Reflections on Placement

As part of the situated communication module in BA1, I undertook a one week, whole school placement in a designated primary school. The school I was allocated to is of Roman Catholic denomination, located in an area of high deprivation, with a current roll of 137 pupils across a mix of single year and composite …

Continue reading “Reflections on Placement”

As part of the situated communication module in BA1, I undertook a one week, whole school placement in a designated primary school. The school I was allocated to is of Roman Catholic denomination, located in an area of high deprivation, with a current roll of 137 pupils across a mix of single year and composite …

Continue reading “Reflections on Placement”

Target: 3.2.2 Develop positive relationships and positive behaviour strategies.

3.2 Classroom Organisation and Management Target: 3.2.2 Develop positive relationships and positive behaviour strategies. Rationale: “Pupil-teacher relationships are a vital part of the effective teaching/learning cycle” (Lawrence, 2009, p.60). “[T]eacher-student relationships characterized by empathy, warmth, congruence, and trust are strong … Continue reading

3.2 Classroom Organisation and Management

Target: 3.2.2 Develop positive relationships and positive behaviour strategies.

Rationale:

“Pupil-teacher relationships are a vital part of the effective teaching/learning cycle” (Lawrence, 2009, p.60).

“[T]eacher-student relationships characterized by empathy, warmth, congruence, and trust are strong predictors of success” (Rogers, Lyon & Tausch, 2013, p.119).

The relationship between teachers and pupils is vital because of the inter-personal nature of teaching. Therefore, I wish to develop my skills over the next six weeks in exploring ways to enhance relationship and foster the most effective learning culture possible.

 

Professional Actions:

  • Demonstrate care and commitment to working with all learners;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of wellbeing indicators;
  • Show awareness of educational research and local and national advice, and demonstrate ability to use a variety of strategies to build relationships with learners, promote positive behaviour and celebrate success;
  • Apply the school’s positive behaviour policy, including strategies for understanding and preventing bullying;
  • Know how and when to seek the advice of colleagues in managing behaviour;
  • Demonstrate the ability to justify the approach taken in managing behaviour.

 

Action Plan

Week 1

  • Purposefully engage in relationship-building dialogue with every pupil in the class;
  • Access and understand the school’s positive behaviour policy;
  • Read and reflect on Chapter 7 of Kyriacou (2009).

Week 2

  • Revise the Wellbeing Indicators material from the 2015 lectures;
  • Revise Government policy and documentation on GIRFEC and the Wellbeing Indicators;
  • Plan to promote each of the Wellbeing Indicators during this placement during Week 3.

Week 3

  • Promote each of the Wellbeing Indicators as per Week 2 plans;
  • Reflect on the implementation, and consider next steps;
  • Discuss experience with class teacher.

Week 4

  • Reflect on educational research on celebrating success;
  • Reflect on local and national advice on celebrating success;
  • Embed a success-celebrating opportunity into at least one class lesson this week;
  • Reflect with learners and the class teacher on the effectiveness of this experience.

Week 5

  • Ensure I know the 4 R’s of behaviour relevant to the class;
  • Revise Claire’s behaviour lecture from Feb 2016;
  • Reflect on educational research on promoting positive behaviour;
  • Reflect on local and national advice on promoting positive behaviour.

Week 6

  • Undertake the Behaviour Checklists available on Moodle;
  • Reflect on Chapter 8 of Kyriacou (2009) & Unit 3.4 of Arthur & Cremin (2010);
  • Justify the behaviour management approached I’ve used during this placement.

 

