Reflective Practice

In today’s lecture I have learned that is important to consider the consequences of my own actions and the role in which I have played in an incident rather to jump to conclusions and blame everybody else first. I feel that this was important to learn because it has taught me to realise that not everything is going to go the way I plan in my future placement and in order to get over this I will have to think critically and not let it hurt my ego.

This lecture has made me think about how I should go forward looking in my placement and has also given me good tips for writing an interesting and detailed evaluation or reflection on my placement. I found the examples of different reflections effective so in the future I can look at these in comparison to my own work and consider whether or not the reflection I have written has enough content and is helpful for my own professional development.

Semester 1 results have had a major influence on my professional mindset, I found my ego to be sorely hurt with the results I received. After talking to my AoS about my feelings I have realised that this is a merely a learning curve I have encountered and the situation is not nearly as bad as I was making it out to be. I have learnt how to move on from the mistakes I have made in my work and how to correct them in the future. I have also learned to take the constructive criticism given by my marker in order to help myself in my professional development.  The process of reflection is starting to become a way to collect my thoughts on each lecture/input I have been to and be able to make my learning clear to myself on what I understand and what I need to do extra work on in my own study time. My blogging has also highlighted areas of interest that I could make into my professional goals for the upcoming placement.

 

Relationships To Primary Practitioners

Relationships are vital to our future profession as they determine the success rates of our learners. The children who come into our class have brains developed by the relationships they have with the people around them.

The child’s brain is very flexible and so can learn to survive in different situations/learn different languages. However, the child’s brain also learns to protect itself from harm very quickly, this is vital for safety but has the potential to be detrimental to learning. Suzanne Zeedyk created the analogy “a child who protects them self from domestic violence is like a child who would run from saber-toothed tigers in the past. The domestic violence = the tiger”. In our profession this is essential to consider as we could have children in our class who live in fear. As practitioners we cannot expect the best work from these pupils if they do not understand how to concentrate in a calm environment as they will be waiting in fear for the worst to happen and this will disrupt their focus and learning. This easy stress these pupils develop is unhealthy for them as they are not old enough to understand how to control their feelings effectively. On the other hand, a child who has a “calm and collected” mindset is also likely to experience unhealthy stress as they will never have experienced this feeling and are much more likely to panic due to not understanding what is going on.

As a future practitioner it is vital that I get to know and understand my class so I can create a classroom atmosphere that is comforting for all pupils to learn in. Knowing the children will also allow me to set achievable goals for them. This will help to boost the children’s self esteem rather than knock it because they are able to cope with the work load that they are given.

A Lesson On Drama

For our first drama input we were set a task to watch a short video clip and think about this in relation to our own practice along with a set of questions.

Throughout this clip the lesson structure was made evident. Agreement – warm up – provide stimulus – development of ideas – visualisation – soundscape – bodyscape – performance – evaluation.

Each section of the structure is of equal importance for a successful lesson:

  • Agreement: allows children to understand the rules and what is expected of them. 3 key factors to always consider are communication, cooperation and concentration. (If something goes wrong in a lesson usually it is due to a downfall in one of these areas).
  • Warm – up: this is important as it differentiates between a regular class activity and drama itself, also it allows children to focus their mind before being set to a task. There are a variety of warm up techniques for voice, concentration, teamwork and to get “warmed up”.
  • Provide Stimulus: decides a focus for the learning.
  • Development: This allows all ideas to be linked together and become something more interesting than a still image by itself for example.
  • Visualisation: Allows children to think creatively about the topic being discussed. Throughout visualisation you could use the thought-tracking convention to establish what the children are thinking.
  • Soundscape: Allows children to think about learning in different ways. How can they create the sounds they are thinking of with their body/the floor/objects around them? Soundscape can be used for cross-curricular learning for example in reading – what noises do you think the character can hear, use soundscape to show me these noises.
  • Bodyscape: allows the children to create a visual picture of the place we are creating. Can also be used for cross-curricular learning as class can recreate scenes from reading books or could help them to imagine what places might have been like in the past (history).
  • Performance: Allows children drive and motivation to do everything else in the lesson.
  • Evaluation: As a teacher this allows you to understand what the class has learned and what we need to look at in the next lesson. It is a calming experience to end an active lesson and allows the children to see that they have had a learning experience not just play.

