Teaching Practice: A Guide for Early Childhood Students

By Rosemary Perry | Go to book overview

6

WORKING WITH ADULTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD SETTINGS
In this chapter consideration will be given to:
• ways of building an effective working relationship with your supervising teacher;
• getting to know the organizational structure of the setting and working as a member of a team;
• how cooperation between teachers and parents can be developed.

As a teacher you will be required to develop and maintain effective and collaborative working relationships with colleagues, families, volunteers and other professionals associated with your school or centre. Teaching practice gives you the opportunity to observe these relationships in action. As well, your teaching practice experiences enable you to become familiar with the organizational structure of a variety of settings. This structure has a bearing on working relationships. For instance, particular people will occupy particular positions to which expectations are attached. The principal or director, for example, is expected to provide overall leadership, cleaners are required to do their set tasks at certain times, while aides or assistants support classroom teachers. Beside this more formal organizational structure there is also the informal structure of the setting (Cohen and Manion, 1993). This is a network of social relationships developed by staff, regardless of their positions, as they chat in the staff room, exchange ‘news’ in the corridors, or participate in school activities. Becoming aware of both the formal and informal organizational structures of your practice teaching setting will help you to understand better the nature of the relationships and the factors that contribute to their effectiveness.

As well as enabling you to observe and experience the effects of organizational structures, teaching practice gives you the opportunity to gain skill in developing your own effective working relationships. For instance, it is important that you establish a positive relationship with your supervising teacher. Depending on the type of setting you are in, there may also be opportunities for you to establish collaborative relationships with an aide or other members of staff. Although your supervising teacher will be as keen as

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Teaching Practice: A Guide for Early Childhood Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword x
  • Preface xii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • 1 - Teaching Practice in Early Childhood Settings 1
  • 2 - Ways of Knowing and Understanding Children 21
  • 3 - Early Childhood Curriculum 50
  • 4 - Creating Environments for Learning and Teaching 77
  • 5 - Developing a Practical Theory and Practical Skills 103
  • 6 - Working with Adults in Early Childhood Settings 127
  • 7 - Making the Most of the Teaching Practice Experience 153
  • References 176
  • Index 181
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