Author Archives: John Muir

How did gender affect my education as a child?

Trying to remember how boys and girls were treated within my primary school was difficult to examine compared to the current schooling situation. Sure, both genders were allowed to participate in the different activities which took place – these were part of the curriculum. However, sports were aimed more at supporting the boys within the class and activities such as baking and art were generally focussed at the girls. This type of separation continued during “Golden Time” – a short period of time on a Friday afternoon which allowed for children to freely choose from a list of activities, what they would like to do. Each week it was clear which activity particular children would pick, and the activities such as sewing were predominantly girls. It would be almost frowned upon for a boy to be within that activity.

To summarise on my experience, whilst I did not feel excluded from any particular activities at school, on reflection I can see that there was not an entire focus on the inclusion of both genders into both types of activities, and instead there was an emphasis on selected activities being encouraged to individual genders.

Times have changed since then. With the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence, and of course the changing expectations and understandings from people’s general lifestyles, it is becoming less of a “girl activity” or a “boy activity”. Criteria’s for the curriculum allow for inclusion of all, regardless of things such as gender or ability. The future is encouraging for children to be within a more inclusive society regardless of gender, social class or ethnicity.

The initial spark for my interest in teaching

My interest in becoming a teacher first began at primary school. Here I saw great teachers inspiring me to learn and encourage me to reach my full potential. As I passed through high school I was given the opportunity to go out 1 day per week to a local school and assist the children during their day. I enjoyed this so much that I went on to do an access course to childcare and was given 2 placements. These were in a school, nursery and baby room setting and they gave me a whole new perspective on teaching, having previously been the pupil!

My main reason for wanting to be a qualified teacher is that I have saw both the challenges and the delights of working with children. There is no denying the fact that the job is both exhausting and demanding, but it is also extremely pleasing to know that my input will improve children’s education, general confidence and happiness. This alone has made me want to be a teacher. I also get satisfaction from seeing the children feel proud of work that they have done, whilst enjoying themselves.

I also wanted to become a teacher because I believe I have a good skill set which is required to be a teacher –  I have a caring personality, I am confident, organised and have good work ethic. These skills were used and strengthened by my role as Student Rep at college. Here I listened to other students ideas to try understand their views about issues. I was dealing with people’s problems and working with other staff to try and get issues resolved. This is like working in a school, where you must work as a team to get effective results. Also, from working in a shop I feel that I have built up good communication skills – I am serving and dealing with customers and with the aim of giving them a positive experience within the shop.

Once qualified (or, IF (!!!) I survive the 4 years!) I hope to become one of the teachers within the community that is viewed as an excellent teacher, and one that both the children and parents are excited to have as an educator for the academic year. I hope that my role as a teacher will make learning fun, fresh and interactive for the children, aiming to get away from many of the old school teaching styles which can often still be found within schools.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your eportfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The eportfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can pull in a Flickr page

Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.