Derek says: Reflect

Thinking back on the lecture we just had, I feel it was honest and raw. I was engrossed the whole time and hanging on every word. It really took me back to Higher History, which I loved, but the lecture was so much more in depth and uncensored, looking at things in a sociological way, which really did capture my attention from the get go.

The different aspects of coffee really helped me understand the different layers and depths of what sociology can be, with it taking my own interpretation and looking at things in a different aspect. Four main points I learnt from the text (with the coffee reference) and with the lecture include:

  • Coffee is a key piece and often a necessity in peoples morning routines, and often lunchtimes too
  • It is a socially acceptable drug
  • Coffee can link the rich with the poor, as it is a valuable trade (connecting globally)
  • Over time, it has become branded and politicalised.

Even though the example given was coffee, I feel anything can really be substituted in, and after the lecture I was thinking more and more of social media and the way it has adapted and grown in our society. Could we really live without it now?

During the lecture, learning more of Emmet Till, I was engrossed as to why society back then thought the way they did, along with lynching. As I have always thought of everyone as equal, I am shocked to have been enlightened more as to how back in the day people were so horrible, and I can not think of what life would be like now if this to were happen. I would like to think there would be a fair trial and that times have indeed improved for the better for African Americans. I find it interesting the juxtaposition of how back then, African Americans were separated from white people, but the popularity of music from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald.

I feel, if I was alive during and after World War Two, that I myself, would be a suffragette. I find woman fighting to get the vote, and winning, is such an interesting and fascinating subject, as it was the women before us who done this. If there is a chance to vote nowadays, I make sure my the women around me use it, even if they do not know who to vote for, using the vote is better than not, as women in the past fought and died for it. The UK as a country has come such a long way from the sexualised, degrading advertising. The lecture this showed how far our country has come, as if this was publicised now, there would be an out cry. I found the lecture empowering because as time goes on women are becoming more equal to men, whether it be in sport or politics, we have more and more of a say. Society is changing as even though coffee shops may be on every corner, the women in our society are gradually becoming less known as ‘someones wife’.

I feel as a future teacher, it is important to encourage children to follow their own paths even if it isn’t the social norm. Everyone is unique and this should be celebrated. Children should be reminded that everyone is equal, no matter the colour of their skin, the background they come from, the clothes they wear, or who has the latest game and who doesn’t. I feel this should be important within the classroom as they are the future social societies.


four envelopes… one lesson.

Within our first values workshop, we were divided up into four equal groups. Each group was then handed out the same looking envelope, but what was unknown to us at the time was that each same looking envelope had different contents…… but why?

The task was to create something that would be handy for a new student to use when starting the university. In each group, each envelope had different usable materials in it. In my group, this consisted of: one single sheet of A4 paper, two post-it notes, two elastic bands, a pen, a pencil and four paper clips. In our group we thought what could we make that would be useful? Scratching our heads and brainstorming, we came up with the idea of an information leaflet, which consisted of folding the piece of paper in half. At this point our brainstorming session was over, as we were only given ten minutes to then present to the rest of the class our idea and pitch it. At this point, we realised that everyone has different materials, which indeed did confuse our group, as we had the smallest and plain amount. After listening, and taking on board other groups ideas, we revamped ours slightly but went ahead with our main idea, and with the next 10-15 minutes given, we did indeed create our lovely leaflet. At this point however, we were informed that our presentation and ideas, along with our final product, we would receive points and that there was potential to win a prize. This upped our game even more. We then with the time left, planned our presentation and finished our leaflet which included a map of campus, social media outlets, important emails and student information, along with a basic timetable.

When presenting, we were all confident and took pride in what we had achieved and made. Our group done well (I thought) with the resources that were given however, we were given a 2 out of 10. How soul destroying. We found that the better the groups resources were, even if their ideas weren’t the greatest, they were scoring better than us and were getting lots more praise and support from our main advisor. The group with the most resources won, as it was bright, attractive and colourful which really captured everyone’s attention.

What I personally took from the lesson is that, as a future primary teacher, I need to respect everyone no matter where they come from, what they might have or not have or what background they come from, everyone should be treated with the same respect and fairness. It is important to include everyone in a lesson and give praise when it is needed as it can help encourage children to keep going and to develop and succeed further. I think it is important to remember that everyone is their own individual with different circumstances, and that no matter where you come from in society that we should all be given an equal chance in life, but as this workshop proved, is that it is more likely that someone from a well off background is more likely to succeed and do well in life, unlike someone who is from a deprived background who may not have as much, which may lead to them not reaching their full potential and having the chance to reach for the dreams they wish to achieve. I hope that when I qualify as a teacher, I will inspire and help the children that I teach, no matter their background, to reach for the stars and follow their dreams.

