Graduate Professional Experience 1 · NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards · Web 2.0 Applications

My First School Visit

“If you want to feel secure, do what you already know how to do. If you want to be a true professional and continue to grow…go to the cutting edge of your competence, which means a temporary loss of security. So whenever you don’t quite know what you’re doing, know that you are growing” – Madeline Hunter.

I decided to open with this quote because I found it in the opening pages of one of my book of readings and it has stuck with me ever since. In fact, it is now on my study wall providing me with motivation and reassurance.

My first, of six day a week visits, arrived without delay and that morning, I nervously made my way to my allocated school.

I found my way to my allocated year six classroom and was relieved beyond belief to be greeted with a welcoming teacher (yes!). She proudly showed me a box of posters, bottles, lanyards and stickers she ordered from a health organisation promoting drug and alcohol awareness, which we organised into groups for each class.

When the bell rang, the students poured inside. A smile spread across my face as soon as I saw their happy faces, and I knew it was going to be okay – that I could do this.

The teacher welcomed them and introduced me as a prac student who deserved the same amount of respect as all other teachers which was quite nice, however I wished she had let me say hello.

My first day was quiet as the students completed tests for the majority of the day. I was able to walk around and help those with their hands up.

The year six teachers have split up the subjects of health, HSIE and art, with my classroom teacher focussing on health. Today, the teacher displayed posters advertising the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. It was difficult for the students to see the detail in them from their desks. On reflection, to improve the lesson, the teacher could have divided the students into groups, each group having a different poster, and answer questions which could be presented to the class at the end of the lesson.

All in all, it was a good day and I left the school feeling positive.

The NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards includes:

Element 4; Aspect 4.1.5 – Use a range of teaching strategies and resources including ICT and other technologies to foster interest and support learning.

Wordle is a great engaging resource that can be used in your classroom. It is a fantastic word cloud generator that the students can use in many different ways for many different purposes. Click on the image for 51 ways to use Wordle in your classroom.


Today, I will leave you with my own Wordle, reflecting my thoughts and feelings about my first school visit.


Feinberg, J. (2009). Wordle. Retrived 4 February, 2011, from

New South Wales Institute of Teachers. (2006). Professional Teaching Standards. Retrieved 4 Februray, 2009, from

Tanti, M. (2011). EDFD529 Effective Teaching and Professional Practice (Primary). Australian Catholic University Ltd

Warner, M. (n.d.) 51 Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from

12 thoughts on “My First School Visit

  1. It’s a wonderful job you have chosen Ashley.
    I love your opening quote – that really struck a chord with me. I think my by best work has come after accepting jobs with the thought ‘now what I have done?!’ Definitely getting out of one’s comfort zone is excellent for personal growth.

    Another Wordle fan here – for some links including what my Year 7 students thought of it last year see
    (we used Wallwisher for the feedback).


  2. Welcome to the wonderful world of teaching. After 25 years of teaching, I still love my work and learning with students. Enjoy your learning years whilst studying, but the learning never stops! Love the wordle that you created and the summary of your experiences.


  3. Ashley,

    I think I’m going to enjoy reading this series of blog posts.

    Although I’ve only been teaching for eight years, I have had a student teacher for each of those years. I think I’m in a fairly advantageous position because I remember quite clearly what it was like to be a student teacher, however I am always trying to think how I can make my student teachers’ experiences more positive. I remember oh so well that not all supervising teachers are as friendly/helpful/trusting as others.

    I would love to hear more about what you think makes a good supervising teacher, from your perspective. A future blog post idea maybe!

    I think teaching rounds and experiences in schools are the most valuable part of every teaching course and I hope I can help my student teachers to get the most out of that!

    Keep up your great work!



  4. Thank you Kathleen. It is really appreciated. I will work on that blog post! I’m sure any student teacher would be lucky to have you! It would be great if all teachers were like you. You inspire me and I haven’t even met you!

    Thank you again,



  5. I really enjoyed your post Ashley, very insightful. By the way, thank you for the sharing about wordle – a very handy resource. Thank you for sharing and I love the way your blog looks too. Keep up the great work!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s