Reflections on Placement

Over the past two weeks, I have been on my very first Primary School placement as a university student. It was a very enjoyable and rewarding yet also challenging experience. […]

Over the past two weeks, I have been on my very first Primary School placement as a university student. It was a very enjoyable and rewarding yet also challenging experience. It certainly opened my eyes to the different levels of learning and also the struggles some children face in education. The placement really helped me identify my strengths and also my areas of development which will help me in the future as I can overcome them.

STRENGTH: 

A strength that I identified during my two week placement was that I am very enthusiastic. When speaking to the children from P1-P7, I made sure that I was showing interest in what they were saying to me. For example, if  a child was telling me about their work in a lesson I would ensure I would listen and ask questions etc. When a child would get an answer correct I would congratulate them and give them a little bit of praise so they could keep up the good work. When children got questions wrong, some would get upset and angry at themselves – for example, one girl said to me “I’m so stupid” just because she got a question wrong – but I ensured them its alright and explained how they would do the question to get the right answer. Once they done the question correctly they felt relived and happy. I always ensured I approached every child with a warm welcoming smile. In the playground I always encouraged children to be active and where acceptable be involved – for example, one day me and some learning support workers brought out the parachute and played games with the children using it.

AREA OF MOST PROGRESS:

The area which I identified as having the most progress over the two week placement experience was my confidence. Although I do see myself as a confident person, stepping into a new environment my confidence levels are not as high as they normally are. At the start of the two weeks I was scared incase I would say the wrong thing to staff and pupils. I was scared and nervous to ask teachers for help in the beginning but as the days went on my confidence levels began to increase and I felt more comfortable in the ‘new’ environment. My confidence levels did see a lot of progress but it is something I believe I can work on so my confidence is at its highest all the time.

AREA REQUIRING PROGRESS:

An area which I think I still need to work on is the hiding of my emotions. I am a person who finds it hard to hide their emotions which can be challenging when working with children. For example, if I was annoyed at a child it would be difficult for me to hide this or if I got on with a child more than the other I would also find it hard to hide this which could portray favouritism in the class and could affect other children’s learning. As the days went on I learnt to treat every child as equals but I think I can still work on this in the future as it does need a lot of progress still.

ACTION PLAN: 

Going forward I plan on working on my confidence levels and hiding my emotions. I believe, the only way this can be achieved is through time and experience. Putting myself in situations I normally wouldn’t put myself in to step out my comfort zone will really help build my confidence levels.

Reflection on Placement

2 weeks ago, I started placement in a school in Wishaw and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had to date. Working within a Primary 3/4 class was both exciting and challenging, however, I would not change this opportunity at all. This placement allowed me to pick up some new teaching …

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2 weeks ago, I started placement in a school in Wishaw and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had to date. Working within a Primary 3/4 class was both exciting and challenging, however, I would not change this opportunity at all. This placement allowed me to pick up some new teaching strategies which I will use in my future career and also allowed me to work on my own communication skills. From taking a small reading group outside for some comprehension to teaching an Art lesson to the full class, my confidence has grown and I was able to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses which I will work on in the coming years of the course.

Strengths

A strength that I identified when I was on placement was my eye contact. This was a surprise to me as throughout high school and college, it was something I really struggled with however when in the classroom setting I ensured that I was giving eye contact to all individuals when I was talking and explaining specific information. I also was able to use my eye contact to engage individuals who would get distracted and pull them back into the class discussion or activity.  I would also say a strength that was highlighted while on placement was my use of pitch and tone. I was able to easily adapt the pitch of my voice depending on the situation as well as my tone. When enthusiastic and promoting positive energy, I was able to make my pitch higher and my tone more optimistic. An example would be when I was rewarding a reader in my group who usually struggles to make it through paragraphs. He was able to complete the page and I showed the praise he deserved. I can also deepen the pitch and lower the tone when giving out verbal warnings as instructed by the class teacher. This allowed children to identify the mistakes that they had made and promoted that they should try harder.

