The main messages sent in Suzanne Zeedyk and John Carnochas videos, was all to do with the importance of early brain development in children. Both videos explained that babies are born prematurely compared to most mammals. Because of this baby’s brains are not only more fragile but also more flexible. They are not fully developed, and they continue to develop not only because of genetic codes but they also develop based on the relationships and environments they are presented with. As teachers we need to take into consideration that there are consequences to the brains we are asking children to develop. The pathways the brain makes in early years, will be the pathways that continue onto adulthood. If a child lives with domestic violence where there is a lot of shouting their brain has to develop to cope with those situations. Their brain is constantly monitoring when the next threat comes from, so they can’t have learn about a lot of other things in the world as they are too busy looking for threat. Cortisol: helps to cope with stress, if have this hormone all the time it starts to swamp the brain with the stress hormone. Brain is almost drowning in stress hormone.
We have to carefully consider the environment we present to children because their brains will develop in response to this environment. As Suzanna Zeedyk says in the video: “If we are giving them a world that is calm and predictable then their brain is developing in this and they will carry on this motorway system into adulthood and expect everything to be calm and predictable.” Children need consistency in their life, and their only chance to have that may be in the classroom. If children haven’t built relationships it can have a very negative impact on them, they can then struggle to build relationships all throughout their life.
As teachers we need to consider what kind of brains we are asking children to develop and what kind of motorway systems we want them to develop. The pathways that are created in their brains need to give them the ability to make decisions, communicate with others and also empathise with others.
Reflect on one of the most important moments for your professional development in semester 1 and write a post about what you think you have learned from this critical incident and what the process of reflection is beginning to mean to you.
One of the most important moments for me in my professional development during semester 1, was when writing the values essay. This was the first essay I had to write at a University level standard. At first, I was really excited about writing the essay, this was because I had enjoyed the module so much and learnt quite a lot of new things. I had not only learnt about values in our society but also about myself and my values, trying to identify what they are, though this was quite a challenge.
I firstly had decided to write my essay based on gender and gender equality, although it was something I was really interested in, I found that I didn’t have much resources to evidence what I was saying. So, I took all this on board and made the decision to base my essay on poverty, as I had much more knowledge I this area and resources.
Reflecting back, I believe it was a very professional decision. In the end I was very pleased with my essay, but I was much to worried about referencing. The referencing I had left slightly too late, so it took up a lot of my time as I had never used that sort of referencing before, neither had any of my peers so we were all mostly guessing. This meant that proof reading the essay was rushed and lead to silly grammar mistakes. So, when writing an essay again I will now keep a better record of resources and not rush the proof reading, making sure silly mistakes don’t lose me marks in my final grade, I will also seek the advice of peers in year groups above me as they are more experienced and can give help when it comes to referencing.
The General Teaching Council for Scotland states that it is vital to critically examine personal and professional attitudes and challenge assumptions. I believe that during the values module I started to critically look at this, challenging my own assumptions. I hadn’t realised how much stereotypes were built into society and how much my unconscious biases were adding onto this. I know am much more aware of things that I may think and say, I realise this is extremely important in the teaching profession.