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.  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.

 STRENGTH

ORGANISATION…

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.

ACTION PLAN

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Placement experience

2 weeks ago, I nervously walked into school for my first teaching placement. Little did I know this would be the quickest and most valuable 2 weeks. I got to work with a lovely primary 3 class. Who helps me … Continue reading

2 weeks ago, I nervously walked into school for my first teaching placement. Little did I know this would be the quickest and most valuable 2 weeks. I got to work with a lovely primary 3 class. Who helps me learn and also gave me some lovely pieces of art to take home, who knew I had such a red face. Most of all through this placement I learnt areas of strength in my communication, some that I didn’t even realise and also made clear to me areas I can develop upon.

I got to work with groups closely and was able to identify key communication skills to interact with the children. But also the communication skills I could apply throughout with other teachers. This experience was valuable to me in the way I could see the teachers use their interactions to help benefit the children’s learning. As I observed and interacted I was able to realise the skills I needed to use to aid me in becoming a strong communicator within my teaching role.

Strengths

An area of strength I quickly became aware of my communication skills I used to interact with small groups, during a maths lesson. I was able to assist 2 groups at a time and have the ability to apply the appropriate amount of help to the children, looking at the different problems they required assistance with. I found I could use my initiative to go over to the groups and use effective and clear communication. I spoke at an adequate volume and used language that was appropriate for the stage of the children. Within this area, my body language was used in a positive stance and using eye contact to be able to also communicate my non-verbal communications to the children. During this maths time with the groups I found I could effectively use ‘thinking time’ to be able to help the children come to the answer themselves. I was there to support and make use of the strategies to lead them to an answer. I was able to apply this help through listening to the teachers exposition on the learning intentions for the children that day.

Areas of most progress

Areas I felt I quickly adapted to and made progress with was my interactions with individual children. I feel I learnt quickly to look at the values the children held as a school: Kind, resilient, respectful, confident and included. Through this placement, I learnt to use appropriate language and praise to effectively communicate and make the children feel valued. I used this to acknowledge the children’s efforts and also to promote positive behaviours. My positive choice of words such as ‘well done’ or giving them a simple ‘good job,’ helped them feel accomplished and respected. I also found I was strong in using enthusiasm, during free play time, to value the children’s confidence and respect their efforts. They would show me their creations and I would interact with them and making sure I was giving them the appropriate attention.

 

 

 

Areas requiring progress

My confidence is always a main struggle of mine. I find I sometimes don’t have strong communication with other adults. Lacking the confidence to ask questions or speak up on my ideas. This is an area I felt I got a bit better with on placement, but still the area of my communication that needs the most work. I find it easier communicating to the children but there is always still the nagging doubt if I am communicating the strategy correctly, or if the language choice appropriate to the stage. I know this will come over time and it will improve with practice and experiences. I try to get involved as much as possible but I feel that on occasions my confidence holds me back.

Action plan

My next steps I need to look at include, communicating to the class and creating my own lessons. This will help me look at the language I need to use and making sure my body language is positive to the whole class not just small groups or individuals. I need to also build on my group work and communication to my adult peers. From teachers to parents alike. Being able to ask questions on things I am unsure of but also sharing my own ideas. I know that group work within university will help with this but also my daily life at work or on my placements over the next few years.

Reflections of BA1 Placement

On the 29th October, I began my first student teacher placement for two weeks! I worked with the primary 3 class on week 1 and for week 2 I worked in a composite class of primary 5/6, which allowed me to see a variety of teaching styles and methods. I had the opportunity of going […]

On the 29th October, I began my first student teacher placement for two weeks! I worked with the primary 3 class on week 1 and for week 2 I worked in a composite class of primary 5/6, which allowed me to see a variety of teaching styles and methods. I had the opportunity of going on school trips during my placement and this experience was really interesting to see how both the pupils and teachers act outwith the classroom environment. Throughout both weeks, I worked closely with small groups of pupils who needed more support. This challenged me to think about my oral language to ensure that I used language that they understood, in order to engage the pupils and work effectively with them.

Strengths

  • Well-Spoken – good pace, clear voice, good pronunciation –
  • Eye Contact and Facial Expressions

When working with small groups, especially for the primary 3 class, I spoke clearly and at a slow pace to ensure that the pupils could understand everything that I was saying. The class teacher pointed out that I was a good role model by pronouncing all my words correctly, because many pupils have poor speech mainly due to the fact that they don’t get corrected at home, in most cases. I made good use of eye contact with children and in doing this I also received good eye contact back from the pupils which showed me they were listening. I was engaging positively with the children through my effective use of facial expressions to show my feelings about their effort when working in the groups.