Area of Most Progress

The area in which I would say I had the most progress while on placement was my confidence with speaking in front of a large group and also making decisions where I felt confident within my own abilities. As mentioned in the introduction, I was able to teach one afternoon for the curricular area of Expressive Arts. This allowed me to talk in front of a class of 25 pupils which is a skill I never thought I would be able to achieve quickly. I was able to talk with a good volume and also a good pace allowing children to understand all the information I was giving them. In terms of making decisions, I quickly realised that I would have to make my own decisions and try to stick with my judgement. This was an experience which allowed me to make many decisions such as when to note a concern, give out verbal warnings and also ensuring I was praising when all children had achieved something that they were individually capable of. I was also able to make decisions for my reading group and during my lesson. This was rewarding.

Area requiring progress

A skill I still need to master in my enunciation and not using words like ‘aye’, ‘like’ and ’em’. I quickly learned while in placement that I don’t always pronounce my ‘d’, ‘t’, ‘ing’ and ‘en’.  This sometimes confused the children as they were used to hearing fully enunciated words within the classroom which enabled them to understand instructions. I also noticed my use of ‘like’ and ‘aye’ within the first few days of placement. This was mostly when explaining tasks to children or answering questions. I will be able to work on these skills within the next few years of the course.

Action Plan

My action plan for these communications skills are to continue working on my confidence as I know I will be different in front of a group of adults and different in front of a group of children. This comes through practice, so I am going to try speak up more in group situations. I also need to start pronouncing my letters and will practice this with daily conversations and when doing some presentations over the course. Finally, I will try to increase my vocabulary by reading more books and trying to get rid of terms such as ‘like’ and ’em’ when explaining answers or information. These are all achievable and I will try my best so that when I am next out on placement, I can provide the best practice.

Reflections on Placement

Over the past two weeks I have been on my first primary school placement, which has been such an amazing and rewarding experience. Although the were many challenges I loved the experience as it has helped develop many different communication … Continue reading

Over the past two weeks I have been on my first primary school placement, which has been such an amazing and rewarding experience. Although the were many challenges I loved the experience as it has helped develop many different communication skills and has also shown me different teaching practices in a classroom setting. This placement has helped highlight and develop many of my strengths and helped show my areas for development.

Strengths


A strength that was highlighted during my placement experience was when talking to or teaching children I was quite enthusiastic. For example when a child would get something right I would congratulate them or if they get something wrong I’d still be enthusiastic and make sure they knew it was okay that the answers were not right. This would then build children’s self esteem so that they are not scared to get something wrong. Another strength I felt I had in my two week placement was that I used good eye contact when explaining information to children. I made sure that anytime I was talking to a specific pupil I had good eye contact with them and wasn’t looking elsewhere and when explaining things to the whole group I made sure to maintain eye contact with the whole group.

Area of Most Progress


During my placement experience I developed many skills but one of the skills I made the most progress on was my confidence when talking to staff and pupils and trusting my professional judgement. At the start of my placement I was quite nervous and didn’t want to step on the teachers toes but as I got more comfortable I was able to start trusting my professional judgement and begin to become more confident with the children and staff. Although I still need to work on this I feel a lot more confident with this than I did before.

Ares Requiring Progress


Throughout my placement I became aware of areas I needed to work on such as my pace, I tend to speak quick fast so I need to work on slowing down when I’m talking so that its clear and easier for children to understand what I’m explaining. I also became aware that I use words such as “like,” and “um,” which is something I need to work on not saying as this will make me sound more confident in what I’m explaining which will in turn make sure the children trust my judgement.

Action Plan


Going forward I plan on continuing to work on my confidence and trusting my professional judgement as although I progressed a lot in this area I still feel it needs to be further developed. In everyday life im going to try and speak slower and to stop using words such as “like,” because if I do this normally I will be less likely to speak fast and use these words while teaching.

Reflections on Placement

Over the past two week I have been on placement in a primary school. It was a very challenging yet extremely rewarding experience and I feel like I progressed greatly in the short time. Something I think I did well over the course of the fortnight and I would consider a strength would be how … Continue reading Reflections on Placement

Over the past two week I have been on placement in a primary school. It was a very challenging yet extremely rewarding experience and I feel like I progressed greatly in the short time.

