I have just finished my first placement. I spent six weeks in an upper year’s class. Overall I have enjoyed my placement. However there were days when I found it very difficult. It was a real learning curve. But saying that I am glad I did it and overall I’m sure it has improved my teaching skills. I feel I developed a good relationship with the children. My knowledge of the curriculum has improved and I no longer feel nervous when teaching a lesson. This links to two of my goals: confidence/staying calm and lesson planning. I had to think on my feet and to do that I needed to stay calm. This can be difficult sometime when children are involved.
Being in the classroom and planning lessons has made me realise how hard teachers work. Teachers start early in the morning before the children arrive and leave late at night, using the time later in the afternoon to plan future lessons. Seeing so many dedicated teachers inspired me to plan in advance and link lessons to the children’s needs.
Something which I felt I initially struggled with on placement was behaviour management. To begin with, I could see that some of the children were testing me. My school used the restorative approach. So I used this method when talking to the children about their behaviour. By doing this I felt as the weeks went by that the children responded to me very well. Also to begin with when teaching lessons there was a lot of chatting on the carpet. So to help keep the children’s attention I would; use positive praise, move children or clap to get the children’s attention. I found by using these techniques the children paid a lot more attention on the carpet. By the end of the placement I felt my behaviour management skills have improved, they are not perfect but I’m definitely better at it.
A strength I saw grow on placement was the development of my classroom presence. Also as my behaviour management improved I felt the children treated me like their teacher. They would come to me for help. They would also tell me about their interests and hobbies. In doing so I feel I developed a strong relationship with the children. I was not just their teacher; I was somebody there to help them if they needed it.
I have learned so much over my six weeks on placement. I have developed my confidence and skills and now I am more excited than ever to become a teacher and have my own class.