When Brighton Secondary College moved to remote and flexible learning for the start of Term 2, La Trobe University Master of Teaching student Juan Lizcano was two weeks into his placement as a Pre-Service Teacher (PST).
With the help of the school, including his supervising teacher Jennifer McBride, Juan was not only able to continue his placement, but also became an important resource for his school during the transition.
'My digital literacy capabilities helped me to overcome challenges on the spot. I had to think on my feet to develop and deliver quality and informative resources that were aligned to the curriculum,' he said.
Integrating digital skills into the virtual classroom
Juan was an industrial designer before studying to become a teacher, which meant he was able to bring his digital skills to the classroom. Before remote and flexible learning, his skills were put to use in the Technology and Visual Communication Design class through laser cutting and 3D printing.
When Juan's students couldn't access the school's laser cutters and 3D printing technology during remote and flexible learning, he was able to produce and share videos of his personal laser cutter to continue his students' lessons.
Juan and his supervising teacher also created individual websites for each subject he was teaching, so that his students had access to all the critical information they needed. The online materials and tools helped his students become more autonomous while learning from home.
When Juan's supervising teachers asked if they could continue using his digital resources after he had completed his placement, he was happy to share.
After successfully completing three of his own placements, Juan encouraged more principals to take on PST placements.
'Schools need to see pre-service teachers as a fundamental part of their community, because PSTs will always bring interesting and exciting ideas to learning environments,' he said.
How final year pre-service teachers can help you
As Brighton Secondary College experienced, engaging a PST during remote and flexible learning is an invaluable opportunity for both the PST and the school.
Schools should accept applications for PST placements wherever possible to ensure PSTs are able to meet their graduation requirements and become the teachers of the future.
From Monday 28 September pre-service teachers are eligible to attend onsite placements in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services. Pre-service teachers must carry a permitted worker permit, signed by the placement host school principal, when travelling to and from their host school.