How do you see teachers honouring different ways of knowing?
Being in a grade one classroom, the ways of knowing have not yet widely diversified or become complex. All children work on the same tasks (there are not a lot of creative options within tasks) trying the achieve the same end goal. At this point, I see my cooperating teacher honouring different ways of knowing by respecting and encouraging different strategies the children may use to achieve that end goal. For instance, reading is a big focus in grade one. The teacher has provided a lot of strategies the children may use to help them in their reading. Whichever strategy the children may choose is honoured, as long as it supports the achievement of that end goal. As long as the goal of each task is met, the teacher is open to any way of knowing/strategy that helps her students get there.
How do you see teachers promoting knowledge in the classroom?
One of the biggest goals in school at any level is to promote knowledge in the classroom. In the classroom I am placed in specifically, the teacher acknowledges and takes into consideration knowledge offered up by students if it contributes to everyone’s learning. She will always listen to ideas and suggestions from students, and is happy to add them into the lesson when appropriate. As long as the ideas an suggestions are on task, she is welcoming in promoting the knowledge.
What are the key supports teachers rely on?
Although I do not know what key supports my cooperating teacher specifically relies on, I can offer information based on what I have heard and observed from my school experience. I think key supports for teachers can be a number of things, such as other teachers, educational professionals, learning resources, parents, and the school community. Based on the type of support needed, any one of these supports can be utilized and seen as helpful. I think as a teacher it is important to seek support, as it can make things easier and less stressful.
How do teachers continue to build their own professional knowledge?
I think many of the key supports mentioned above can also help teachers build their professional knowledge. Other teachers and educational professionals can offer their knowledge and experiences, learning resources can offer research and strategies, and parents and the school community can offer up critique and input. In addition, literature, conferences, and learning about the experiences of other teachers can help as well. I think it is important for teachers to always be building upon their professional knowledge in oder to become better educators.