The last 2 weeks have flown by. I didn’t think you could learn so much in such a small amount of time within a school but I certainly did and I enjoyed every minute of it. STRENGTH ORGANISATION… Before going on placement I tried to get prepared (as much as I could) before I went. … Continue reading “Reflections on Placement”
The last 2 weeks have flown by. I didn’t think you could learn so much in such a small amount of time within a school but I certainly did and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Before going on placement I tried to get prepared (as much as I could) before I went. Prior to placement, I only found out my school a week before and so I was very anxious. However, as soon as I knew my school I researched as much as I could on the school website and by phoning the head teacher. I printed out sheets which gave a summary of what each class was doing this term which allowed me to get an insight of what they were going to be up to when placement quickly came around. I then arranged a pre-placement day, which I recommend doing as it made me feel much more relaxed and even more excited to get started. They showed me around the school and met all the class teachers. I had made up a pack for the class teacher that included my 8 placement tasks, observation record sheets and some personal details – this was complimented on on my report. I also tried to be as organised as I could so I would be able to soak as much knowledge and skills in the classroom from the shadowing the teacher without having to stress about all the placement tasks *until I got home*. When I got home, I made time to transfer all my notes I had written that day onto my laptop and started to compile them into more structured answers to complete my placement tasks.
AREA FOR DEVELOPMENT
USING HAND GESTURES…
As the days went on, the teacher began to involve me much more with presenting and communicating with the whole class. This involved taking a small lesson based on firework safety, using the board below to help spark ideas for their writing task (excuse the pun). Also whilst in the Primary 7 class I led a single word spelling test of 25 words. I had to make sure I was clear and precise in my pronunciation. However, something that was picked up on on my report and peer observation (completed by a teacher) was that I should use hand gestures to contribute to my communication more. On reflection I do understand the importance of doing so as I observed the teacher and the classes attention and eyes were drawn in by the teachers movement of hands. After I had been given this feedback, I was offered to lead a class health and wellbeing lesson. I took the advice on board and made conscious awareness of my hand gestures. I noticed that the class began to listen more carefully to instructions and understood the task more.
The way I think I’m going to improve on the area for development is sheerly through practice and growth of confidence. I will also try and add as much in to my oral presentation too and this will hopefully help emphasise points and making and mirror my enthusiasm to the audience.
Over the last two weeks I have had one of the most rewarding experiences out on placement and it has given me tools and skills to work with as I […]
Over the last two weeks I have had one of the most rewarding experiences out on placement and it has given me tools and skills to work with as I further develop through my time in my course. The school I attended was very warm and welcoming, with teachers that were willing to help me achieve the most out of the short time I was there for. During my time in the school I got to observe a couple of different classes but was mainly based in Primary 7 and Primary 1. This was valuable as it allowed me to see the contrasting teaching methods used at different ages and levels.
Before starting at university, I had previous experience working with children from the age of 3-16. This helped when entering the classroom as I was aware that I had to change my level of vocabulary to suit the child’s level to ensure I was not confusing them by using words they did not recognise or understand. Adding to this some children needed words enunciated more than others for example, in the infant school, so they could recognise their sounds and letters. I furthermore varied the pace I would speak at, for example Primary 1 children need some extra time to process what you are saying so I spoke slower than I usually would to allow them that time.
Area of most progress
One area I believe I progressed most in during the weeks of placement was building the confidence to speak to teachers and in front a whole class. Before starting placement I was nervous about having to speak with the Head Teacher and other teachers in the school. However, once I had settled in after the first day I surprised myself as I became more and more confident in speaking to everyone in the staff room and in front of all the children.
Area requiring progress
When reflecting back on conversations I had during my time in placement I would say I stuttered quite a bit and used words “like” and “um” a lot to fill in gaps. This is something that I must be aware of from now on as it can look unprofessional in a work setting. Also, I noticed that when I was not doing anything with my hands I did not know what to do with them so ended up fidgeting which could convey as a sign of uncertainty in what I am doing or saying.
To tackle my stuttering, I should try and take my time while speaking and be very aware to use other words or use silence instead of “like” and “um”. While tackling this I should also research different ways to stand while presenting or teaching to see if I can discover the most comfortable way to stand whilst not fidgeting.
Overall, I had a great experience at placement and it has allowed me to discover my strengths and weaknesses, allowing me to develop these for future placements.
Strength As I had previous work experience with children at different schools and clubs, I had some knowledge of how children respond when they are being spoken to rather fast; they can often get confused or not listen to what is being said. Therefore, I ensured that I was enunciating words clearly when talking to …
Continue reading “Reflections on Placement”
As I had previous work experience with children at different schools and clubs, I had some knowledge of how children respond when they are being spoken to rather fast; they can often get confused or not listen to what is being said. Therefore, I ensured that I was enunciating words clearly when talking to the children individually, in groups or as a whole class. This helped them understand what is being said and if they had any tasks they had to complete and that they knew exactly what was expected of them.
Additionally, I also ensured that I faced the children when I was speaking to them, no matter how many of them there were. I feel that if I am talking to the children that I have to look at them as a sign of respect. As if I want them to respect me by looking at me and listening to me then I have to return that by looking at them when talking to them.
Area of most progress
At the beginning of my placement I recognised numerous areas that I felt I had to improve as quickly as possible to allow me to gain the most from my placement. I found myself using fillers such as:“um,” “ah,” “like,” etc.and speaking at an adequate volume. Sometimes I felt that I wasn’t being listened to as I was speaking loud enough. Throughout my two weeks I ensured that I worked on these two areas and by the second week I had reduced the level of filler words I was using and speaking at an adequate volume, so I had some authority over the children.
Area of requiring progress
One of the biggest areas I feel I still need to improve is the use of language appropriate to the age and stage of children in the group. I often found myself using more advance language for the junior years than they could understand. I feel this is something that I can definitely improve currently as well as over the next four years and corresponding future placements.
To improve the use of language appropriate to the age and stage of children in the group, I would ask teachers of the junior school as well as research what words and phrases are appropriate. For example, “take-away” instead of “subtraction”. This will help the children I am working with get the most out of their learning and gain a sound understanding of what they are learning. It would also help me feel more confident when addressing different topics and lessons and how I can ensure my class get the most out of my lesson.
Overall, I highly enjoyed placement as it put into practice everything I have learned over the past few months and also helped me identify my strengths, areas of most progress, and areas requiring progress. I feel that I met my expectations well as I: interacted with colleagues in the classroom and staffroom, supported learning in classes (including taking groups), demonstrated effective communication, gathered information to complete the eight observation tasks and evaluated my peer and myself. As all the teachers I worked with were all so supportive and helpful with anything including questions, this really enhanced my ability to achieve these expectations and were met without any obstacles. Overall, placement helped motivate me as it showed me what I was working towards.