Category Archives: 3.4 Prof. Reflection & Commitment

How semester one has changed my outlook

Reflection plays a key part in your development as a teacher. Having the ability to reflect highlights to you the areas where you have improved and areas which you can further development. Reflecting is a way that you can ultimately become a better practitioner through critiquing yourself to see what your next steps may be.

Reflecting on semester one, all I can say is that it’s been one massive learning curve. My results have majorly influenced my professional mindset, as they were different to what I was expecting. Feeling dampened by them, I felt my feelings towards the course dwindle as I sat feeling sorry for myself at the thought of them not being as good as I had hoped for. As I reflect on this now, having had the time to think about this properly, and also speaking with my advisor about this, it really only is a learning curve where I can actually use it to enhance my work and develop my weaknesses in the future. I can move on from semester one, and the results, looking positively into the prospects of placement and how I can use what I have learnt in the classroom. I have gained knowledge on how to correct my work in the future and how mistakes are ways of learning and becoming a better practitioner.

I have learnt more about reflection after reading “reflective teaching in schools” by Andrew Pollard. From this, I have seen how I can reflect on a variety of experiences and use this to mark against my progression as a teacher, and the ways in which this is beneficial to your own learning. Linking this to my professional development, it has shown me ways of understanding what my next steps need to be in order to be the best version of myself, and how I can encourage children to do the same.

Ultimately, reflection will help me in many ways. As a teacher you are ‘never done’ and there is constant space for development and progression in the way you teach and the way we engage with the children. It is a working progress but being able to reflect means I will always be wary of my areas of development and how I will improve these. It will allow me to become more confident and resilient, both being qualities that are essential to have as a teacher.

Pollard, A. and Black- Hawkins, K. (2014) reflective teaching in schools. 4th ed. Bloomsbury publishing

Developing Enthusiasm For Dance

I have loved dancing from a young age. I started ballet classes at aged three and ended up completing my grade 8 ballet exam last year. It’s always been part of my life, so I was eager to get going with the dance input that we had. I got it in to my head that it was going to be similar to the dancing I had always done, but obviously it wasn’t. I was thrown off guard, into a situation I didn’t feel comfortable – I felt all my enthusiasm and confidence completely drain from me. Ultimately though I took this as a positive learning experience as I felt it allowed me to connect with any child who struggles in confidence when it comes to dance, or any form of Physical activity in school.

Dancing isn’t just about the physical dancing either. Linked fully in with the curriculum as a physical activity, it gets your pupils out of their seats and participating in a lesson where they are being active, thereby contributing to their own health and wellbeing. This has shown me that all areas of the curriculum are linked together, and although dance isn’t seen as a likely contender, it is actually very important in different areas across the curriculum for excellence such as PE and more desk-based work such as literacy, where children can relate their feelings and enjoyment towards dance onto creative stories.

Putting yourself in the children’s shoes is important as a teacher, in order to get the lessons right for everyone. The whole way through the dance input, I kept addressing concepts such as how the children would feel in the lesson, how they would react to the activity and how this would be beneficial to their learning. You see dance from a completely different perspective when it comes to teaching it. I was able to put my teacher head on to understand and appreciate the importance of teaching children about movement and rhythm from a young age, as this will stay with them as they grow into more confident learners. The workshop has ultimately allowed me to start thinking about teaching dance and to begin meeting identified Experiences and Outcomes such as:

  • I enjoy creating short dance sequences, using travel, turn, jump, gesture, pause and fall, within safe practice. EXA 1-08a


Ultimately, from the input I will take forward to placement the concept of highlighting the importance of creativity in children and young people’s learning. It is so important that the children in the classroom are aware of how dance is related to other areas of the curriculum and to their future learning. Linking it with other topics of the curriculum that you are studying in the class such as Religious and Moral education: using this as a stimulus for activities involving dance and movements will get the children thinking about and understanding the bigger picture. I will also take away the idea that the classroom is a safe space, where you as the teacher should make all children feel involved and confident enough in their own abilities and bodies to participate in the lesson. As the teacher, you must be the one that is enthusiastic to reflect the behaviour of your students. If you don’t have this, then you shouldn’t expect cooperation with the class and I have learnt the importance of this today -as I was guilty of not being the most enthusiastic. However, reflecting on it, I understand how I must have this confidence in order to gain enthusiasm and confidence from the pupils.

Structural inequalities in the classroom

During our first seminar with Brenda, we were split into 5 groups. She told us that with the resources she was going to provide us, we had to create something that would make ‘our first week on campus easier’. She handed us out envelopes with the equipment we were to use to make this idea come to life. Whilst doing so, my group noticed that group 1 and group 2’s envelopes were far bulkier than the one that we received. At this point, I even asked Brenda if this were a mistake, and if there were items missing from our envelope.

Our envelope included;

  • 2 post-it notes
  • 1 sheet of A4 paper
  • blue tack
  • 1 pen
  • 3 paperclips

This was in comparison to other groups who received multiple sheets of coloured card, scissors, multiple pens and sellotape.

Throughout the task, Brenda made several comments to our group such as ‘that’s not a very creative idea’ and ‘you need to work better together’. Some of the faces she was making to us as well made us feel incredibly worthless and out of place.

When all were delivering their ideas to the rest of the class, we were aware that groups 1 and 2 were receiving positive feedback and Brenda was interacting a lot more with these groups. We were impressed with the idea we had come up with, with the resources that we had. Yet, to hear little to no feedback on it made us question if we had done something wrong.

Our group felt the need to work harder, and prove ourselves more worthy of praise from Brenda. We longed for positive feedback like the other groups had received. We somewhat felt neglected by Brenda and couldn’t quite grasp what we had done wrong. We started to get exasperated near the end of the task, as Brenda continued to ignore us and give off comments and gestures that we believed to be quite rude.

In reflection of the task, I feel as though I am now more aware of meritocracy: the holding of power by people selected according to merit. Brenda’s demonstration highlighted that teachers simply cannot discriminate against those without resources. The praise that Brenda gave the other groups, if in a real classroom environment, would make children feel very anxious, and unwilling to participate in classroom activities. A relationship with a teacher should be healthy, not like the way Brenda was portraying.

When we came to discuss this topic with the rest of the class, we became aware that groups 1 and 2 had no realisation that they were being treated differently to the other groups. This reflects that many children with the best resources and opportunities in life, will no be aware of those who surround them that are living in poverty and deprivation.

Reflecting overall, it is clear that teachers must give every child equal opportunities in the classroom, but this comes as a struggle when you are unaware of the child’s background. I have also seen how it is very easy to favour specific individuals, and not even be aware that you are doing so. To prevent these structural inequalities, a teacher should provide every child with the exact same opportunities, and understand that there will be students in the class that require more assistance than others. When achieving this, you are making the learning environment a happier place where children want to learn. They will get the best out of there learning experience, and ultimately structural inequalities will be reduced.