Our first workshop for MA1 Education withing the Values: self, society and the professions took place on Tuesday the 19th of September. It was one of the most confusing workshops to start off with but once we understood the reason behind the workshop it was a very good lesson, and a good way to bring the message of the workshop across.
We were all split into different groups and given an envelope with resources. We were all asked to open up our envelopes and see what was inside. My group had an elastic band, some blue tac, one sticky note, two paper clips and a pen. Everyone else around us had more, and one group had much more than anyone else. The task was to create something that would help 1st year students like ourselves. With such limited resources our group decided to create a map with all the places to go during your freshers week, it also gave you different challenges to complete, such as joining a society.
Once we were all finished we had to present what we had produced to Derek. This is when it became clear that Derek was treating each group differently and unfairly, when the first group was presenting to everyone else they received a lot of praise from Derek, as he went round everyone’s groups the amount of resources the groups had lessened as did Derek’s attention to what they were saying.
Because our group was the one that received the least amount of praise and had the smallest amount of resources we became really frustrated, I became quite confused and started thinking we had done something wrong. when Derek started paying more attention to his phone than what we had to say that’s when we all became quite agitated. The confidence of the first group who had received most resources and praise grew throughout the workshop, while the last group who received no praise, no attention even became less confident and also quite frustrated.
Once everyone was finished Derek explained that his performance was to demonstrate that in our profession we will come across children who have less and children who have more, from different cultures and backgrounds. How much children have, where they are from or what they believe in should not affect the way teachers treat them, they should all receive an equal amount of support and praise. Children shouldn’t be limited because of resources, but should all be treated equally, receiving support so that they can grow in their learning but also grow in themselves. Our job as teachers is to help every child reach their full potential.
After everyone in the workshop understood the reasoning behind the input, he asked if anyone had noticed what was happening. My group had noticed quite quickly but the group;s that had received more resources were too focused on completing the task, not taking into consideration that they could share their resources, and help those who had less.
Overall, I think this was a really effective way of demonstrating that not all children will come into our classrooms with the same upbringing, with the same resources or the same background and as teachers we must not create a gap between children and treat them differently, we should treat them all equally and give them the same opportunities.