Get ConnectED

Get ConnectED

By catherine williams
I’m Catherine Williams, K-6 teacher from NSW who recently left the classroom after 30 years to now support teachers.
The Get ConnectED podcast aims to reach others, to make connections, support, inspire, share stories & experiences & build a connected community.

The Get ConnectED podcast can support you
through mentoring,
providing motivation & inspiration,
through sharing our experiences,
by making our wellbeing a priority,
and being part of an uplifting community

Teaching is challenging,
even more challenging on your own.
Together we are stronger.

More places to listen

More places to listen

My story, 30 years of teaching.
In this episode I am going back to the beginning to share with you my teaching story. This narrative will be an abridged version, a reflection on my teaching journey. I’ve tried to stick to the highlights but it is 30 years after all. You’ll have to excuse my memory as I do my best to recall things accurately and in sequence. After a while, one year can seamlessly blend into another. I graduated from college after 3 years with a diploma in teaching, I was thrilled to be appointed my first teaching position in my home town at the primary school I had attended, and my parents long before that. In 1989 I began teaching with a temporary full -time position on fourth grade. A few years later I completed a graduate diploma to become 4 year trained. I can’t remember every moment or detail over so long, but there are lots of beautiful memories of 3 schools, 9 principals and over 1000 students. I am so blessed and grateful to have the privilege of being a teacher.
20:55
September 8, 2019
Build strong relationships between Family and School
This episode is about the importance of building a connection with parents and families, how we can address challenges & some examples of ways to involve them in their child’s schooling. Parents are the foremost teachers of their children. They are an important resource and should always feel welcome at your school and involved in it as much as possible. Think of your connections with parents as a partnership where you are working together to support their child’s development & learning. A child’s academic success in school is greatly enhanced with these strong partnerships. Please keep in mind as I share my experiences & ideas much of it may differ to your school situation. Factors such as the school demographics, its size, socioeconomic background, school policies & procedures and the culture of your families all play a part in the home to school connection. I wish to be inclusive of all adults who are responsible for a child, regardless if they are the child’s parent or not, but never the less the primary caregiver. For the sake of wording for this podcast I clustered family & all carers together under the heading parents. Part of Being a teacher is problem solving, including situations where parents are challenging. The podcast covers a sample of strategies for  these situations and various ways to communicate with parents. I am very grateful for the insightful contributions from Morgane Michael who reminds us of parent’s perspective Morgane can be found on social media @smallactbigimpact on Instagram & Facebook & @SAB121days on Twitter Effective communication is essential for building the school and family partnership. By working together, we strengthen the connection. Several examples are included Parents make a difference. Positive connections and partnerships between school and families, parents & teachers play an important role in children’s learning, development and wellbeing. Whichever methods you incorporate to build connections, the important goal is to keep communication between the parents and teacher open, to work together and support each other to provide the best environment and opportunities for children to be their best. Together we are better.
16:21
August 23, 2019
Connecting with Students-Building positive Relationships
   Thankfully the teacher’s role has evolved from the days of standing before a class who were all facing the front in precisely placed desks & rows.  The teacher & text books were the main provider of knowledge and each child was expected to absorb and practise their skills because practise made perfect.  It was mostly a one size fits all approach. You did your work, you did as you were told, you did well. One of the great changes to come from the evolution in education is the transformation of the teacher’s role. Teachers and students should no longer be seen top to bottom but now side by side. Developing positive relationships between a teacher and student is a fundamental aspect of quality teaching and student learning.  Students who feel a sense of belonging & being valued are more confident to take risks in their learning and feel comfortable in their surroundings. Research shows there are several influences related to effective learning and achievement and noted the importance of a positive and supportive classroom environment, combined with positive relationships between teachers and their students. Trust can be built by making decisions together as a class, asking for your students’ opinions & letting them have choice.  