A subject that I always seemed to enjoy throughout my primary and secondary school days was drama. I find it a particularly interesting and useful subject as it can offer young children many opportunities especially performing in front of an audience. To some children, the thought of performing in front of anyone can be terrifying for them but drama can actually help boost their confidence and this can impact them outside the drama classroom too along with many other skills drama can offer.
For the TDT, we were asked to watch a short video of how to structure a drama lesson. For me, I have plenty of experience working within the drama classroom but never teaching it so this video was especially useful for me. The video was of a one day drama workshop for teachers who needed inspiration or guidance on how to start preparing for a drama lesson and these are the steps they were to follow:
- Agreement – Before even beginning the lesson, the teacher must create an agreement with the students. This can be a set of rules during their time spent in drama. I thought this was an excellent idea as it emphasises the expectations during the lesson such as the 3 C’s which were highlighted in this video and they are concentration, communication and co-operation. The children can always look back at the agreement to refer to it.
- Warm – Up – This is a very important stage, particularly if the children have ben sitting down in a classroom all day, as it gets the children up and ready for practical work. Warm ups can get the mind and body ready.
- Focus – What is the main focus of your drama lesson? The focus provides the main purpose of the lesson, it can link to other curricular areas such as what are the children learning in history and they can create a performance related to their subject.
- Development – After the focus is established, the children can then build on this and work towards the finished product which can be a performance in front of an audience.
- Visualisation – This part gets the children to create a visual picture in their minds and start to think creatively. In the video, scenarios were created and everyone had to close their eyes and think about what they could see, hear, smell etc.
- Bodyscape – Now they have visualised the picture, children can now use their bodies to create the scene. This can be done with no props, only their bodies and again can be related to their subject.
- Performance – The final product, the performance. Thought tracking can be used during the performance and this involves the teacher moving around a still image the children have created and tapping on each persons shoulder. At this point the child shares what the character is feeling or wanting to say.
- Evaluation – In this video, they made it clear teachers need to leave time at the end of the lesson for evaluation. This allows the children to share what they have learnt, talking to each other about what they enjoyed and maybe things they found difficult. The teacher can take the evaluation from the children into account when preparing the next drama lesson.
Experiences & Outcomes
The E&O’s i think have been addressed in this video are the following
I can create, adapt and sustain different roles, experimenting with movement, expression and voice and using theatre arts technology. (EXA 2-12a)
Our first Health and Wellbeing input focused on the importance of relationships particularly for children. In the early stages of our lives we are constantly adapting to our environment and as part of our TDT for Health & Wellbeing we were instructed to watch two videos related to relationships in early years and the connection with brain development.
The first video with Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk, she introduces the fact that babies brains are incredibly flexible and adaptable. She emphasised that a significant amount of brain development occurs in those early years but it does not just simply stop at 3 years of age, it continues into adolescence in later life. An interesting point that stuck out for me in particular was how the brain copes with certain situations. In a class, not all children will come from the same background, there will be a variety and what was interesting was that a child’s environment can have such a significant impact on their brain development. The example used in this video was the effect if a child was living in a home where domestic violence occurs. The child needs to learn how to cope with this threatening environment and to do so is by monitoring when these violent acts occur. Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk made it clear that this can then heavily impact the child as they will struggle to then focus their attention on other things in their environment.
In the second video, detective chief John Carnochan highlighted very similar points to the previous videos as he also emphasised the importance of the first few stages in life. He talks about how, as a society, we need to support these children living in these harsh circumstances or environments and also their parents/carers. A particular point that made me think about how practitioners can help and one of the most effective methods was to simply smile at children. It’s fascinating how such a small and simple action can create such a big impact on a child’s life as it can help brain development especially in babies.
It was clear, after watching these videos I realised that teachers can be that significant adult in a child or young person’s life. A vital message that was illustrated throughout these videos was that children need consistency in their lives and teachers can offer that consistency by creating a safe and secure environment where children can thrive. Teachers are role models for their children and can demonstrate to them on a daily basis what good relationships are and how they can build good relationships. I now further understand the importance of these issues raised and in the future when I become a teacher I can offer a comfortable environment where every child feels supported.
