Category Archives: 3.4 Prof. Reflection & Commitment

Reflecting on my first semester

Reflection is a major part of a teacher’s career and development; both at the beginning of our training and as we progress through our careers. I am now beginning to understand how important it is for us to be constantly looking back at the progress we have made, recognising the room for improvement as well as our achievements and having a positive attitude towards what our next steps are.

My first semester was a completely new experience for me and I have to say I have come quite far since our first week in Lecture theatre 4. The biggest learning curve for me was assignment writing. This type of academic writing was new to me and I can remember in the values assignment briefing I was quite overwhelmed. I had no idea how to approach this and had no confidence that I would be able to even attempt it. Miraculously my essay turned out to be something I am very proud of. Looking back I needed to have a more open mind towards new challenges and what I am able to achieve. However if I could tell myself one thing at the start of freshers it would be to properly reference from the beginning of the semester in my reading! That’s one thing I have taken into semester 2 that will save me a lot of time and stress.

Looking now to our first placement I know that reflection will be a key part of our development. Being able to be receptive to constructive criticism; being open to advice and not taking anything too personally is something I want myself to remember and hopefully when reflecting on semester 2 I can be more positive about my confidence to achieve.

Relationships: “They’re reacting to the environment we give them to react to.”

The young children coming into a classroom all come from different households, backgrounds and families. Each child will have a different relationship with their parents or carers to the next. Listening to Dr Suzanne Zeedyk talk about brain development in babies has allowed me to look at the way in which our relationships and upbringing shape who we are from a different perspective.

I had never thought of the environment babies are born into, whether that be noisy or peaceful for example, having such a big influence on how our brains actually develop. The early years of a child’s life really shape a person’s outlook on life and their personality. This idea can be key to our progression as student teachers as it can influence how we view certain situations within our classroom on professional placement. I like the way in which Dr Zeedyk summarises her talk:

It’s different from saying “How are they reacting to the environment?” They’re reacting to the environment we give them to react to.

This statement really stuck with me from the talk as it helped me to make the connection between babies and brain development to how I can apply this to my own teaching. It’s easy to blame a misbehaving child for disrupting the class or a lesson going wrong. However we can now look at the situation from the perspective of how this child’s relationships or upbringing has brought them to feel and act this way. What kind of environment am I providing to trigger this behaviour and can I do anything to help it? I am still at the beginning of my learning journey and still have a lot to learn about behaviour management especially. However this was my immediate reaction to this video and the connections I can make from it right now. If I watch it again in the future I’m sure I could look at it with an entirely different meaning coming to mind!