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.

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.

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.

 

Learning Log – Disasters!

Here is my groups PowerPoint on Earthquakes. Over the last two weeks we have focused on disasters within the Sustainable Development module. My skills have developed greatly. The skills which have developed over this topic are my research skills, presentation skills, … Continue reading

Here is my groups PowerPoint on Earthquakes. Over the last two weeks we have focused on disasters within the Sustainable Development module. My skills have developed greatly. The skills which have developed over this topic are my research skills, presentation skills, … Continue reading

Situated Communication Study Task – Feedback

After watching the video with my partner Julia, we compared our notes which were closely aligned. We observed that the teacher spoke at a suitable volume and pace while using language appropriate to the age and stage of children in the group. We recorded areas of improvement, he struggled to get the class’ attention and …

Continue reading “Situated Communication Study Task – Feedback”

After watching the video with my partner Julia, we compared our notes which were closely aligned. We observed that the teacher spoke at a suitable volume and pace while using language appropriate to the age and stage of children in the group. We recorded areas of improvement, he struggled to get the class’ attention and lacked positive body language; this could be improved by standing up demonstrating more authority over the class. The teacher therefore has areas of improvement in the non-verbal communication category although he did maintain eye contact with pupils. We both realised how important it is to reflect on personal and peers teaching practice as you can improve from watching back on yourself.

I was surprised that in the video the teacher did not stand up, I felt this gave the class a more relaxed feel and this is possibly why he struggled to gain the children’s attention. My partner had the same notes about the body language of the teacher due to the lack of standing up therefore there was a lack of engagement with the class.

I did not find this study task difficult; I found the task very useful and interesting as the video was a practice to observe a fellow teacher in a classroom environment. I will take this experience of observation forward to placement which will assist personal reflection and peer observation.

I am clear about the difference between feedback and judgement. Feedback is the foundation of improving teaching skills and is more positive than negative. It consists of improvements and suggestions you can take on board to enhance your teaching. Judgement in my opinion is more critical and negative which can lead to the person receiving it having low self-esteem and possibly decreasing their confidence.

The suggestion that I would take from this task to my forthcoming placement would be to ensure that I take feedback constructively to progress my teaching practice and improve my skills.

I am looking forward to placement as I enjoy being in a classroom environment. I have had many positive experiences in schools which I have helped in and all the teachers are very appreciative of assistance. I am looking forward to observing a variety of various aspects of teaching and observing lessons in a wide range of classes.

Reference List:

TED Talks Education (2013) BILL GATES: Teachers need real feedback[Online] Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_teachers_need_real_feedback#t-70065

Behaviour2Learn (2011) Behaving With Cowley – Classroom Routines[Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v5UVdyu8Y4&feature=youtu.be

EDCHAT (2013) Relationships for Learning – Effective Feedback [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWBW_cbP86Q&feature=youtu.be

Learning Log – Environment

The module Sustainable Development, over the last two weeks, has developed my knowledge and changed my attitudes towards the environment. Beforehand I didn’t really have a full understanding of the topic, ‘Environment’. Whenever hearing about the environment, it was only ever … Continue reading

The module Sustainable Development, over the last two weeks, has developed my knowledge and changed my attitudes towards the environment. Beforehand I didn’t really have a full understanding of the topic, ‘Environment’. Whenever hearing about the environment, it was only ever … Continue reading

Sustainable Development – The Environment

Over the past 2 sessions in our Sustainable Development lectures and workshops, we have been learning about the environment. In the first week we looked at the natural environment and in the second we looked at urban environments. I have found this theme very interesting as it has allowed me to consider my surroundings in … Continue reading Sustainable Development – The Environment

Over the past 2 sessions in our Sustainable Development lectures and workshops, we have been learning about the environment. In the first week we looked at the natural environment and in the second we looked at urban environments. I have found this theme very interesting as it has allowed me to consider my surroundings in … Continue reading Sustainable Development – The Environment