Drama Conventions Used:

  • still images
  • thought-tracking
  • frozen scenes

CfE Es and Os Addressed:

  • The children have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience. (EXA0-01a, EXA1-01a, EXA2-01a)
  • Thought-tracking has allowed the children to communicate thoughts and feelings through drama. (EXA0-13a, EXA1-13a, EXA2-13a)
  • Soundscape allows the children to experiment with voice. (EXA2-12a)
  • Bpdyscape allows the children to experiment with movement and sustain different roles. (EXA2-12a)
  • Performance allows children to present drama – asking the children about levels and audience seating while they are creating their performance allows children to take account of audience and atmosphere.

Initial Professional Goals

It is the end of my first week back to university and prior to my first placement I have been looking into the Standards For Provisional Registration (SPR).  Looking into the standards has helped me to make some initial decisions on my first placement goals.

I have taken into consideration different types of goals for the upcoming placement and have decided that I would like to have a mix of both personal and professional goals to develop over the duration of my placement. I have made this decision so I can work on both myself as a future teacher and the work that will be required of me as a teacher.

Through the reading which I have done I have decided that my first goal will be for my personal development and it will be “to have confidence in myself at all times”. I think this is important because if I do not believe in myself I cannot expect my mentor, tutor or any other person relying on me to do so either. Being confident in myself will allow me to:

  • create successful partnerships with those around me
  • develop my own ability to control and look after a class
  • allow me to help the children in my class safely

There is a huge list of achievements I will take from a growing confidence over placement and above are some examples I hope to achieve.

The professional goal I would like to achieve during my upcoming placement is time management and organization. These achievements will allow me to create successful lesson plans which will lead to lessons going to plan with back up arrangements already in place so there will be no panic for me. This will be helpful on placement as the class pupils will be able to tell if I have not taken care into my lesson planning as I will experience anxiety if something goes wrong and they will potentially not learn from the lesson.

In the weeks coming up I hope to consider more options for goals for my placement so that I can choose the best set of goals before starting my placement.

Reading

The most prominent memory I have of language is reading. “Biff and Chip” are my most memorable language experience from primary school, these are a series of stories that we used for our reading groups. I remember these novels because our teacher related learning activities to these books and we also had a large display of pictures of the characters on the wall.

In my family home reading was also an important part of my day because I spent every night being read a bed time story until the age where I could read the stories to my parents at bed time.

Even though I participated in lots of reading as a young child I remember it being something I got into trouble for not doing enough of as an older child. I think this was because I could not find a genre that kept me interested. As a future teacher I will keep this in mind so that my reading books for children offer a wide range of interest so no child feels the way I did.

 

 

First Experience of Dance

Before participating in the dance workshop I was nervous about having to teach dance in the primary school. I assumed it would require me to learn the basics of many different dances, however, I have now realised this is not the case and has made me feel much more confident in teaching dance. I now understand that there is many ways to teach dance that will not put me in a situation where I feel uncomfortable. Three key suggestions that I will take from today’s workshop are:

  • I will always make sure to proof-check my music to make sure its content is age appropriate.
  • I will start lessons with different dance related videos if possible to grasp the young people’s attention. These videos will also allow me to have discussions with the class around dance.
  • Finally, I will try to use dance styles from different religions in order to promote cross-curricular learning e.g. dance and R.M.E.

Workshop no.1 – inequality

Looking back on Tuesday’s workshop I realise how much fun and how interesting I actually found it.

I was placed in the lowest resource group and too many people’s surprise including the lecturer I was very happy with the outcome we produced as a group. I was questioned if I was angry about being given less resources and I simply replied “no, I am not angry, I am proud of what we produced as a group with the little amount of resources that we had.”

I understand the exercise to be showing inequality in the world however, I realised not every person experiences jealousy or selfishness or no care at all.

The main aim I found from this workshop is that every person experiences different outcomes towards equality and things they are given. I think as I progress into my role in education I will see this greatly around the classroom and also outwith so I think it was a really clever workshop to begin the year with.

Not why. Who?

If you ever asked me “why teaching” I probably wouldn’t be able to answer. I don’t really have a cliche answer as I don’t “love” children. My journey to choosing this career path was never based on a “why” it was much more of a “who”. The who has two parts to my journey, who convinced me and who I want to be.

There was a teacher who once caught me at my lowest and helped me to see through to the light at the end of the tunnel. She cared for me, offered me a smile and a shoulder to cry on when no one else offered. She was the part of my “who” that I will never forget. She was the part who convinced me that as a person this is who I want to be. I want to be the person who makes a difference to a child’s life when they feel they have nothing and no one else.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The ePortfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can upload an image or pull one in from Flickr or any other image sharing site.

Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.