During our first values workshop we completed a task that would really open our eyes to inequality and its effects. We were split into five small groups and given an envelope filled with resources with which we had to make a resource that would help a new university student. My group set off with our resources and decided we would make parking tickets. We used many bits of paper and made them colorful. Half way through the task we had to present our idea so far to the rest of the groups, our lecturer loved our idea and we felt great. We continued on and finished our resource ready to show the rest of the class. Our group presented first and got a score of 9/10 which we were very happy with. The other groups were given worse scores than us and none to very little feedback- good or bad- about the resource they had made.
During our time making the resource my group had not noticed the lack of resources the other groups had compared to us. I was so engrossed in what I had I did not have a chance to look around at the other groups envelopes. At the end of the task when our lecturer Brenda explained to us that some groups has less than others it was then I looked around and realised what we had compared to them. This really struck my group as we felt ashamed we hadn’t realised before that the other groups had less than us. Not only did the other groups have less than us but they received no motivation which really effected their mood during the task.
This opened our eyes to the fact that children with less resources than others, whether its in or out of the classroom, are at a real disadvantage. They are a lot less motivated which then in turn effects their learning. It is our job as teachers to close this gap in equality in our classroom and make sure all the children in our care are given the same chance to that they can all succeed. However equality does not just mean all children getting exactly the same support and resources. It is about them receiving the level of support that they need, and that is the main message I took away from this workshop.
From a very young age I instinctively knew that I wanted to be a primary school teacher. Some of my earliest memories are from my second year of nursery school in which I helped the children who were just slightly younger than me to paint and draw, and also often I read books to them. This idea of helping and teaching people younger than myself has always appealed to me and this is why I have studied and worked hard to get to where I am today.
Throughout my years in high school I completed many weeks of work experience in St Joesph’s Primary School in Dundee helping out in different classrooms with children of all ages. I began by taking small groups away to do some literacy and numeracy and then eventually took a few whole class lessons myself. These weeks of experience were very useful to me as I received lots of very useful information from experienced teachers and they clarified to me that this was defiantly the career path I wanted to peruse. I also began to fully understand how classrooms operate and the main challenges that teachers face everyday. From my experience, one of the main challenges in the classroom were children with learning disabilities and how the teacher could integrate them in the classroom while also making sure all their pupils were working at a challenging level for themselves. This prospect, however daunting, did not put me off. It did the complete opposite. This showed me that I wanted to be the type of teacher who could involve everyone in a fun and engaging way and really sparked an interest in me in this particular topic. Furthermore, I really feel as if teaching allows you to make a huge difference in a child’s life whatever background they may come from and spark aspiration and drive in themselves they may not know that they had. I want to make real connections with all the pupils I come into contact with and help them with their personal problems just as much as their academic problems due to the fact that I believe that having a good relationship with a pupil allows them to be confident and flourish in the classroom.
From my own experience in primary school and high school, I have come to realise what teaching style I prefer and what type of teacher I want to be. I have being doing lots of my own personal research into issues I am interested in to do with teaching – such as children with disabilities- and also for ideas for my lessons and classroom when I do qualify as a primary school teacher. I am very passionate about the welfare of children and the profession of teaching therefore I am very excited to get started on the course and to pursue my dream career.