Something I think I did well over the course of the fortnight and I would consider a strength would be how well I was able to adjust my register. Being aware of who you are speaking to is vital when needing to change your tone and language. When speaking to Primary 2’s you wouldn’t use the same formal language you would speak to the head teacher with or the tone you would speak to the Primary 7’s with. Adjusting your register is very important as you would seem condescending speaking to another teacher  in the tone and pitch you speak to the youngest children in. This is something i think I managed to do well over the time in school.

The area I think I made the most progress with over my time spent in the school would be my confidence with taking groups of children and leading activities. In the beginning I found this quite difficult as I was unsure how to approach it but as the weeks went on I became much more confident with this sort of task and enjoyed taking the groups out.

An area I think I still need to work on is ensuring I always show open body language. Often I found myself crossing my arms or holding my fists which displays closed body language. This is something that I definitely need to work on as it is something I will be marked down on in the future.

Feedback and Self Evaluation

I worked with Tayler to discuss and compare our feedback checklists. We both agreed with that his strengths were that he spoke very clearly and and at a suitable volume for the classroom setting. In addition, we both agreed that he maintained good eye contact with his pupils  throughout. An area of development for the … Continue reading Feedback and Self Evaluation

I worked with Tayler to discuss and compare our feedback checklists. We both agreed with that his strengths were that he spoke very clearly and and at a suitable volume for the classroom setting. In addition, we both agreed that he maintained good eye contact with his pupils  throughout. An area of development for the teacher would be to help expand his pupils answers and responses to help support their learning. There were no surprises when comparing my checklist with Tayler as we had very similar results.

I found these tasks fairly easy due to being given the feedback checklist. It made it really clear how to answer and helped me notice positive and negatives things in the way he presents and teaches.

Feedback can be a very positive experience if the person giving it is being critical to help you improve. Without the intentions to help you better yourself then it is just judgement which doesn’t help anyone thrive.

If there was only one thing I could take from these tasks it would be that there are good ways and bad ways to give feedback. Feedback is a great tool if given in a way that helps expand learning and not just put you down about what you’ve done wrong. I will take this with me on placement in future years and onto the career when giving feedback to pupils, whether that be homework or class talks.

I am excited for placement but also very nervous. It will be a great experience and can’t wait to see all the theory we have been learning in practice.

October Placement

Approaching my school placement in October I am looking forward to having the opportunity of experiencing life as a teacher. I am eager to observe certain techniques that teachers may use throughout lessons and how they approach certain situations, also … Continue reading

Approaching my school placement in October I am looking forward to having the opportunity of experiencing life as a teacher. I am eager to observe certain techniques that teachers may use throughout lessons and how they approach certain situations, also taking part in lessons and getting to know the pupils that I will be helping over those two weeks. Although I welcome the idea of going on placement I am aware that I may be presented with challenges and it will be interesting to monitor how I cope with these situations. I believe that using this resource will benefit me over the next four years as I will be able to look back on my progress and development.

Integrated Arts week 10 – 14th November 2017

We began with music this week, and looking at rhythm and beat. Using only drumsticks or beaters, we learned how to tap out the beat to a number of different songs and genres. Similar to the figure notes system we looked earlier in the module, we used a very basic coded system designed to introduce …

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We began with music this week, and looking at rhythm and beat. Using only drumsticks or beaters, we learned how to tap out the beat to a number of different songs and genres. Similar to the figure notes system we looked earlier in the module, we used a very basic coded system designed to introduce …

Continue reading “Integrated Arts week 10 – 14th November 2017”

Reflections on Placement

I have just completed my first school experience placement and I cant believe that it is over already. Two weeks within my local hometown primary school absolutely flew in. Me and my placement partner were placed within the Primary 5 … Continue reading

I have just completed my first school experience placement and I cant believe that it is over already. Two weeks within my local hometown primary school absolutely flew in. Me and my placement partner were placed within the Primary 5 class for the duration of our two weeks with the exception of one morning where we were in a Primary 1 class in order for us to complete one of our placement tasks. I was pleased about this as it let us build connections with our class teacher and pupils and really understand where they are with their learning and allow us to see that progress. However it would have been good to get a scope of the whole school by visiting other teachers/classes however this year it was not meant to be. Overall I was really pleased with how my placement went. Each day seemed to fly in and it was 3 o’clock all of a sudden. Through observation, which this placement was based heavily upon, I have been able to define my strengths and areas for development in terms of communication and implementing this within the school setting.

