Two Week Placement

Throughout my two week placement, I was given the opportunity to experience all of the primary classes including some composite classes and the nursery. I enjoyed this as it was … Continue reading

Throughout my two week placement, I was given the opportunity to experience all of the primary classes including some composite classes and the nursery. I enjoyed this as it was a chance for me to gain knowledge of the different levels of teaching.

During placement I realised that one of my strengths is that I am able to change my tone and pitch when talking to different year groups. For example, when talking to primary one I changed my tone to suit their age range to ensure they could understand me and interact with me. I felt more confident when I was working with the younger school as I felt like they interacted with me more. However, in the upper school I had to completely change the way I interacted with the pupils to ensure I wasn’t their ‘friend’ but also wasn’t patronising towards them. Surprisingly, I enjoyed working with all age ranges of pupils as over time I felt more confident when changing my tone.

One area of my communication I need to develop is controlling when I say “eh”, “like” and “em.” Often when answering pupils questions I was inclined to use filler words while thinking of what to say. I also used filler words if I felt I was in an awkward situation or felt slightly uncomfortable with the situation. For example, when talking to a professional I almost felt like if I didn’t know what to say so I used filler words to get myself out of the situation. On my school experience form from the head teacher, It was stated that I am not very confident when talking to members of staff therefore, this is something I need to work on.

Overall, I enjoyed placement and loved the experience. I have acknowledged what I need to work on and have identified strategies that will help me.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections on Placement

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience on placement and it was brilliant to be back in the classroom. The school I was placed in was relatively small with just over 200 pupils. Everyone in the school, both staff and pupils, could not have been more welcoming. I worked in P3 and P7 classes and, although different, …

Continue reading “Reflections on Placement”

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience on placement and it was brilliant to be back in the classroom. The school I was placed in was relatively small with just over 200 pupils. Everyone in the school, both staff and pupils, could not have been more welcoming. I worked in P3 and P7 classes and, although different, I loved my experience in both!

I enjoyed interacting with and getting to know both pupils and staff. I attended two staff meetings throughout my time on placement and these, alongside general conversations with staff, gave me a different insight into school life. I also supported learning in classes and gave an exposition for a maths lesson regarding mental maths strategies in a P3 class. It was great to have a chance to assess my own communication skills and get the opinions of others, i.e. peers and teachers. Placement also gave me the opportunity to observe and apply the knowledge and techniques I had gained at university in the classroom.

One of the primary self-observations made during placement was in relation to communication behaviours. I have identified one primary strengths and one area of development.

Strength
One of my biggest communication strengths, noted by myself, my peer and teachers, was the use of my voice to showcase my enthusiasm. It is extremely important to engage pupils in lessons and one of the best tools that teachers have to achieve this is their voice. Very few pupils will engage with a lesson if the teacher appears disengaged and disinterested.

Area of Most Progress
I understand the importance of building confidence and showing children that they and their opinions are valid and valued. A large part of building this self-confidence is ensuring that children are included and have the opportunity to share their views.

During group/class discussions, there are often a few pupils who are very confident and who may dominate conversations. Previously, I have always been hesitant to prevent pupils from dominating discussions as I did not want them to feel that their opinions were not valued and/or discourage them from answering in the future. However, I also knew that it is important to draw non-participating pupils into conversations and activities. Teachers need to strike the balance between ensuring all pupils are included and making sure confident pupils can still voice their opinions, without dominating activities. This is something I was conscious of and improved upon during placement. This was noted by my peer during my observed lesson.

Area Requiring Progress
I make a conscious effort to use accurate spoken English when in school, avoiding the use of slang. However, I have a bad habit of using colloquialisms like ‘kinna’, ‘gonna’ and ‘wanna’. This is something I am now aware of and will make a conscious effort to improve upon in everyday conversations before next placement.

Action Plan
Thanks to my self-assessment, peer assessment and teachers’ assessment, I am aware of the areas I need to improve upon with regards to communication. This now means that I will be conscious of them when talking to people or presenting.

The way individuals communicate changes depending on the situation and the feelings individuals have about communicating will impact on how effect they are at it. For example, I would feel far more comfortable teaching a class full of children than I would presenting something at a staff meeting and thus, my communication skills would be more effective in the first context. I have noticed that most of my communication errors occur when I am nervous. Overcoming nerves is something that I am going to work on before my placement in BA2 in the hopes that this will help with my communication skills in general.

Overall, I adored my time on placement and cannot wait until I am back in the classroom again!

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.

5 weeks until placement!

Welcome to my first post as a BA Education student, this is the place i can share and reflect on my experiences throughout the next 4 years and i couldn’t be more excited! Coming straight from high school, I didn’t … Continue reading

Welcome to my first post as a BA Education student, this is the place i can share and reflect on my experiences throughout the next 4 years and i couldn’t be more excited! Coming straight from high school, I didn’t really know what to expect, but luckily everyone has been so welcoming.

I feel that my 2 week placement at the end of October will give me a real insight to how a primary class room operates, what children learn and the challenges facing teachers. It will allow me to observe and experience the everyday running of a primary classroom, but also give me the opportunity to speak to teachers who can give me advice.

I am currently feeling quite anxious for my placement as I don’t know what school i’ll be attending until closer to the time, but i always like going into things with an open mind and i cannot wait for the experience again after furtherly enjoying 2 years of work experience in primary schools prior to this.

I’ve had 3 sessions of situated communication so far and I’ve got an insight into different ways you can communicate which has helped deepen my understanding of how to be approachable to a child. So far I definitely feel i have gained confidence within myself, making me more comfortable talking in front of groups of people and sharing ideas. Overtime i know my confidence will grow and i will become an effective communicator.

Blogging my experiences throughout this course is not only good for reflecting, but also will be interesting to look at in the future when i am nearing achieving this degree.

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.

Year ahead

Looking forward with excitement and a small dose nervousness about all the new things that lie ahead of me. My hopes are to learn from the first placement about what I need to work on and what I can actually … Continue reading

Looking forward with excitement and a small dose nervousness about all the new things that lie ahead of me. My hopes are to learn from the first placement about what I need to work on and what I can actually say is a strength. The unknown will change to the known but the learning will continue. I feel I have learned so much so far and it has only been a week. I go home happy feeling accomplished in what I have done and wanting to continue that learning every minute.

Over the years I think I have learnt a lot about myself. Learning who I am and how strong I can be. I have seen the world and I have been in the school environments. I know that teaching is what I want to do. Picturing myself having my own class has been there since i was 18. 8 years later here I am.

I hope it four years time I will look back and see the change in myself and with my knowledge. Learning the theory and the practices I need.  The nervousness and learning will still be there but I will know what I can do and what I have the power to achieve.