In my first year of university, semester 1 opened up a wide range of knowledge and skills for me to learn or develop. During the module, Values, I improved on basic essay skills. This included learning how to present and structure an essay to a professional standard and also how to implement appropriate reading into my work. Further reading was frequently recommended and played vital part in enhancing knowledge learnt in lectures.
In addition, the Working Together module offered a chance to visit an agency related to social work. I was able to work in a group which consisted of both primary education, social work and CLD students in order to interview and collect relevant knowledge and data. This all worked towards performing a 10 minute presentation on what can be achieved when agencies collaborate and work together effectively.
My timetable did not consist of an incredible amount of time in the lecture theatre or spending time in workshops. There was in fact many opportunities throughout a typical week to self study. This allowed me to use the university facilities, particularly the library to further develop and work on any assignments or group projects. Therefore, semester 1 also gave me the chance to improve on time management skills and using my time effectively.
Overall semester 1 has provided a great start to my learning journey in becoming a teacher. Material learnt during these modules I will frequently revise and return to as all of it is relevant to my future learning during my time at university and beyond.
This time last week my modules officially started and to say I was nervous for starting my studies was an understatement. Apart the normal challenges a first year student faces in the first couple of weeks such as making friends and settling into your new home I was also worrying about how I was going to deal with getting back into studying.
I took a year out after finishing secondary school and this year did not consist of me going to college or taking up any additional studies. I had a year away from studying, classes and the stressful exams. To be suddenly thrown back into it all I wasn’t sure how well i was going to cope with it. It can be quite overwhelming however the big difference for me, personally, was being involved and interested in the modules I have each week. I come away from the lectures motivated to do well in what i’m doing, work hard and put in the time to make sure I understand what had been said. It’s like going back to the gym after you’ve had a long period of time away from it, the first session is always the toughest as it can be a shock to the system but afterwards you feel a sense of achievement and determination to keep going and reach your goal.
The Values module was particularly intriguing in the first week. In the workshop we were split into 4 groups and all given one large brown envelope all containing a number of different objects. Unaware that some groups had a lot more to work with than others we proceeded with the task at hand which was creating a useful piece of equipment to help a first year student who just started at the university. I was in group 2 which had a variety of resources to use and so we made a starter pack filled with to-do lists, a welcome letter, study tips and stationary. We soon learnt the real lesson behind all this which was inequality. Two groups had a lot more than the other two groups and because they had more resources they got more praise and attention from the teacher. This was emphasising the fact that children must be treated fairly and equally no matter their background or situation. This happens in everyday life not just in primary schools, there will always be people who are better off than others and we have to remember we cannot treat those who aren’t any differently.
Now that lectures and workshops have officially started i’m looking forward to whats to come in the Values module and also in my other modules this semester which are working together and psychology. Year 1, semester 1 has well and truly begun.
Out of all the career paths to choose from in the world, why do I feel teaching is the right choice for me? Honestly, I always knew I wanted to work with children however I didn’t quite realise I wanted to teach until later on in life.
Studying to become a primary teacher wasn’t quite the image I pictured doing whilst growing up. To be honest, I never knew what I wanted to go into. It wasn’t until secondary school, when I became a classroom assistant and started to explore the world of teaching that the interest struck me. Working with young children in a primary school was eye opening and only then did I realise how enjoyable and rewarding this profession can be. This played a big part in my decision to go to university and study primary education. However, I still felt I needed more experience working with children.
Sport has been a massive part of my life. I developed a love for sport the moment I was thrown into a P.E class. At an early age I took particular interest in swimming and since then have continued to train and compete. Through my swimming, I had many opportunities to help coach younger swimmers in my club during their training sessions. I got to witness their progression in technique and confidence in the water. After secondary school I decided to take a year out and trained to become a swimming teacher. I loved it! I was responsible for managing my own classes and preparing lessons for children as young as 4 years of age. By going through these processes every week, this gave me a valuable insight into how much preparation and work goes into teaching.
All these experiences only further confirmed the fact that I wanted to pursue a career working with children as I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It is incredibly rewarding when you have helped a child develop and succeed whether it may be academically or in sport. Being part of their learning journey and being that role model in their lives, in my opinion, is quite special.