Reflections on Placement

Placement was a very worthwhile experience for myself. It was great to see how another school worked, how it was ran and the moral of the teachers in the school. I felt as though one week was far too short. When I first saw all the placement tasks that we had to complete I really […]

meaning-ring-be-a-reflective-thinker

Placement was a very worthwhile experience for myself. It was great to see how another school worked, how it was ran and the moral of the teachers in the school.

I felt as though one week was far too short. When I first saw all the placement tasks that we had to complete I really did panic and wonder how I was going to get them finished on time and give them all as much attention as the next. I felt as though, especially task 5, was a huge challenge. It was only on Thursday I felt I had enough information to start observing certain children’s language differences – strengths and weaknesses – which then didn’t really give me loads of time to really observe them properly and understand why they may have these differences.

The overall experience of the school was great. I felt comfortable and appreciated which really boosted my confidence and allowed me find out information I wanted to know by asking questions and not feel silly about anything I said as I was there to learn. The school was very supportive of me, giving me loads of opportunities to develop my skills within the classroom and school setting.

Strength

I feel my main strength would be my presence in the classroom and how to engage and interact with the children. A couple of years ago I started a 12 week block placement with college and felt as though my first impression in front of the children was not the strongest. I ended up being more of a friend than a teacher because I wanted the children to like me which I feel is normal although this was changed when I worked in an after school care. I learned the I had to develop a ‘teacher-aura’ rather than a friendly relationship and I feel this really showed throughout my week in placement.

The evidence I have to support this would be through my verbal and non-verbal communication. I spoke confidently to the children and groups of children and constantly reflected on volume, pitch, tone and speed. The children would listen to my instructions and follow them giving me a good demonstration of how effective my communication skills were throughout the week.

Area of Most Progress

The area I progressed in the most, I would say was learning to change the way I speak to benefit my audience. I was with Primary 1 and learned that slower, clearer instructions were needed to enhance the children’s learning. I also found that enthusiasm was the key to keeping the children engaged and on task.

I also used this when talking to other members of staff around the school. I got a great understanding of the conversations that go on between teachers and how they help each other out, its not just everyone for themselves which was positive and reassuring to see.

Area Requiring Progress

From peer and self observation I would say the area that requires progress would be allowing children more of a chance to answer/writing/speak before offering help or support. I noticed that the combination of  becoming mildly impatient when someone doesn’t know an answer and wanting to help everyone isn’t great. I felt I was too quick to do things for them without letting the children use their own initiative.

Action Plan

My action plan is to take a step back and allow children to be more independent, especially the young children. That is the one of the ways that children learn the difference between right and wrong. I feel like I need to work on my patience and self control, encouraging children when answering instead of answering for them.

2.1.3 Have knowledge and understanding of planning coherent and progressive teaching programmes / 3.1.1 Plan coherent, progressive and stimulating teaching programmes which match learners’ needs and abilities

2.1 Curriculum / 3.1 Teaching and Learning Target: 2.1.3 Have knowledge and understanding of planning coherent and progressive teaching programmes. Target: 3.1.1 Plan coherent, progressive and stimulating teaching programmes which match learners’ needs and abilities. Rationale: “Recognition of the powerful active nature of … Continue reading

2.1 Curriculum /
3.1 Teaching and Learning

Target: 2.1.3 Have knowledge and understanding of planning coherent and progressive teaching programmes.
Target: 3.1.1 Plan coherent, progressive and stimulating teaching programmes which match learners’ needs and abilities.

Rationale:

“Recognition of the powerful active nature of our selective attention makes it very clear why it is vital that activities intended to help young children must first and foremost interest them, intrigue them and be personally relevant for them” (Whitebread, 2002, pp.123—124).

“How do I divide time, resources, and myself so that I am an effective catalyst for maximising talent in all my students?” (Tomlinson, 2014, p.2)

To be an effective teacher, lessons must be relevant and accessible to all learners. During this placement I would like to enhance my skills in providing this experience.

 

Professional Actions:

  • 2.1.3:
    • Know how to plan for effective teaching and learning across different contexts and experiences;
    • Know and understand how to justify what is taught within the curricular areas in relation to the curriculum and the relevance to the needs of all learners.
  • 3.1.1:
    • Plan appropriately for effective teaching and in order to meet the needs of all learners, including learning in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and skills for learning, life and work.

 

Action Plan

Week 1 – Planning

  • Revisit lesson planning inputs from class;
  • Seek class teacher’s feedback on my lesson planning.

Week 2 – Planning

  • Reflect on peer’s feedback on my lesson planning.

Week 3 – Relevant Planning

  • Engage in wider reading around contextualisation;
  • Seek to apply context to a lesson planned for this week.

Week 4 – Relevant Planning

  • Engage in wider reading around progression;
  • Reflect on my Week 1-2 Maths lessons and consider how progression could have been improved;

Week 5 – Relevant Planning for All Learners

  • Engage in wider reading around differentiation;
  • Differentiate a lesson this week, pitched correctly for all leaners’ abilities.

Week 6 — Relevant Planning for All Learners

  • Research life skills development appropriate to P4;
  • Embed at least one life skill development into a lesson this week.

 

Reflections

Week 1

  • I referred to all of the lesson planning inputs before writing my own plans. This was particularly helpful in establishing rationale.
  • The class teacher provided very positive verbal feedback on the plan I shared with her. She considered it to be comprehensive, clear and well thought out. The learning intentions, success criteria and assessment were considered to be appropriate.

Week 2

  • The feedback from my peer suggested including more detail in the Rationale/Context areas. I will work with the Class Teacher to develop this during Week 3 and gain a sound understanding of context and prior learning that I can demonstrate in this section.
  • My peer also suggested that my introduction was focussed on recap and could be more exciting. I will take this on board.
  • I will work towards making my Success Criteria as specific as possible in response to my peer’s feedback.