Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Little Change in the World

After the input on Tuesday’s lecture on Values, I found myself slightly itching with how uncomfortable I had felt because of how little the world has really come over so many decades. The realisation of the fact Racism is still so current honestly disheartens me. I will never understand why people of 2018 still think it is acceptable to judge someone from simply the colour of their skin. Why does this matter so much to people? Groups like the Ku Klux Klan are still present to this day, from around 1865. Surely after 100+ years, political responses and Civil Rights movements should be enough to change someones mind about how we are treating others. Why is this not the case? Why did Rosa Parks stand her ground on that bus, just for the future to still contain racism? Why have millions of people marched for rights, just for their children to still be brought up in this world, which has changed so little?

In the news, we are still faced with racist stories and headlines every so often. We hear of a black man being shot in America because “he was posed a threat”, however was nothing of the sort. I never realised how lucky I am to be a white, female, UK citizen until this input. It was astonishing to say the least, to see a quote from only 2016, claiming, “they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,”. My eyes have been opened to a different way of thinking – a deeper way – to understand why racism is still apparent.

While watching Clint Smith’s TEDTalk on “How to Raise a Black Son in America”, I was pushed to see an insight to a black child’s life growing up in America. Children are having their childhoods almost stripped when they are simply trying to live their child lives, making mistakes and building resilience. However, Clint Smith recalls of a time with his friends in a low-lit area having fun with water guns, hiding and dodging behind cards, then quickly being taken by his father with an “unfamiliar grip” back inside. His father apologised to him, explaining that he “can’t act like his white friends”, hiding behind cars holding a fake gun. Parents and their children are existing in fear and cannot afford to make any mistakes living in America around white police. It is an extremely sad reality.

Regarding the police force, interesting statistics showed that in 2010, 10.5% of white people were drug users, with only 5.8% of black people being drug users. However, the stats for being stopped and searched show that black people are 6x more likely to be stopped than white people. Why should black people have to put up with this? How does this make any sense? A percentage of black people are also sceptical that the country will make changes for racial equality.

I am certainly not saying I was unaware of racism existing, but the amount of it is overwhelming, and in my opinion, the changes in the world have not been enough over the years. We must strongly influence change on the upcoming generations to hopefully change future opinions, because racism is unacceptable.


“All human beings belong to a single species and are descended from common stock. They are born equal in dignity and rights, and all form an integral part of humanity.”

– UNESCO 1982


A Small Take on Values

On Tuesday afternoon, we had our first values workshop. It consisted of 4 groups, and each table had their own pack of materials to work with. Everything inside was all we had to work with to create something which would benefit a new student. The package my group received had a range of luxurious materials. We discussed our ideas which resulted in creating a double layered pencil case with a map on the outside. It also contained different, colourful information cards inside. However, the point of the task was not how well we worked together, or what we came up with to help students; it was to highlight the fact we can be quite submissive in noticing how different groups can be treated differently by society, depending on what we have. The groups with the packs of rich materials lacked the consideration to notice that the other groups had a basic supply of resources to work with, and that the lecturer was treating everyone differently (the richer-material groups were gaining attention and on the contrast the groups with less resources were going unnoticed).

In all honesty, it was a big eye opener for me. Have I always been this passive? Is this a good thing, because then I do not notice people for what they lack or have, I just see the group as simply another group of people? Or is it a bad thing – that I selfishly do not see what negativity is happening to other groups around me?

I do believe the way we are raised can be fed into our personal beliefs and values. As a teacher, I feel it is important to not treat anyone different just because they are from a certain group; whether it be race, gender or anything else. I want to teach children this when they are young while their brains are still making their set decisions on others, so that they can go out into the world and be respectful of everyone and their beliefs. Nowadays, I think being non-judgemental is a good trait to have. We have a lot of variation in people who are open and happy to share their lifestyles; whether this be around religion, gender roles, or any other personal choice.

To finally reflect on the meaning of this workshop, I understand that as a teacher it is crucial not to treat children differently regarding things such as their economic backgrounds, as of course, just because a child may have limited resources, does not mean they are any less than any other child in the classroom. Lots of families are effected by inequalities, and it is an educators job to support them as much as possible, and not let them go unnoticed.

A Student Teacher’s First Blog

A frequently asked question: What made you want to be a teacher?

Honestly, I don’t have a specific reason as to why I would like to become a teacher. So many things over the years have contributed to where I am today, influencing my decision to apply for Primary Teaching. However, there are key elements which I can highlight which I have taken from my own school experiences. Firstly, my primary 5-7 teacher is one of the biggest reasons I am studying at Dundee University today. Over the 3 years, she got to know me on a personal level, knowing my interests, abilities and preferences. To me, she was more than a teacher; she was a friend, a guardian, and a safe place to confide in. The relationship we shared was created over the 3 years we had spent together, her caring nature captivated me, influencing me to begin my career path as a teacher.

Throughout high school, I began to doubt my career options. I varied between midwifery/nursing, and early years practice/primary teaching. I felt I wasn’t good enough to be teaching future generations, until I met my new art teacher in S5. She is another key character in my teaching journey, who continually encouraged me to keep going with my studies to ensure I achieved the best outcome from school. She sat with me while I researched the teaching roles and helped me with my personal statement for University. She was truly there for me when I needed support and I will always appreciate that.

These two women are the passionate, considerate, inspiring role models who I took a lot of advice and motivation from, and are part of the many reasons why I am aiming to be a teacher. I want to bring the same, supportive, approachable role model to my future pupils, and offer them a warm, comfortable environment, similar to the experience I was lucky enough to have.

Another reason regarding my want to become a teacher would have to be based on how much I really enjoyed school, and the people there who were around me. The primary school I attended, in a considerably deprived area, is now the primary school of the majority of my younger family. In high school, I felt embarrassed to admit where I had attended P1-7, due to the stigma around my scheme. It took me a while to realise that it does not matter where a school is situated, it is about who is inside, that makes it a successful school. My 3 sisters and I (age range 11-31) attended the school, and now their children attend. The auxiliary nurse still remembers all of our names after all of these years and still welcomes us back with open arms whenever we visit. The school’s staff always ensured you felt comfortable, and still continue to do so.

To me, education is about shared learning between enthusiastic teachers and willing pupils; it is about a thriving environment with multiple opportunities to offer; it is about the relationships, the bonds and the personal progression of everyone inside. All-in-all, to me, education does not matter where it is situated, and it is not just about mathematics and literacy, it is so much more.