An area of communication that I feel I excelled at and was highlighted to me through my peer observation was my verbal communication in particular my pitch and tone. I was able to change my pitch and tone as I needed dependant who I was interacting with. Within our Primary 1 class I was obviously interacting with small infants aged just four or five. This was a complete difference from working with my Primary 5’s who were mainly 8 however there was one child who was 11. And then again when talking and interacting with staff and assistants around the school, I didn’t talk to them like I would the Primary 1’s. Changing my tone and pitch was also crucial within group work and helping individuals. My peer feedback form highlights that when talking to the group I was more louder and open so that all members could clearly hear and understand me however when helping an individual child I went down to their level and spoke to them one-to-one so they could hear me but I also wasn’t disrupting the rest of the group or class. I feel this is a major strength within teaching and different ages and abilities need to be communicated to differently. It is by doing this that they will understand and eventually develop and grow.

An area that I feel requires progress in relation to my communication is my public speaking. When talking to an individual or small group, I feel confident in what I am doing however if I was to stand up in front of my peers or a whole class, I become nervous and anxious. This has always been a fear of mine from a young age and I have tried many times to overcome it, but to no prevail. I think because it was school children I was dealing with and I only ever had a maximum of six children, I felt fine as I was the “superior” in this situation so my nerves were calm. However I am extremely anxious about my upcoming university presentation as I need to stand in front of adults and talk about this exact fear. I think if I was to overcome this it would probably be one of my biggest achievement to date and it would make me such a better person and in the long run a more effective teacher within the classroom.

In order to overcome my fear of public speaking, I just need to do it. That is the worst thing about it that to overcome it I just need to keep doing it over and over again. Practise makes perfect in this case. By doing this confidence will grow and I will be a better and more effective communicator. Another strategy to overcome this is to basically know what I am talking about. If I know the material, then saying it should come natural and will make me a better presenter for example not reading off the screen or cue cards. Knowing the material off by heart then practising in front of a few people that I am comfortable around will help build confidence also.

My whole school experience was a joy. My class were just full of energy at all points throughout the day and were genuinely sad to see me and my partner leave. I have learned a lot about myself, my future career and the people I will be dealing with throughout this first year placement. I aim to continue to develop my strengths at the same time build upon my areas of development. It is by doing this that I will really become an effective and efficient communicator, not just within the classroom but in life.

1st year placement experience

I have just finished my first two week placement block during my time in the BA programme at UWS. Having spent most of last year in a Primary 1 class it was amazing to get back into the classroom and working with children again. This year I was in a small multi-composite school with 2 […]

I have just finished my first two week placement block during my time in the BA programme at UWS. Having spent most of last year in a Primary 1 class it was amazing to get back into the classroom and working with children again. This year I was in a small multi-composite school with 2 classes, one of Primary 1-4’s and the other with Primary 5-7’s.

Prior to placement I was unsure how I would feel about teaching in a multi-compsite class as I imagined this would be a lot more difficult than having a class all of the same ages however I absolutely loved it. There were varying abilities within the classroom however with there only being 9 children in Class 2 the different abilities in the classroom were able to be so well catered to. In an average class of 20-30 children, they would all be in the same year group, however the range of abilities would be just as vast with a higher pupil to teacher ratio.

Having experienced a small window of time within this village school, the range of activities the children can partake in is incredible and the sense of community and family in the school is amazing. Every member of staff worked so well together and really cared for each child, their wellbeing and their successes. The school had a community kitchen which the children cooked a new recipe in each week, this was so great to see the school introducing a love of cooking to the children and providing them with a life skill.

I have learned so much from my time in placement and it has given me so many great ideas that I hope one day I can carry out in my own classroom. As well as ideas for the future it has also given me an insight into particular areas of strength and areas for improvement in my own practice.

