that in turn should reflect the community the school serves
- School mission statement
- School aims
- Student profile
- Student needs analysis. Include in this comments about special needs children
- Evidence of integration
- Rationale and aims for each KLA e.g. ‘This year I want the children to’

Units of Work

-       Outcomes & foundation statements
-       Indicators relating to how the children may achieve the outcome
-       Duration
-       Teaching learning activities (the crux of your program)
-       Assessment strategies. Try to date these if possible (plan when you will do things)
-       Unit evaluation
-       A statement about how the unit integrates with other KLAs


-       Aboriginal education
-       Gifted and talented education
-       Student equity

Setting Out

 Try to keep your program simple. Integration saves you time. Worksheets should be in a resource folder. Keep photocopies to a minimum.

Happy programming! 

Toovey, J (2012)

Classroom Management

See the following link for a guide to ‘Promoting and Managing Positive Pupil Behaviour’  (EPD Team 2009). 

For further tips and tricks for managing your classroom effectively see the behaviour management plan available on this blog, or alternatively visit the following links and watch these fantastic videos on Youtube:
Part One: ‘Creating an Effective Learning Environment’

Classroom Layout

The layout of your classroom can have a significant impact on the way you teach and hence, the way your students learn.

Seating Arrangements

There are a number of factors that need to be taken into careful account before you arrange the seating in your classroom (Arthur-Kelly, Lyons, Butterfield & Gordon 2007). For starters, the way you decide to seat out the desks in your classroom will no doubt reflect your personal philosophy of teaching and your preferred style of teaching (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007). Therefore it is crucial to ensure that the  way you arrange the furniture in your classroom lends itself to the range of instructional methods you plan on using, as well as enabling the elements of behaviour management as ‘identified by earlier research to be implemented, such as scanning, smooth transitions, organised deskwork and mobility’ (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007 p125).

When planning the seating arrangement in your classroom you need to consider where each child should sit and whether you will make this decision, or whether you will let your students decide. If your personal philosophy of teaching favours cooperative group your classroom seating arrangement may need to reflect your class’s social structure (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007). Some student input is advisable, particularly with older students, as they have to “cope with the consequences of seating choice” (Aurthur-Kelly 2007 p125). For mixed ability grouping however, free choice for students is unlikely to create the desired mix. ­­It is also important to note the research that suggests that students engage more in teaching-learning interaction if they are seated towards the centre front, rather than those seated on the periphery (Arthur-Kelly 2007).  You should also considering position students with learning difficulties or behavioural problems within the instructional focus.
Ultimately, the seating arrangement in your classroom will only be limited by your imagination. The following information should not be viewed as the only options for seating arrangements, but rather Arthur-Kelly suggest that “the more creative the design, the better…as it communicates that ‘this classroom is different from others’ and therefore establishes different expectations from the outset”, (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007 p126).


The preferred teaching style in classrooms with rows is certainly teacher-centred, combined with deskwork designed to be completed individually (Arthur-Kelly 2007). Whilst rows facilitate teacher-student interactions, it restricts student-student interactions and subsequently inhibits group-work situations. Rows however, are effective for recapturing any classroom management that may have been lost as a result of alternative seating arrangements.

According to Arthur-Kelly et al., (2007) rows can promote positive behaviours by;
- creating the expectation of order
- allowing the teacher to scan and monitor students with ease
- assisting with non-verbal communication through eye contact (p127).

Picture sourced from:


Groups involve several desks being grouped together usually on a rectangle or L-shape and in many ways is the polar opposite of rows (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007). Unlike, rows where the instructional focus is teacher-centred, groups are very much conducive of student-centred instruction. Therefore, some social-interaction is encouraged and noise levels are not expected to be as low as classrooms that are arranged in rows (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007).

If you choose to set out seating arrangement in groups, it is vital that all the instructional focus of the classroom is visible to all students without them having to physically turn (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007). Furthermore, you should true to ensure that there is at least one point in the room where you can have eye contact with all students, as ‘redirection in the early stages of off-task behaviour is more easily achieved without disrupting the instructional flow’, (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007 p127).

According to Arthur-Kelly et al., (2007) groups can promote positive behaviours by;
- enabling more varied instruction strategies to be implemented
- meeting students’ basic need for social interaction (p127).


Single or double U-shape table formations are basically halfway between rows and groups and therefore, have some of the advantages and disadvantages of each (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007). While U-shapes are generally teacher-centred, they also allow for opportunities for student-student interaction (Arthur-Kelly et al., 2007). Desks in a U-shape position can be formed when need be by moving desks together.

The following questions will be helpful for you to consider when you plan on setting out your classroom.
Ask yourself:
Can I see the faces of every single student and can they see me?
Can everyone see the board (if you're planning on using it)?
Can the students see one another?
Can I move around the room so that I can monitor effectively? (Budden, J 2008).


Arthur-Kelly, M., Lyons, G., Butterfield, N., & Gordon, C., 2007, ‘Classroom Management: creating positive learning environments’, Cengage Learning, Victoria: Australia.

Budden, J., 2008, ‘Classroom Layout’, URL: (Accessed 20 October 2012).