Placement for me was very enjoyable as I learnt so much over the two weeks that I was there. I was eager to give 100% into everything but was also pretty nervous at the thought of being seen as a student teacher. I was placed in the Primary 6/7 classroom for a week and then I spent a week in the Primary 1/2/3 classroom – both entirely different from one another. Since I had never been in a Primary 6/7 environment before I was very much out of my comfort zone on my first week but felt very welcomed and soon didn’t want to leave.
My first strength was the way that I spoke to each individual in the class about their work. I was enthusiastic and commented differently depending on what each child had done, this resulted in pupils around them praising them also. I also gave useful feedback which encouraged the pupils to do their work. Another strength for me is that I bent down to the pupils eye level so it showed my interest when they were needing help with their work. I spoke clearly when discussing what they were doing and was patient when they didn’t understand.
Area of most progress
In my opinion my area that I developed the most was being able to confidently speak to staff and pupils around the school. As I said above I was nervous since I was going in as a student teacher and was worried that I wouldn’t do it right. However, after being welcomed the way I had, I was quickly able to get out of my worried mindset and felt like by the end of my two weeks my confidence grew vastly.
area requiring progress
During my two week placement I was becoming aware of what I had to work on. The use of some of my language for the lower classes sometimes confused them. I was able to get them to understand after realizing I may have rushed or was too complex.
In the future I hope to be aware of what I am going to say before explaining something and remembering what level of pupils I am talking to. I also hope to improve my confidence levels more and to trust my professional judgment when in a school. I am also going to work on not worrying about what will happen and to just embrace it.
My partner and I’s notes on the strengths and areas for improvement were very similar. For example we both agreed that the strength was the knowledge the teacher had and the area of improvement was the use of tone to engage the children – variation was needed so that they felt like they wanted to learn when in the classroom. I found the tasks a nice level for myself to work at, not too challenging but not too easy either. I felt like I had to think about my answer, however, didn’t find it too stressing or feel like I didn’t know how to do them.
Personally, I feel confident that I now know the difference between feedback and judgement. Feedback is looking positively at what we need to work on. It may seem a negative to us at first but it is something that we can grow and improve ourselves on. Judgement on the other hand, is just what someone assumes of us, they do not think that there is area for improvement.
As for placement, I did feel nervous to start. I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I was going to be any good. The one thing I took from these tasks was that there’s always going to be something that I need to work on so before I started placement I just reminded myself that I was going to make mistakes within the period being there but it was okay because I could always improve.
With this, and having experienced a week of placement, I feel so much more confident and feel like I have learned so much about being a teacher. I am excited for the rest of my week there and will be quite sad to leave as I feel as though I’ve grown so much as an individual in just a short period of time and have enjoyed my experiences with the pupils and staff.
In my opinion our group leader was the person who was most outgoing and naturally confident. There was not a moment when doing the task that made you feel uncomfortable because you knew that person was only wanting what was best for the group. It was not in any sense delivered in a strict way and if anything it made the group come together more naturally as we all wanted to help in some way. This was then followed by many ideas being thrown together and allowed other people to have a chance to give their own suggestions. Personally, I think our leader allowed everyone to feel as though they had their own responsibility and with everyone working together I felt more comfortable expressing what I thought was a good idea.
- Discussion within the group overall was very well done as each point that someone made was backed up with a reason they thought it was a good idea.
- It was clear since I understood what they meant and if at times I was unsure of how they were going to do it, they simply showed me which gave me a better image of how it was going to work.
- In terms of the 5p’s I would say that some of the pre-assessing could have been given more time since we all just started building, maybe next time think before we jump into things even though all our ideas worked out anyways. I suggest this since it might not work to our advantage like this all the time.
The environment wasn’t much of a problem as when we were carrying out task it was dry and not windy. I think if it was to rain heavily and if there were higher winds this would have caused issues since we would’ve had to raise our voices a bit more and may not have enjoyed being outside at the time.
Overall, our negotiations within our group were successful since everyone was able to give their own ideas and then together come up with a solution that worked for what we were building. We didn’t jump to what we thought was best and listened to what everyone else had to say first which I believe made the group work stronger.
The expectations that I had for University were very different from it’s reality. At first I thought my induction week would have been many, many stalls, icebreakers and many, many nights out. However, I quickly came to realise that UWS was different – in a good way. In terms of Education we got a real feel for what was to expect. There was no sugar-coating which personally gave me the honest opinion that I needed. Everyday was full and enjoyable, each workshop taking me out of my comfort zone and making me think outside of the box. Already I feel ready to face the challenges ahead, I know that there will be difficult times but overall I am willing to push myself and I am looking forward to the next four years of the course.
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