With my first year placement now over I am overwhelmed with all sorts of feelings. Although I have volunteered within a classroom environment before, it was in no comparison to this one in terms of professionalism and the opportunities and responsibilities I took on. I count myself extremely lucky that I was placed in a school full of staff who were helpful and mindful that they were once in my position.
I was given a timetable on my first day which saw me in a P1, P3, P6 and P6/7 class within my first week. On my second week, myself and my partner were in a P2 class the full time. This enabled us to complete our observation tasks on one another, and then give our feedback. I found this process highly beneficial as it allowed me to reflect on aspects which could be improved and be proud of . I appreciated my partners feedback to me as I was aware that this can sometimes be difficult to put across, especially when it is partly negative. It was brought to my attention that I did not give the pupils much independence when I was working with a small group. For example, a pupil asked me where a letter was, I quickly pointed to this letter, giving him no independence or learning to find it for himself. I am glad this was pointed out to me as I am now fully aware of this mistake and I have came up with strategies to avoid this from reoccurring.
Literacy and Maths tasks were also to be completed within the 2 weeks based on what we had observed in class. To begin with I was apprehensive about the tasks in general and worried that they would be time consuming to complete. The teachers I was placed with were extremely helpful in terms of the tasks and helped me out where need be. I decided to get stuck into the tasks on the first day of placement, one of the teachers sat with me after school and went through them with me, this meant she also had an understanding of where I was to observe. I am glad i started the tasks so early and this made me realise that my organisation skills were better than I anticipated.
Personally, it was interesting for me to see how different each teacher was in terms of their style of teaching. This showed me that no teacher is the same in the classroom and although you might be teaching differently from one teacher, you are not doing it wrong.
Although at times it was best for me to sit and observe in order to fill in the tasks, most of my 2 weeks was spent being around and involved with the children whether that was individually, in groups, or as a whole class. This enabled me to see how different each child is in general and in their learning and that they are all unique. This placement has cemented that teaching is the career path I am determined to take.