Time for class discussions & sharing allows your students to have a voice and feel they are valued. Each child in your class feels special when you quickly learn their name & correct pronunciation and show respect by referring to each of them by their name. Forming strong relationships comes from being a good listener. Really listen in by focusing on the child, asking questions about their interests & lives & take interest in their answer.  Children need to see that you care, that you are willing to put the time & effort and be there for them,  They need to feel you are someone they can trust and are not going to give up on them.  Mentions Jay Billy Elementary Principal & author of Lead with Culture (Dave Burgess Publishing) @JayBilly2 on twitter Laurie McIntosh: @mrsmacskinders and also @lauriemcintosh on Instagram & Twitter Tom Hierck: teacher, author, motivational speaker, administrator, district leader, department of education project leader Ceri @ourcreativeclassroom on Instagram Sarah @giftedandtalentedteacher on Instagram
14:35
August 12, 2019
Connecting With Other Teachers
   In this episode, I would like to explore how we can build CONNECTIONS and who we make them with. From our teaching perspective, we connect with a variety of different stakeholders.  Other educators,  students, parents & school community  and someone we may overlook… connecting with ourselves. I am going to break this into a 4-part series with this episode focusing on connecting with other educators and keep the discussion about students, parents & ourselves for the coming episodes. A connection is a relationship.   I feel one of the biggest transformations in my teaching was when I began to broaden my connections to include other educators beyond my immediate work environment.  From being in a connected community, all year we were adding to the list of new learning & opportunities being incorporated in our class, so many new things I had never done before. My teaching world had been opened up. Some of the greatest learning opportunities for our class were the connections we created with other classes and teachers here in Australia and in several countries. Real audiences & authentic sharing. Making connections with other teachers is about building relationships.  Find what works for you, Find ways to build your connections. Teaching is challenging Even more challenging on your own.  So, let’s be here for each other. Together we are stronger.
10:45
August 5, 2019
Mentoring & Coaching
In episode 2 of Get ConnectED the topic of Graduate induction, mentoring and coaching is raised. Mentoring in general is a relationship between a more experienced mentor and less experienced mentee –  It’s about learning from an expert and gaining knowledge from his or her experience & often occurs during transition to a new career stage or role.  Any induction or mentoring needs to connect graduate teachers with more experienced teachers & also with other graduate teachers. One size does not fit all, thus the induction process needs to be customised to suit the needs of the graduate teacher in each localised school context.  Mentoring does not have to be limited to one person or one mentor. In fact, the more collaboration & interactions with others the better. Really teaching is both an individual event and a team sport, though quite often it feels like you are on your own and that’s tough Mentoring and coaching -It's critical to the first few years of teaching, but let’s extend it.  The key to mentoring & coaching is about having support and getting connectED Teaching is challenging Even more challenging on your own.  So, let’s be here for each other. Together we are stronger.
13:15
July 29, 2019
Introduction
   Welcome to episode 1 an introduction. I’m Catherine Williams your host & I am from NSW Australia.  I have been teaching for 30 years, all grades from Kindergarten to 6th Grade,  teaching almost entirely full time,  I have 3 children and was a teacher mum. My husband & I & our corgi have recently moved back to our hometown after 23 years. With moving I have left classroom teaching, deciding not to return to school. I was more than ready for a change from the politics & constraints of the system. The goal of creating the get connected podcast is to reach others, to make connections, support, inspire, share stories & experiences & build a connected community.  I joined social media, particularly Twitter & Instagram & learnt from others what they were doing in the world of education.  I had renewed passion & purpose. It turned out to be one of my best years of teaching because I felt supported  to try new ideas,  incorporate better practises,  connect my class with other classes,  connect with other educators continue my learning,  to grow right along with my students.  Dr Jody Carrington, in her book ‘Kids These Days’ states ‘When we find things that bind us together, we are more likely to want to connect and stay connected.’  http://www.drjodycarrington.com/ I would love for other educators to feel they also have such a community My hope is that the Get connected podcast can support you through mentoring providing motivation & inspiration  through sharing our experiences by making our wellbeing a priority and being part of an uplifting community Teaching is challenging Even more challenging on your own.  So, let’s be here for each other. Together we are stronger.
06:30
July 12, 2019
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