My first year at university has been a great year for reflection. I feel that I have invested great thought and effort into deciding my professional and personal values and these values I believe have shaped me not only as the teacher I want to be but also the man I want to be.
At the start of placement, I was worried that my behaviour management would not be up to the mark and so thought the best way to make my presence known was to be very strict and “scary”. Whilst I believe being strict is important to show the class you are not a “push over” at the start of placement I felt I was being too distant with the children for the first few days and did not interact with the pupils as much as I could have. However, on the third day I began to talk to pupils more about their lives in and out of school and we soon developed mutual respect for one and other and this in turn had a huge impact on behaviour within the classroom. I was so happy that my class knew we were friendly but were not friends and respected me as their teacher but still felt they could talk to me about anything and without being judged. This helped to develop my confidence and I began to love doing class lessons and interacting with everyone in the school both students and staff.
Whilst I was on placement I believe I learnt a great deal about myself not only as a teacher but also as a person. To begin with I was very nervous about doing my own class lesson and turning the theory we have been learning about in class into practice. However, after a few class lessons I began to become more confident in my ability and allowed for my personality to shine through, this enabled me to develop a strong relationship with my class. This was a huge stepping stone in my professional career as to begin with I just wanted to ensure the children were learning about academic subjects, however within a few days of placement I began to focus more on the relationships I was beginning to develop as well as equipping the pupils with the essential academic and personal skills they will need for life and work. This to me is what teaching is all about; the relationships we build and the lasting impact we can have on pupils in our class no matter how small the positive impact is it could have huge implications on the child and we may not even know it! I grew in confidence as a result of these professional relationships I had developed with pupils and teachers, and I feel this impacted on my teaching massively.
In conclusion whilst my class were challenging I loved every minute of teaching them and this was to me is the most important thing I learnt in the entire year: even though teaching is difficult and there are bad days it is by far the best job in the world and I cannot wait to have my own class someday.