I believe a strength I have is quickly building up a rapport with each child. This is so vital as if children have a good relationship with you the will learn so much more from you and enjoy working and learning alongside you. I really enjoy getting to know each child, their strengths, areas for developments, likes and dislikes and using this to alter my own practice. Some people often forget that children at Primary are still so young an need to be nurtured and form positive relationships with staff within the school.

Although I really enjoyed working with the older children this did make me aware of an area of personal development. As some of the mathematics was at a much higher level I first had to understand this before I could explain it to the children. A few times I found myself getting stuck when trying to explain different maths aspects to the children as I didn’t have a good enough understanding in the first place in order to then simplify this and explain in necessary depth to the children to ensure they understood. I spoke with the class teacher about this and in mathematics at university we spend time each week going through various maths concepts and so I am confident that with putting extra work into my mathematics by the time I am next working with older children I will ensure I have the relevant knowledge to be confident helping every group of children with their mathematics.

 

Reflections on Placement

Placement was an inspiring experience and enhanced my understanding of how a classroom environment works daily. Before starting placement, I was really excited and looking forward to new experiences as I love being in the school setting. Having seen the school’s website before starting my placement, gave me an idea of what the school ethic …

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Placement was an inspiring experience and enhanced my understanding of how a classroom environment works daily. Before starting placement, I was really excited and looking forward to new experiences as I love being in the school setting. Having seen the school’s website before starting my placement, gave me an idea of what the school ethic would be like. The website was very informative and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the children and the staff in the school.

I was based in a Primary 2 class with my peer for the two weeks of placement, this was beneficial as I got to know the teacher and the children really well. I have had previous experience in a Primary 1 class and found it very interesting seeing the next stage up.

I quickly got into the daily routine of the class. The class teacher was in school around 8.15am every morning to prepare for the day ahead. Every Monday morning the teachers had a meeting with the headteacher for 15 minutes before the school day started at 9am.

Throughout the placement I observed many numeracy lessons. The teacher used a variety of songs that children sung along to, this helped portray the lesson content. The teacher constructed the end of the numeracy lesson with activity based learning, there were directed tasks that children could carry out through play to consolidate learning. The directed tasks included; using fake money and adding it together to make up a certain sum of money; shoe laces that numbers could be threaded on to make a calculation or number pattern (odd/even); numeracy jigsaw; and laptops with ‘sumdog’ and ‘education city’. The children all participated in the directed tasks and were engrossed throughout the activities.

In Primary 2, I perceived numerous, assorted literacy lessons throughout the two weeks. At the start of every week children would get a new list of spelling words. The first week was ‘ff’ words and the second week was ‘ll’ words. As a class the children sound out the word phonetically and then say it 3 times fully – this assists the children’s understanding of how the word forms. The children copy 3 of the spelling words directed by the teacher in their homework jotter and writes them again at home – this is done Monday to Wednesday. The children have a spelling test every Friday and peer assess each other after the test is complete. Children were introduced to a dictionary for the first time, this was a very interesting lesson to observe and the children understood how the dictionary worked, they demonstrated this through tasks directed by the teacher.

The Primary 2 pupils had PE once a week. It was a fantastic opportunity to observe how another teacher dealt with the same class. The children loved being active and releasing energy.

The subject of French is covered orally in Primary 1 to Primary 3. Primary 2 have covered days of the week, and numbers 1 to 10. They have just started to learn the months of the year. The subject French was presented by using songs. The teacher regularly used ‘très bien’ and other French phrases throughout the French lesson and other lessons therefore carrying French across the curriculum.

Overall, the teacher of Primary 2 was very helpful and assisted myself and my partner in anything possible. I feel I supported the learning taking place in class to my best ability and demonstrated effective communication skills. My experience in the staffroom was lovely and interactive, the staff are all very welcoming and interested to hear about our course at UWS. I feel I adapted to the school and smooth running of it and became very comfortable with my surroundings after the first day. I have extremely enjoyed my placement at the school, and will take all my experiences and observations into my future practice. The primary school, staff and my partner have all been very reassuring and supportive. Having more experience in a Primary School has made me realise that I truly want to pursue a career as as Primary Teacher.