After starting the University of Dundee in September I was anxious but excited to find out what our first semester would entail. Having two modules for Education as well as an elective to study for proved very challenging as the semester progressed. I soon realised that university was a much bigger jump from high school than I had originally anticipated. Throughout school I was always very hard on myself when I didn’t achieve the grades I was aiming for. In my eyes getting a bad grade meant that I hadn’t put enough work in, even when that wasn’t the case.
When we were first given the brief for our values assignment I was very enthusiastic and believed that I had a good grasp of the concept. I spent a lot of time in the library researching and studying in order to try and make sure it was completed to best of my ability. Studying with groups of friends and discussing the differing areas we had chosen to focus on seemed to be a great idea. After drafting and redrafting I allowed someone to proof read my assignment in order to ensure that it was free from grammatical errors. It was my first proper piece of writing completed at university and I wanted it to be ‘perfect’.
By the time January arrived I was eager to find out my grade. When I eventually found out my final result I couldn’t have been more disappointed. I felt as though all the hard work, hours and research I had put in was for nothing. However, the truth in the matter was that I just didn’t have the knowledge regarding academic writing, critical reflection and analytical perspective that I thought I possessed in the first place. I obviously hadn’t fully understood the concept of the task which has allowed me to realise the importance of talking to others who may be more experienced or have a better insight. I took the initiative to contact both the tutor who marked my paper and my advisor of studies to discuss what I needed to do in order to ensure my future assignments are up to the standards of both the university and my personal goals.
Reflecting back on the Values assignment I believe that I should have made the effort to include further reading outwith the reading list in order to back up everything said throughout the paper. I believe that for future assignments I will ensure that I have a sound understanding of the task in hand, speaking to my tutors and advisors before hand so that I know I am definitely on the right track to success. Reflection is an essential part of everything we do as perspective teachers and it is only in recent months that I have realised it’s true importance. I will try to evaluate and reflect upon every assignment, task or professional practice I complete from now on.