Reflections

Week 1

  • I spoke to every pupil one-to-one over the course of the week, except one who was absent. Pupils responded positively to this and were very willing to engage in conversation. I was particularly conscious of doing so after any sanctions were required.
  • I discussed the positive behaviour policy with the class teacher. Though the threat of sanctions is sometimes necessary, the classroom operates a much more effective positive reinforcement strategy. I was able to use this effectively during the week to reward effort and behaviour, individually and collectively. Pupils responded very well to this and engaged with me at the same level as the class teacher in this respect.
  • Kyriacou (2009) discusses:
    • Two aspects of positive relationship being acceptance of authority and mutual respect and rapport. The former was encouraged this week through point 2 above, and also from my taking on classroom organisation duties from the class teacher, such as the register, dinner money collection, and so on. Over the course of the week I felt I became much more established as an authority figure. The latter was developed through informal conversation through point 1 above.
    • Authority is split into status, competence, control over the classroom and control over discipline. I feel I developed in all of these areas:
      • Status – I consider myself to have appeared relaxed and self-assured; I exercised the rights of status by moving around, initiating and terminating conversations etc.; I communicated in a way that suggested I expected my will be adhered to.
      • Competence – I demonstrated a sound knowledge of everything I taught; I feel I was enthusiastic and interested about my lessons; the activities relating to my lessons were effective (based on engagement of learners and evidence of learning).
      • Classroom control – This was generally improving over the course of the week. I was able to silence the class when I was speaking, moreso when this was more frequent and I had a purpose in mind; I minimised disruption; I made decisions and stuck to them.
      • Discipline control – Based on the advice of the class teacher I was firm with pupils we identified as ‘testing’ my authority; I occasionally threatened sanctions where necessary but there was no need to impose them; I was able to use eye contact and gesture to manage behaviour.

Week 2

  • I noted, from the 2015 series of lectures, that the Wellbeing Indicators are “fundamental” to GIRFEC “to support a holistic view of the child[‘s]… progress” (Scottish Government, 2014a), thus this is an essential area to focus on.
  • I further noted that “health and wellbeing are now seen as key responsibilities of all educators across the curriculum, along with literacy and numeracy” (Axford, Blyth & Schepens, 2010, p.5), therefore I should be well-placed to establish positive wellbeing behaviour with literacy and numeracy as core elements of my placement remit.
  • My review of Scottish Government policy showed that the indicators must be satisfied in order for a child to achieve the four capacities. This again underpins the need for holistic assessment (Scottish Government, 2010).
  • Within the school’s own policy, I noted:
    • The school is part of the ‘Nurturing North Ayshire’ scheme, with a focus on inclusion. Wellbeing needs by using a nurturing approach is the responsibility of all staff, supported through:
      • Nurture: with values promoted in school where children can say ‘We are listened to, ‘We know we are valued’, ‘We belong’.
      • Rights Respecting Schools: with the positive behaviour strategy tied to UNESCO UHCRC materials;
      • Restorative Practice: building and maintaining relationships and repairing the harm of wrongdoing.
    • The school is currently focussing on ‘Nurtured’ and ‘Included’ as these are areas their audit indicated they need to work on (Whitehirst Park Primary School, 2015).
    • The local authority defines the Wellbeing Indicators as “a common language to describe a child’s needs and identify concerns. These are designed to encourage practitioners to think about a child holistically and not just focus on one area of their functioning” (North Ayrshire Integrated Children’s Service Partnership, 2012).
  • The following elements of the Wellbeing Indicators will be embedded into my Week 3 teaching – [taken from Scottish Government (2014b)].
    • Safe: does not experience bullying behaviour or discrimination by peers or adults at school; does not experience bullying behaviour or discrimination in the local community; adopts safe practices and acts responsibly in potentially high-risk situations [from discussion in the novel study];
    • Healthy, Included and Respected: has emotional and developmental needs which are not neglected; has a well-developed sense of self-esteem and self respect; has a well-developed sense of identity and belonging; feels loved and trusted [through check-in session];
    • Achieving: Is a successful learner, confident individual, responsible citizen and effective contributor; is developing independence or autonomy; literacy and numeracy skills are developing; all children and young people have an entitlement to a curriculum which they experience as a coherent whole, with smooth and well paced progression through the Experiences and Outcomes [throughout, with opportunities for personalisation and choice, contributions and progression);
    • Nurtured: feels loved and trusted; has emotional and developmental needs which are not neglected; receives regular praise and encouragement [via check in and deliberate opportunity to praise all learners through two stars and a wish];
    • Active: is as physically active as his or her capacities permit; responds positively to physical challenges in recreational and play-related settings [through active Numeracy & Mathematics lesson];
    • Responsible: follow simple rules and instructions and begin to internalise them [through reinforcement of positive behaviour policy]