Reflection of my BA1 Placement

During my two week placement I was placed in the Primary 7 class where there was 23 pupils. The experience was very enjoyable and educational for me. At the start of the week I was nervous to go into the school and meet the teacher and the class. After the first day I felt better and more comfortable in the school, and in the class.

The school I was in was a catholic school which was a great experience for me to see how these types of schools differ from non catholic school and see how there daily routines are different from the primary school I went to. I found out that the classes pray at the start of the day, before lunch and at the end of the day. I also got the opportunity to go to mass with the school for all saints day, where I got to see all the traditions they do when they are there, including receiving communion

While I was in the class I got to observe the many different lessons and teaching styles the teacher I was working with used. I also got to experience how she dealt with pupils with behaviour problems and other problems that cause them to loose concentration easily. I also got to see how she deals with and separates the less able children and the more able children. Also how she prepares different level of difficulty but same topic of tasks.

The pupils in my class were very welcoming and helped me a lot in developing my confidence over the two weeks. I made some strong connections with some of the pupils in the class mainly a few of the less able children who I was working with to help them develop further but also a lot of the other children who liked to talk to me and bond a relationship.

The children responded well to me teaching them when they were in the group I was taking. They automatically seen me as a professional and as a person they had to listen to and behave for. I enjoyed being the teacher in the classroom and being helpful to the children. I really liked when the children were asking me for help and when I was able to give advice to the pupils about their work.

I also got to work with other professionals such as the other teachers in the staff room. I also got to work with other classroom assistants in the class and got to see what their role is in the school on a daily basis. One of the days I went  along with Primary 7 and the teacher to Queen Margaret Academy for a transition day, getting the children ready to move to secondary. On this day I got to meet and talk to loads of teachers from different primaries and the secondary school. I also got to talk to some of the pupils from different schools. I was put with one of the groups as the teacher leader to go around and supervise the group along with the 6th years that were running the day.

Overall my placement experience was very enjoyable and memorable. I also feel I have learnt a lot and everything I have done over the last two weeks is going to help me in my time at University.

Situated Communication Task – independent Study task 16th October

Once I had done these tasks I partnered up with Rachael to discuss our notes. Our notes on the strengths and areas for improvement were very similar, we both caught on to the fact that the teacher crouched over quite a lot while teaching and talking with the children. This is quite a negative body language and doesn’t show that he is engaged in what they are saying and looks unprofessional.

I found it surprising that teachers regularly video their lessons. I have never seen or heard of this happening before. It was also surprising how much doing this helped the teacher to know what they needed to improve on and for them to quickly do so.  I did not find my partners observations surprising as we both had similar responses to the tasks that had been set.

I found the tasks that were set reasonably difficult but manageable. I was able to do the tasks but they required some thought and discussion to look deeper into what the messages being conveyed were saying.

The difference between feedback and judgement is that feedback is pointing out the good and the bad things but with a constructive side to it, so any negative feedback given is given in a way to help the person improve. Whereas judgement is just pointing out the negative in a way to hurt or bring down the person instead of helping them.

If I was to take one idea from this task to placement I would take the idea of allowing a class to have discussions between themselves but only in a controlled environment and when I feel as though the class is calm and concentrated enough to do so. When I go into teaching lessons I would consider recording some of my lessons to self evaluate my own teaching styles and the things I need to improve on.

I am feeling very nervous to start placement but at the same time excited to get to observe the teacher teaching and getting to interact with the pupils.

BA1 Education, Situated Communication, Reading Task: Chapter 5, The Skill of Questioning

The main aim of this chapter is to analyse uses and purposes of various types and structures of questions being used in social circumstances.  Some things that are discussed include, what questions are, describing questions used in context and, power of questions and responses.

One claim of this chapter is that children ask a lot of questions because they are learning and trying to make sense of things.  “This stage, questions play a crucial role in their learning and maturing process.”

One argument presented in this chapter is that questions are one of the most important things concerning communication.  “Questions are the heart of social interaction.”  They give us power and potential.

I agree with most of the ideas and arguments presented presented in this chapter i.e. questions being the centre of communication.  However I disagree with the study about children being at ease with answering/asking questions being “males, whites, higher-income…”  This may be the case in some classes but not all and shouldn’t be used as a factor.

There were a few words I didn’t know the meaning of so I looked up the definitions, i.e. “cognitive” being the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement and reasoning.

Some concepts in this chapter include responses, probes and pausing.  Pausing is a silent probe that can encourage thought, questioning or even getting the pupils to fully concentrate.

overall i think this chapter was very insightful into the way we use questions and the reasoning behind it.

References

Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice, 5th ed. London: Routledge.