Unit 1: Personal and Interpersonal Skills and Abilities

Activities for unit 1 Personal and Interpersonal Skills and Abilities

  1. Below are a list of skills and abilities. Complete an audit of where you are now. Record this in your learning journal/portfolio. Rate yourself (1=Not very well developed; 3=very well developed)
Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Self confidence X
Self-discipline X
Team Work                    X
Act as a Leader X
Listen to others X
Write for academic purposes X
Computing Skills                     X
Be Creative X
Problem solving X


Activity 2

  1. Complete the audit below, using the information from the table above.
Recognition Reflection Action
Skills already developed How I will use these How do I know (evidence)**
Self confidence I feel I will use self-confidence as I will be teaching in front of a class daily and have at least 25 pairs of eyes on me. I will need to have confidence in my lesson planning and have the confidence to carry out my lesson clearly as the children involved will be listening intently to instructions that I give them.
Self-discipline As I am 23, I feel I have good self-discipline. In the past I have had good time keeping skills; from attending college and placements on time and completing tasks and assessments on time too. I have had the same job since I was 17, and being a waitress, you need to turn up on time, be presentable and work hard, which is something valuable I feel I can transfer into my teaching.
Team Work I feel teamwork is important, as everyone will have their own ideas and opinions. I feel it is important to take each and everyone on board and work in a way which is effective. I feel it is important to listen to others in a group so that everyone has their own input and can work in a positive way with a successful outcome for all.
Act as a Leader Acting as a leader, I feel is an important skill as when teaching in the classroom it is important for the children to know who is in charge, and who to go to if any problems arise. I feel as a leader, rules should be set, and followed in the classroom as children are there to learn and succeed.
Listen to others Listening is a key skill for every walk of life. It is important to listen as often people carry information which can be used. People can also convey how they are feeling, indicating thought and how you may be able to help. Listening is a way of learning and developing.
Write for academic purposes I feel within my time at university I will be writing for academic purposes whether this be through assessments, essays and exams. I feel this gives me a chance to reflect on my learning and look at how far I have come since the start of the course. Using my eportfolio on glow will help my writing for academic purposes also.
Computing Skills I will use computing skills throughout my time teaching whether this be taking an IT lesson or using the computer as a smart board for the children in my class to learn from. I will be using my computing skills to plan my lessons and make worksheets and powerpoints.
Be Creative I feel I am a creative person, as I love colours and I feel I will have a bright and fun classroom in which children will like and learn from. I feel my lessons will also reflect this taking on board the different learning skills children have whether this be hands on learning, playing games, or textbook learning.
Problem solving I feel I slightly need to improve my problem solving skills slightly, as I sometimes get worried, however it is important to have a back-up plan, and if a lesson doesn’t go to plan I can look back and reflect on it and see where I could improve and what could have been better, not only for myself but for the pupils learning.


Recognition Reflection Action
Skills to be developed How I will develop these How do I know (evidence) **
Act as a leader I feel becoming more strict will help me act as a leader and not letting children be cheeky. I feel it is important for them to know that I am in control and that if they do break the rules there will be consequences such as time being taken off them for golden time.
Organise and plan I feel this will be a further skill to build by looking at planning my lesson and preparing for different scenarios. I will need to make sure I have the resources that I need and that they are on hand when the lesson is to be carried out. I feel that you can never be too organised as it depends what time your lesson is planned at, and what time of day it is for the children as their attention varies throughout the school day.
Debate formally and informally I will further develop this skill by conversations I may have with others in my university class, but also in discussions in seminars and online.
Build social networks I feel building social networks will be through my class friends at university, but also creating and building working relationships with teachers that I meet on placements.
Think critically I will think critically by making sure my lessons and activities when planning them, are age and stage appropriate for the children involved meeting their developmental needs.
Generate new ideas I feel I will generate new ideas from researching online and looking at lessons to see where I could add something or put my own twist on it. I feel brainstorming with other teachers will help generate new ideas.

** This section should be completed as you identify when/where/how you have used/developed these skills.


Oh! To be a Teacher…

Why would I like to be a teacher? I would love to become a teacher to change and inspire young lives, no matter the age and stage of development. When I was in Primary 5 and Primary 7 myself, I had a teacher who I looked up to, who I knew I could trust and was approachable whenever needed within the classroom. I remember being very shy, and I remember being brought out of my shell and having confidence shone into me. Thus, ever since, giving me the inspiration and drive to become a teacher myself.  With lots of questions, I asked my teacher endless amounts and at no point was she impatient or unwilling. She listened to me, and helped me develop my own knowledge and skills which I’m sure will help me still, when I become a teacher myself. She was one of the first people to tell me that no questions can be considered as ‘silly’, and that someone else in the classroom might well be thinking the same as me.

I feel with my teaching degree, I can also give children the confidence and guidance that they need to reach and become their full potential that was once given to me. I feel that everyday in the classroom would be different, and that each day would bring a new opportunity to encourage, and inspire children to be the best they can be. Children are young and vulnerable and I feel that when in a safe and positive environment, such as the classroom, they can strive to reach their goals with the support they need. I think it is important to remember that each child is their own individual who, in turn, has their on unique experiences and background, which means each child will have different needs. This in turn, makes me excited and looking forward to creating, developing and carrying out lessons to cater to the classrooms different needs. I feel that as a person, I am creative and I look forward to having my creative streak and love of colours inputed within my lessons and throughout my classroom, which I hope creates a fun learning environment for everyone.

Aged 23, I feel now is the right time to embark on this new adventure and journey (plus it being third time lucky getting on this course), with the goal of having my own classroom to enrich and inspire future generations to become the best they can be and that if they put their mind to something, have a goal, and work hard that they can achieve and become anything they would like in their wildest dreams. Whilst at college and on placements, I witnessed children grow and build their confidence, and when conquering a task the satisfaction and glee on their faces. No matter the age and stage of children, at each development stage they are at, they need a positive and enthusiastic teacher, and I do believe that I can be the one to guide, help and encourage them to become the most optimal person they can be. I am determined and driven to be the best teacher I can possibly be, to help motivate and fuel children’s desire to reach for the stars.