Emily Little UWS ITe ePDP

Learning and Reflecting

November 13, 2018
by Emily Little
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Reflections on Placement

For the last two weeks I have been on placement in a local Primary School. During this placement I had the pleasure of observing a Primary 3/4 class, I really enjoyed this experience as it gave me a feel for what it will be like being a Primary School teacher, it also allowed me to reflect on my skills and also consider aspects of my communication I need to work on.

STRENGTH

I believe one of my strengths to be how I demonstrated my active listening to the children through kneeling down, nodding my head and asking further questions to the statements they would give me. I believe this is a strength of mine as I had a peer observation where it was highlighted that a strength of mine was kneeling down to pupils when I spoke to them, the teacher I was with also complimented how I would always ask questions after a child told me something hence why I think my demonstration of active listening through forms of verbal and non-verbal communication is a key strength of mine. I took a group of Primary 3s for reading and I would always give them 5 minuets before we started to talk about what the book was about and I  would ensure I nodded my head when they were speaking so they knew I was listening to them, once they were done I’d encourage more of a discussion by asking more questions about what they just told me so they knew I’d listened and I’d get more responses.

AREA OF MOST PROGRESS

I would say I have progressed in the amount of times I say words such as ‘um’ and ‘eh’. Doing the story telling task I got helpful feedback from my peers that I would do this a lot and it came off as though I wasn’t as confident and it looked unprofessional. The feedback from that helped me when I was on placement as I noticed I did this a lot less, the first week on placement I was still saying those phrase regularly but the more I noticed it the more I stopped it and by the second week I had said them a lot less. I was reading to the Primary 3s again and I messed up a word, usually I would’ve been like “oh, eh I meant…” but I noticed this and just paused and re-read the word over correctly.

AREA REQUIRING PROGRESS

The area I need to work on the most is my volume. I would say I do talk at an adequate volume most of the time but I can get quiet. When the class volume starts to pick up I can’t match it or talk above it. My peer noticed this as well as I did, I had to take a group to another room to go on the computers and they began to get very noisy and I tried to tell them to quieten down but I didn’t raise my voice enough so they continued to talk, I did go  over and tell the nosier 3 pupils to lower the volume and then the class were able to hear me. Volume is a challenge for me as I don’t want to shout so I get too anxious to raise my voice slightly when I know it needs to be raised.

ACTION PLAN

I plan to develop my strength by ensuring I keep on doing this when I am able to. I also plan to read more things aloud to practice hearing my voice aloud and playing around with it so I can hear how loud I can go without shouting, reading things like books aloud will also help me to continue to progress in saying ‘uh’,’eh’ and ’em’ less often.

EXPECTATIONS

I did complete and get experience of everything I was expected to do. I managed to achieve these expectations pretty easily without many obstacles, one obstacle would perhaps be with regards to getting information for my sheets as we had 4 maths tasks to complete and due to show rehearsals and mass my class missed a lot of their maths time, I did observe some maths lessons and had enough information to complete them but it was a slight obstacle. Another obstacle for me was the staff room, I spoke to some teachers easily but others I found it harder to talk to, I would try to hold a conversation but a lot of the staff room conversations were about rooms and rehearsals and who is doing what so it was harder to be in the discussion as I didn’t work there and know those things, but generally I would find things to talk to the staff about, however by the second week it got easier as I was beginning to know how the school worked and the different classes. The class teacher I was with introduced me to staff which really helped me fulfill the expectation of talking to staff as more of them had an idea of who I was and why I was there and felt comfortable talking to me.

September 26, 2018
by Emily Little
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Communication in Other Environments (Reflective Questions)

GROUP AND LEADERSHIP

 

Was there a group leader?

I wouldn’t say there was a solo group leader, especially by the end of the activity, but I did definitely see there were certain members in my group who took more control of the situation from the start.

 

How was this chosen?

We didn’t vocally chose a leader in our group, naturally someone started taking control and saying their ideas and the rest seemed to agree and follow this persons ideas and expand on them.

 

If informal, how did you know?  What were the actions that marked them as a leader?

We knew as they were very vocal and kind of made the first decisions in the group. They actively presented their ideas by showing us what they think and then they suggested what other group members should do to follow their plan.

 

How did this impact on the rest of the group e.g. was there some underlying resentment/ did anyone feel excluded?

Everyone in my group was very compliant and agreed with the ideas presented by the group leader(s), I don’t think there was any underlying resentment, everyone seemed very happy and included as we all had a job to do.

 

What was most challenging for you about working in this group? (personal reflection)

I sometimes felt as though I wasn’t doing enough since there were members who took more control in the situation, sometimes I did feel as if i wasn’t doing enough at some points and wanted to help more but there wasn’t much else to do, I could have been more vocal about changes I would have wanted to make rather than just being compliant with everyone else, but in general I do feel as though I worked well in my team and we had a successful den.

 

EXPLAINING 

 

How clearly did you think the group explained to you?

I think the group explained their ideas to me very well, our communication as a group was very good and everything we were doing was fairly clear.

 

What made this clear or unclear?

The explaining was clear as we had a person who outlined the instructions of what we should do to build our den and we all discussed this and constantly communicated with each other and if anyone was unsure they asked questions ensuring we were all understanding of what we were doing.

 

What stage of the 5Ps might have been missed out?

we perhaps missed the third stage which was preparation as we started to build and put down our ‘flooring’ without clearing the area we were in and by the end the floor was a mess with twigs and other natural materials, there was also some areas which were hard to access due to us not preparing and clearing the area.

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

What was the impact of the environment on your communication?

We had to perhaps be louder as things like the wind or noise of branches bellow us made it harder to hear each other.

 

What changes did you make when explaining to others that you might not have considered in a typical classroom?

I had to speak a lot louder and get closer to people when talking to them and in a classroom sense i might not have to do this as much.

 

How challenging was it so speak above the sounds in the environment?  How can we make this communication easier on both speaker and listener?

The speaker could try and move to a sort of quiet area outside to ensure there is less noise, the listener should ensure they’re focusing their full attention on the speaker. The listeners should also ensure they’re close to the person speaking and that they’re not wondering around the outdoor space.

 

When listening, did the environment distract you? How can we overcome this?

The environment didn’t distract me personally but if something like the noise in the environment distracted me it could be overcome by moving to a different place.

 

NEGOTIATION 

Were your negotiations successful?  Why/Why not?

Yes our negotiations were successful as a few of us went to the negotiations and built the case that the item we needed was essential to our build.

 

What was most challenging about these?

It was challenging on the other half of the negotiation as everything we used we needed for our den and we didn’t want to say no to the others but we knew we couldn’t give it up. It was also hard to get the other team to agree especially when we were so stubborn about giving our stuff up

September 19, 2018
by Emily Little
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First Blog Post

This is my first blog post! I’m really excited to be studying Education here at UWS Ayr campus, the last week and a half has been very positive and I have really enjoyed it. I’m most excited about going out on school Placement, I am also of course nervous about this but I have been in schools before and I just really enjoy being with the children and assisting in their learning. Moodle has taken some time to get a hang of but I feel as though I’m finally getting it! Since starting the course I have been given so much new information and I already feel as though I have a lot in my diary of tasks to complete or things to read and its good because I like to keep myself busy but I do need to work on organising myself and giving myself enough time  to do the reading as sometimes there can be many pages from multiple different books and I read them all around the same time which can’t be good for retaining information. I do however think I am managing well to keep up with my work and I hope I can continue this. Here we go to another week!

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