6.1 Identify and plan professional learning needs
Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.
Practice & reflection
By working through the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (graduate level) in early July 2017 I was able to discover the gaps in my knowledge and evidence of practice. This allowed me to develop a plan for filling in these gaps during my final 6 week placement in late July / August 2017 at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.
By connecting each of the standards to my understanding (theory) and evidence of practice I have been able to improve my teaching practice within and outside of the classroom. The aim of improving my teaching practice is to grow and develop critical and creative students and collaborative learning communities.
I have represented each of the standards in this digital portfolio with the intention that it will evolve throughout my teaching career as I plan for and aim to meet the proficient, highly accomplished and lead levels.
I developed kevin-stewart-tp.com to demonstrate my professional learning
Kevin was always happy to discuss his progress in the classroom and prepare detailed reflections about his strengths and areas for improvement. He readily responded to feedback and he made significant progress in the development of his pedagogy during this six week placement.
6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice
Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.
Practice & reflection
On Country Learning with Uncle Mick (RMIT Bundoora, October 2017)
Uncle Mick guided myself and a group of pre-service teachers through on Country learning around RMIT’s Bundoora campus. During our tour he taught us wellbeing, history, environmental studies, architecture, chemistry, pharmacy, language, music, drama, art, design and technology through the 8 ways of Aboriginal learning framework.
Past placement (VCASS, August 2017)
During my most recent placement I attended:
- Staff forums and professional learning (the Google software suite & creating engaging presentations)
- Academic meetings
- Meeting with the Assistant Principal discussing career readiness, direction and application processes
- University Highschool Keynote: Adjunct Professor Erica McWilliam on ‘High Impact Teaching for Collaborative Learning: What Great Pedagogy Looks Like’ (August 16, 2017)
- City Edge Schools Professional Learning Day: Exploring Curriculum and Sharing Experiences (August 18, 2017)
- Guided tour of Centre of Contemporary Photography with Julie Davies and her show entitled ‘Fruits of Our Labour’
Respectful Relationships (Sydney Road Community School, March 2017)
Attended an information and planning seminar on the rollout of the new Victorian Department of Education programme Respectful Relationships which works with schools and communities to develop frameworks and programmes aimed at preventing domestic violence and embracing gender diversity.
ATOM VCE Media Study Guide Session (September, 2016)
Attended an Australian Teachers of Media Victoria (ATOM) session which gave an overview of the new VCE Media Study Guide.
Art Education Victoria (Melbourne University, July 2016)
Joined the Art Education Victoria teacher’s group and attended a professional development evening on developing creativity in the art classroom, connecting classrooms via technology and using design thinking as a part of the art process.
Working As A Web Designer (W3.Digital, 2012 to current)
My current day job is in web design where I engage in user experience, design thinking, visual design, interactive design, CMS management and front-end coding and development.
This is where I currently work
Kevin attended a variety of college meetings including staff morning briefings, general staff meetings, Arts Domain meeting, and was an enormous help in the preparation and setting up of our annual arts festival.
6.3 Engage with colleagues and improve practice
Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.
Practice & reflection
By meeting with mentor teachers after each lesson I was able to discover areas in my practice which needed improvement and work on these in the next lesson. Mentors provided feedback informally in conversation, formatively as notes in a Google Doc and as formal, summative assessments at the end of placement in report forms aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
Over the last two weeks of my most recent placement I designed, developed and implemented two units of work with a pre-service teacher from the University of Melbourne Masters course. We were tasked with guiding Year 11 and 12 students towards a group entry into the Poetry exhibition at the George Paton Gallery at the University of Melbourne. We planned the unit through face to face meetings, collaborative Google Docs and over email and then presented the lesson sequences in a team teaching format. We then reflected on each session with our mentor teacher at the end of each day and made adjustments to our approach based on suggestions and conversation.
Feedback from two placements which I have reflected on
Artworks resulting from collaborative teaching
Kevin delivered a unit of work about the relationship between art and poetry with another student teacher to Year 11 and 12 students in the last two weeks of his placement. During this time he planned a series of learning activities with Rohan Schwartz that generated a range of outcomes that the school will present for selection in the forthcoming Poetry exhibition in the University of Melbourne’s George Paton Gallery.
6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning
Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learning.
Practice & reflection
Engagement with the Professional Community
As a result of my day job as a designer at a digital design agency I have developed the ability to constantly learn in order to remain connected with rapidly advancing technological developments and ever-changing aesthetic styles. I do this by regularly engaging with websites such as Awwwards, Dribbble, Behance and Codrops. I also follow many design, art and technology pages on Twitter and Facebook. I am also subscribed to countless email subscription lists.
I regularly attend Melbourne’s art galleries for inspiration, ideas, education and connection to community. Some of my favourites include Ian Potter Gallery, ACCA, Westspace, MUMA, ACMI, DesignHub and the VCA student gallery.
Connections to student learning
Remaining engaged with the professional design, art and technology communities in Melbourne and around the world brings contemporary, authentic knowledge and content to the classroom. It also supports the social constructivist approach to learning where students engage with real-life experiences actively, intentionally, authentically, cooperatively and collaboratively.
Attending an artist-led gallery experience
Various gallery visits with curators and education departments
Kevin readily observed classes in ceramics, textiles instrumental drawing in order to further his knowledge and experience in these studio forms.
The opportunity for Kevin to collaborate with a colleague and deliver outcomes that are exhibitable to an audience outside the school has been a rich and challenging teaching experience for Kevin.