The disposition to be people-centred in her teaching, is also a focus for Poppy. Her partner is unable to participate in the first VIA lesson which means that while the PSTs planned the session collaboratively, Poppy taught the first session on her own. For Poppy not being able to communicate with a student who had recently arrived from overseas and could speak very little English, is a key challenge and while the class overall engaged well with the learning activities, Poppy returns repeatedly to this student who was “struggling with the whole idea of what we were doing.” She is “a little disappointed that I wanted to deal with it better.”   She puzzles over his lack of involvement and what she can do in the role of teacher to actively involve him: “I tried to speak to the student and get feedback; he wouldn’t really respond. He’d just kind of grimace and look awkward and shy.  I tried to give him some space and not harass him too much… I could see he was uncomfortable, really quite uncomfortable.  It reminded me of when I was that age.”   Her feelings of empathy and the level of care she has for a student she has only just met enable Poppy to give critical attention to her teaching.  She wonders how she might more effectively communicate with the student and differentiate in her teaching. Through reflection, Poppy is self-aware and understands that her biggest challenge is “the pressure I put on myself to be ticking the boxes all the time.” However, her optimism is maintained through strategic thinking which allows her to see challenges as opportunities for learning: “I’m not afraid to fail, and I’m not afraid to be challenged … I think if you can stay in the moment with the person … you can actually work through the challenges and ideas in a quite logical way… We’re so geared towards being successful all the time; having to learn from mistakes is really useful.”

Co-teaching in the second VIA session creates challenges for Poppy related to control. She understands that she “can easily take over and that happened in our class.” The supervising teacher offers her feedback: “he could see that I was taking over, which I knew I was doing, so I made a very conscious effort to actually step right back.” Poppy’s disposition to be critically attentive and reflective enable her to be responsive and creative rather than defensive.  She interprets the feedback as “a really great collegial thing he did.” She stands back and observes her co-teacher and says: “she actually drew quite a bit more out of the students than I had, I saw her doing more of that one-on-one stuff, which she was very good at.”  This observation enables her to think strategically about what she will do next time: “I need to work on the fact that we’ve got 18 humans in the room … that’s what I could do differently next time … that needs time and it needs some proper authentic work.”

Australian Government
Murdoch University
University of Wollongong
Federation University
										Darwin University
University of Tasmania
											University of Technology