Areas of Most Progress

  • Enthusiasm
  • Use of Language

During my two weeks on placement, I realised how important enthusiasm is in the school environment. Through discussion with class teachers they explained to me how much of teaching is acting and putting on a show in order to engage the pupils and provide a safe, positive environment for them (which they might not all get at home.) With the primary 3 class, the enthusiasm came quite natural to me and i found it much easier to convey to them than i did to the primary 6. At first, I was unsure how to show enthusiasm with the upper classes because I didn’t want to come across as patronising. Throughout my second week with the primary 5/6 class, I became more comfortable with showing enthusiasm to older pupils and noticed that the main way to do this was to involve them in discussion and show your interest in their thoughts. I also think I coped well at using the correct language for the different levels and stages I worked with. I was challenged to try and find more than one way to explain something  so that another pupil could understand and this is something that came up quite often. The more experienced i had with this, the more comfortable I was which increased my confidence.

Area Requiring Progress

  • Projecting my voice and using a wider range of tones
  • to use more body language e.g) gestures

After discussing with the class teacher, we both agreed on these areas of development. The teacher explained that she found it quite hard to observe this because I was never addressing the whole class and only ever worked with small groups in a quite area so there was no need for me to use a louder voice. I admitted that I found it hard to know where I stood in the classroom, as I have had previous experience working in a school as a helper but this was my first time portraying the teacher role.

Action Plan

I think that my areas of development and confidence will improve with experience and also by receiving and responding to feedback from peers, when doing presentation work so I can see any progress I have made and those areas that I still need to work on! Overall, I really enjoyed my two week placement and I can’t wait for my next placement in BA2 to develop more skills and gain more experience.

My Experience!

Placement for me was very enjoyable as I learnt so much over the two weeks that I was there. I was eager to give 100% into everything but was also pretty nervous at the thought of being seen as a student teacher. I was placed in the Primary 6/7 classroom for a week and then …

Continue reading “My Experience!”

Placement for me was very enjoyable as I learnt so much over the two weeks that I was there. I was eager to give 100% into everything but was also pretty nervous at the thought of being seen as a student teacher. I was placed in the Primary 6/7 classroom for a week and then I spent a week in the Primary 1/2/3 classroom – both entirely different from one another. Since I had never been in a Primary 6/7 environment before I was very much out of my comfort zone on my first week but felt very welcomed and soon didn’t want to leave.

Strengths

My first strength was the way that I spoke to each individual in the class about their work. I was enthusiastic and commented differently depending on what each child had done, this resulted in pupils around them praising them also. I also gave useful feedback which encouraged the pupils to do their work. Another strength for me is that I bent down to the pupils eye level so it showed my interest when they were needing help with their work. I spoke clearly when discussing what they were doing and was patient when they didn’t understand.

Area of most progress

In my opinion my area that I developed the most was being able to confidently speak to staff and pupils around the school. As I said above I was nervous since I was going in as a student teacher and was worried that I wouldn’t do it right. However, after being welcomed the way I had, I was quickly able to get out of my worried mindset and felt like by the end of my two weeks my confidence grew vastly.

area requiring progress

During my two week placement I was becoming aware of what I had to work on. The use of some of my language for the lower classes sometimes confused them. I was able to get them to understand after realizing I may have rushed or was too complex.

action plan

In the future I hope to be aware of what I am going to say before explaining something and remembering what level of pupils I am talking to. I also hope to improve my confidence levels more and to trust my professional judgment when in a school. I am also going to work on not worrying about what will happen and to just embrace it.

 

 

Reflection on Placement

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.

 

Strengths

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.

 

Action Plan

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.

First placement in October 2018

Coming up to my first school placement in October I am looking forward to be able to gain even more insight into what being a teacher will be like. I am hoping that from this placement I will be able to identify my current strengths in a classroom environment but also be able to identify …

Continue reading “First placement in October 2018”

Coming up to my first school placement in October I am looking forward to be able to gain even more insight into what being a teacher will be like. I am hoping that from this placement I will be able to identify my current strengths in a classroom environment but also be able to identify any weaknesses that I have so that I can work on them before going on placement in second year. I am excited to find out what school I will be going to and finding out who I will be going on placement with, but I am also nervous as we don’t find out where we are going until the week before placement starts. I am interested to see the different teaching styles that the teacher I work with will use and also how they control the class and effectively deal with each individual students needs within the classroom as there are many. Overall, I am eager to go on placement and am excited to learn lots more about working within a classroom environment but also helping and communicating effectively with all of the pupils within the classroom and their class teacher.