For my Health and Wellbeing module this semester we have been set the task of setting ourselves learning goals of things we want to have a more in depth knowledge of. I have chosen my learning goals because I feel that they can impact the classroom greatly, and as a teacher it is critical that I understand why children might feel the way they do, as well as why they might act in certain ways. These are my learning goals:
- To understand how to best manage and explore emotions in the classroom.
- To try and understand how outside factors can impact on a child’s wellbeing within the classroom, and how this can affect their learning.
- To understand how the different areas of health and wellbeing come together, and the effect that it can have on the learner.
I will be reflecting on these goals in my first week, sixth week and tenth week of the elective.
Week 1 reflections
- I feel that at this current point that I would know how to manage emotions in the classroom, but wouldn’t necessarily know the best way to start a discussion about emotions. If a child was upset, or angry, excited about something I feel that I would be able to help them explore this feeling. I would sit down with the child, use a calming, reassuring tone and talk them through how they are feeling, ask them simple questions and stay calm throughout it all. However, I wouldn’t know how to start talking about feelings with the pupils in my class, on placement in first year I did witness and deliver a bounceback lesson for the pupils, but this was all completely scripted, and without it, I wouldn’t have known where to start. I feel that it can be hard for children – and adults – to talk about their feelings and for this reason I don’t think that at the moment I know how best to start the discussion. I feel that this is a crucial skill that I need to develop for the children in my class as talking about our feelings and exploring our emotions can make a lot of things easier to deal with, and could in turn make the classroom a happier and healthier environment for the children to be in.
- I feel that we talk about how outside factors can impact on children a lot but we never sit down and think about how these factors affect the child’s learning and how it can affect their wellbeing whilst in class. Throughout the degree we have spoken about how family structure, poverty and several other factors can affect a child, but we never really get into the details about how it can really affect the child. I understand that because every child is going to be going through something different the way in which they react within the classroom, and their attitude towards learning will vary greatly. However, I feel it is incredibly important for us to talk about the things that may occur in certain scenarios. After watching the ‘Nurture Room’ documentary, I feel that I understand slightly better what sort of things these children may go through, such as anger and lashing out, or refusal to do work. But we never address this in our learning at the university. As trainee teachers I feel that this is incredibly important for us to understand and what we should do in the circumstances where a child may behave in this way. I would like to explore this in more depth than just a brief discussion on what we might see.
- The experiences and outcomes for health and wellbeing are rather broad and cover a range of different aspects of health and wellbeing, and as of yet I don’t understand how these different aspects can be brought together. A lot of health and wellbeing relates to emotional and social wellbeing, but there is also the part of health and wellbeing that looks at a child’s physical health. From personal experience I know that my physical health has a massive impact on my emotional health, but I don’t understand how we could tie these into one another within the classroom. I feel that it is extremely important that children understand the effect your physical wellbeing can have on your mental wellbeing. There is a lot of research saying that physical activity can impact on a child’s ability to learn and that it can help put them in the mindset to learn, things like the mile a day challenge. However, when I was on placement in first year the mile a day challenge seemed more like a reason to just get the children out of the class, it didn’t seem like the children understood why they were doing it, they just knew that they had to do it, same applies with P.E. in the classroom. Surely if we want the children in the class to be both emotionally and physically healthy then we should be taking the time to explain to them why we do things like P.E. and the mile a day challenges? I would like to further explore this throughout the module in order to better understand how we can tie these two parts of the curriculum together.