Semester One Reflection

Personally, semester one really wasn’t what I was expecting. Going into a teaching degree I expected to be thrown  into modules about the Curriculum for Excellence and Pedagogical Studies. It was an eye opener for me to see the real focus being on Values and Working Together, although now I completely understand why this is what we are initially taught.

The most valuable module in my opinion was the Working Together, through this I learned so much about what Social Work and CLD actually consist of; it  also helped me to break down any previous stereotypes about these two disciplines. This helped me understand why it is so crucial to a child’s wellbeing for the three disciplines to work together, this is a very efficient way to work in lines with GIRFEC. I think this was a very important module and it helped me develop as a professional as it gave me a greater understanding of how the three disciplines work and how I will be working closely with them throughout my career as a teacher. It also made me more aware of real life problems which occur for many children across the country and the initial steps to tackling these. I found the assessment for Working Together very beneficial as it allowed me to gather my own thoughts and link these to theories we had learned, this allowed me to have a better understanding of what we were learning about and how it’s applied. I also found working with people from all three disciplines very beneficial as we were able to share and challenge our opinions and gain a deeper knowledge of everything we had learnt about from different perspectives.

Overall semester one taught me a lot about myself as a professional. It also taught me a lot about how I can apply different practices in the classroom and wider community to help try and improve every child’s quality of life and to try and achieve an equal and fair classroom environment.

Resource Allocation Seminar

Our first seminar this semester consisted of us being split into five groups within the room, each group containing five or six students. Each group was given a large brown envelope and we were instructed to make a resource, only out of the things we were given, that would benefit a student starting at the University of Dundee. Whilst we were all given the same task each group was given a different amount of contents in the envelope.

My group were basically given the bare minimum, with one piece of white paper, two pens, a pencil, two paper clips, two post-it-notes and a small piece of blu-tack. We were pretty shocked to begin with as we looked around the room and almost every other groups table seemed alive with different coloured paper, pens, scissors, glue, sellotape and the list goes on! Despite this we decided to not let that get us down and just to make the best out of what we had been given, although it took us a while to actually think of something valuable we could create out of these limited resources.

Throughout the task, my group received very little attention from the group leader, and we found that we were being treated very unfairly. We created a “Uni Essentials Starter Pack” which was a small pouch which had our timetable and other bits and pieces that we thought would be useful to a student joining the university based on our own experiences. After we had made our resource each group was given a mark out of ten. These scored were very varied around the room, with our group being rewarded the lowest, very poor 1/10. Needless to say we were pretty disheartened by this as we couldn’t understand why we had been marked so low when we had made the best out of what we were given.

We were then asked how personally felt we were treated throughout the task, and we decided to be honest and explain that we felt we were not being treated equally by the group leader. We also put forward the opinion the it was unfair to mark all the groups out of 10 when we were not given the same resources to begin with. There was no way that we could’ve produced items of the same standard as other groups purely because we didn’t have enough resources. This then led us to think that it was extremely unfair to judge children in a classroom by what they have, in terms of money, education or any other social issues that may arise.

This seminar taught me a great lesson that I will most definitely take on throughout my careers a teacher. It made me more aware of the variety of children and their backgrounds that will walk into my classroom. It made me realise that it is my duty as a teacher to treat every student as equally and fairly as possible in the classroom and not have a prejudgement of any student or family as this can have a great impact on a childs education.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The ePortfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can upload an image or pull one in from Flickr or any other image sharing site.

Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.