Showing posts with label communication skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label communication skills. Show all posts

Friday, May 1, 2009

Things going ok.

I have a niggling sensation that although things seem to be going ok, that there's something wrong. I can't lay my finger on it yet but I feel I've been here before.

My rapport with kids is going well, no complaints.. students engaging with coursework and some seemingly really positive results. Attendance is up, kids are completing work. No real behavioural issues.

The timetable is travelling pretty well with six weeks to go of semester one.

Maybe it's the lack of that "let's attack a problem" that I'm feeling. Usually at this time of term I'm trying to be proactive about something but I haven't found that thing that has school support. It's a bit of a case of do what you're doing. There's nothing really wrong with what you're doing but conversely nothing really all that right either.

My tens proved the "when you think they know something do one more lesson" again with distance between two points. They couldn't do it on Friday.. they sortof had an idea on Tuesday but by Friday they had no trouble with key concepts such as naming coordinate pairs, calculating distances between two points graphically and algebraically, labelling axes, plotting points and the like.

Students were liking 3A MAS again now that we had finished vectors and were finishing logarithms. The usual complaints about worded problems but they are slowly getting better.

Perhaps subconsciously I'm thinking that if I'm not being encouraged to push myself I'm being directed to have a look at my teaching methods and results. Maybe I do need to be more self critical.

My experience in teaching is that asking questions like this of peers causes people to question your competency, which is hardly a path to improvement.

It's a feeling of being a bit bland ...

... and I don't like it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Presentation skills

I know I go on about this a bit but setting the correct expectation is half the battle in achieving good results. Presenting work well can really improve what a teacher thinks of a student. This stands to reason, usually a student that can produce neat and concise work is a high performing student. Teachers usually gravitate to students that produce quality work.

Today, computers do the hard work for students. It doesn't take much work to google a nice template, learn how to use it, get some colours from a colour wheel and present your findings. It takes very little more time to do this - a bit more effort to print it off in the library in colour and viola an B turns into an A (or at least probability of the teacher taking more interest in the student rises). Fair - absolutely not.. the way the world works.. absolutely.

So here's some pointers:

  • Public companies spend millions on colour schemes and reports. Go download a corporate report from a large company such as PwC, BHP, Woodside. Have a look at how they are laid out and where colour is used. Make up a template in Word that looks something like it - it'll take about an hour.
  • Use a font or at most two. Make sure it's large enough to read and not all squirly.
  • Make sure it has a cover page.
  • Bind it or staple it in the top left hand corner (angle the staple at 45°).
  • Order the information so that it is easy to mark. It should follow a logical progression.
  • Check your spelling and get someone else to read it for you.
  • Have it ready two days before it is due. The last 10% of an assignment is the hardest to get and will need you to have time to think about your answer. Planning to finish the night before is not the path to an A. Teachers are more willing to have a look at something a few days before and comment on it than on the day it's due.
  • Do a bit, have a think, do a bit more. Spread it out.
  • Work collaboratively - don't copy - but discuss your ideas with those around you. Choose your friends carefully.

Employers want you to have well developed communication skills, now is the time to develop them.