Well it’s day three of my placement and today I am starting to understand how to compose a piece of reflective writing as I think back on the past few days and think about changes that I can make to get the most out of my placement.
I have had a great few days, although tiring. One of the biggest challenges I have found has been that two of my days so far have been in an open space environment. The challenges here were very interesting and I found a lot of respect for the teachers in this area. For example, the P3 class already faced in class challenges in its own right; there were 3 children that had barriers to learning, that had been identified. Add to this the arrival of a P7 class coming to use a bank of PC’s in the common space, the P2’s singing a Halloween song and the Primary one’s repeating numbers 1 – 10 in French, I found it hard to remain focused on the class and ensure that all children were given the same chance to learn.
Going into a closed classroom today, I have to say I was excited to get a chance to be in a space with fewer distractions. The class today was a composite class of P4/5 with one child with a hearing difficulty. As aresult, whilst there were fewer distractions the composite class presented it’s own challenges and as such I was in for another challenging and I have to say another very enjoyable day.
My moment of reflection happened when (I am ashamed to say), in my mind, I stereotyped one child who, in comparison to the rest of the class was more disruptive (Child J). When I had a chance to ask the children if they has all gone out for Halloween I was surprised to discover that child J had not because he was a from a Christian family. I am a christian and also volunteer with a Christian organisation. I realised that I had judged child J as perhaps coming from a low income family with less focus on the importance of education. I also reflected that my own child, despite coming from my Christian background is not engaged with education. On a positive note though, I was pleased that despite my inner thoughts I had continued to treat Child J the same as every other child, with respect and dignity.
With all that being said, I have been given a wonderful amount of autonomy and have been able to engage with the children in the school. When walking through the school I am being greeted with shouts of “Hello Mr Bell”, I’ve been given art work “for you” and my very own leaf, plucked with care from the playground!
Now that I have started to blog my reflections, the thoughts continue to flow and I realise that there will be lots of opportunity to reflect on my practice in the coming years and one cannot write about every experience! Now I have started, I am sure there will be plenty more blogs to follow!