Element 7


Element 7 Aspects- Graduate Teacher

7.1.1 Demonstrate the capacity to communicate effectively with parents and caregivers.
7.1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of effective home-school links and processes for reporting student progress to parents and caregivers.
7.1.3 Demonstrate the importance of involving parents and caregivers in the educative process and the use of a limited number of strategies to seek that involvement.
7.1.4 Demonstrate the capacity to work effectively with external professionals, teachers’ aides and community-based personnel to enhance student learning opportunities.
7.1.6 Demonstrate the capacity to liaise, communicate and interact effectively and appropriately with parents, caregivers, colleagues, industry and the local community.
7.1.5 Understand regulations and statutes related to teachers’ responsibilities and students’ rights.

Milestones- I have...

Throughout my Professional Experiences, I have had limited opportunities to communicate with parents. However, I have been provided the opportunity during my study of PDHPE to develop a letter which can be used to communicate effectively with parents about an upcoming series of lessons that students will participate in, related to the study of body image (Aspect 7.1.1).

To read the Letter to Parents, click here.

Through my Honours research project, I have investigated and used research to argue for the importance of developing home-school links in order to improve the effectiveness of education (Aspect 7.1.2). I have been provided with opportunities to develop an understanding of the A-E scale now used to report student results to parents, and have developed a marking rubric which utilises this A-E scale that can be used to assess students’ performance in constructing an exposition related to image manipulation in the media. 

Excerpt from Honours Research Proposal 

Previously, the National Framework and the Values in NSW Public Schools had both advocated the need for communication between parents, staff and students as a principle for developing an effective values education program. However, it was through the Values Education Good Practice Schools Project that qualitative school-level data was reported which demonstrated the importance of applying this principle. Summarised  in the report of one school cluster; “developing a shared set of values between home and the school helps reinforce positive values in the school community and ensure that real community concerns and needs are met” (VEGPSP, Curriculum Corporation, 2006, p. 201).

To read the full Research Proposal, click here.

To view the A-E marking rubric, click here.

I have been able to observe the beneficial effects of involving parents and caregivers in the educative process during my Professional Experiences (Aspect 7.1.3). In particular, I have observed parents assisting teachers in organising experiences for students in gardening around the school, and visiting classrooms as experts teaching about a particular subject, for example, insects. I have also observed the beneficial effects of designing homework tasks to be completed with parents and students cooperatively at home, which applies the learning that students have developed at school.

Excerpt from Critical Reflection on my 2008 Professional Experience 

There is strong community and parent involvement with the school. Local businesses provide discounts and school credits for purchases accredited to the school. The P&C continually runs fundraising initiatives throughout the year, such as compiling and selling student artworks as cards or calendars, hosting trivia nights and organizing catering for school concerts. Due to the increasing number of working parents at the school, the school canteen no longer operates. However, parents are keen to contribute in alternative ways through support of in-class reading group programs from Kindergarten to Year 6, maintenance and education of students about a learning garden, as well as one off expert assistance in areas as diverse as movie making to entomologist displays.  

On my recent Professional Experience, I engaged in discussions with many members of staff, including talking to the Learning Support Teacher about strategies which they had found effective when working with a student who was receiving remedial reading support (Aspects 7.1.4, 7.1.6). I have also engaged in discussions with Teacher’s Aides when completing an observational in-school experience, to seek information about the strategies which they used when working with two different students with identified special needs.

As outlined for Element 6, I have developed an understanding of a range of policies which are in place in NSW schools to outline the rights and responsibilities of teachers and students (Aspect 7.1.5), including the Child Protection legislation, and policy for Controversial Issues.

Milestones- I will and I need

I will

I need
Engage in more opportunities to communicate with and report to parents- To assist my cooperating teacher in completing mid-semester reports.
- To utilise the Health Promoting School model to develop tasks that students can complete at school and at home, for example, collecting data from home, and convey information about this process to parents.
Gain a better understanding of how the wealth of resources available within community members can be utilised within the school. - To discuss with teachers in my next Professional Experience the ways in which they utilise community member’s knowledge and skills to enhance the learning of their students.