Reflection: Where am I now?

Dereks Lecture (pedagogical studies) – Reflections/Evaluation on professional practice. 

One of the most important moments for my professional development in semester one is the working together module. As a whole it was really good to work with other people from the same and different professions, building and developing a professional and also friendly partnership. I feel my confidence grew and became one of the “leaders” of the group. I feel after getting my peer feedback it put my mind at rest, as I often over thought if I was having too much input and being annoying. The group I was with were fab, and although our CLD individual left the group, it made us stronger and come together more as we pulled together and cracked on with the work and tasks we had to do (as this was after our visit). We all shared equally the presentation preparations and discussing who should say what. I feel by doing this with individuals that I previously didn’t know, I have learned to take a step back and realise that not everything is in my control. Reflecting, I feel I developed my communication skills better as I was able to take on board everyone’s point of views and understand why they thought or came up with an idea. I feel it helped me develop a further understanding that everyone has their own expierences and backgrounds, and how that influences the way we think, hence viewing situations differently.

I feel I developed a sense of empathy, when someone was off before we got to know each other, I feel I was judgemental and assuming they were skipping the class. Hoewever, when relationships were formed and I got to know people and they were off, I had a better understanding of why they were off, and the reasons behind it. I feel I have become a lot less judgemental and slowly realising that not everything is as it first seems, and that I need to go deeper rather than just scratching the surface. Everyone has their own life and circumstances and it is important to realise that individuals can have more going on in the background than others. In the future I will take this nugget of information and use it in the classroom, in the aspect of being non-judgemental in the classroom, and making sure that I do my upmost best to always meet the needs of the children in my care, ensuring they are in the best environment to learn in and be themselves.

In relation to further developing, I hope to bond with my placement class, and learn of the needs they will have. I hope this will help me plan effective lessons which they will find fun and stimulating, ensuring they are learning from it too. I am looking forward to getting to know them individually, and finding ways to help them reach their full potential in the time that I am there. In order to help me reach this development goal, I will communicate and also get to know the teacher who’s class I am in, and also build an effective professional relationship with them.

Workshop 1: Dance

  • I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and
    being part of an audience for other people’s presentations/performances.
    EXA 0-01a / EXA 1-01a / EXA 2-01a
  • I enjoy creating short dance sequences, using travel, turn, jump, gesture, pause and fall, within safe practice. EXA 1-08a
  • Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express my ideas, thoughts and feelings through creative work in dance. EXA 0-09a / EXA 1-09a / EXA 2-09a

Using the experiences and outcomes from the expressive arts segment of the curriculum for excellence, I personally can relate to the three I have chosen. The dance workshop I attended yesterday afternoon was daunting at first as I am not a sporty person, and the idea of dancing in front of others, never mind a class, was scary. Furthermore, realizing that none of my friends were in my class was even worse. However, with a positive mindset I put all my doubts and worries aside and ended up enjoying the class completely.

If I was asked in my placement to take a dance lesson, I think after this workshop I would know where to start and have a few ideas to generate up a class lesson. I enjoyed socializing with new people, that I maybe wouldn’t have before, and becoming familiar with more faces from our huge lectures. After partnering up and realizing that everyone was on the same boat, my confidence grew and I was able to relax and enjoy the workshop. I liked how simple it was to start of with, in finding just a few ways to travel across the room, then seeing what others came up with and then thinking “why didn’t we think of that?”. Building on this, it has shown me that I do need to think outside the box more and care less on what others may think of me. The second part of the workshop when grouped with another pair was effective as the routine and the idea of dance really came to light and would be fun as a lesson for children, especially if there was steam needed to be let off. The simple way of finding a way to travel and then building on it with others, really showed that creativity can come from anywhere, and the more ideas the better, as the first idea isn’t always the best. Working with four other brains helped broaden my horizons as it highlighted that not everyone thinks the same and having other people’s ideas and inputs helped create a routine that we could perform in front of the class successfully.

Moving forward to the prospect of teaching dance in placement the three core ideas I will take from this workshop and potentially use are:

  1. Having children pair up and think of a safe and fun way to travel across the room, and to then have them show the class. After this building on the travelling and have the children create a sequence that would then formate into a dance routine.
  2. Creating an idea of a performance and show for the children, giving them something to work towards and be proud of. This would develop their interpersonal skills and working together abilities. I feel those involved would be excited and like the idea of being able to perform in front of the class. I feel this would help children who may not feel included or feel confident, have the opportunity to work with peers and have an end goal, creating a sense of achievement and have a factor of risk taking, building on their social experiences.
  3. Another idea that this workshop generated for me, is to have the children involved critique each other and peer mark each other. It would help generate ideas, giving them feedback and areas to improve before their performance as such. Using ipads if allowed to film in their rehearsals and then watch it back in their group to see where improvements or new ideas could be added. I feel this would help the pupils understand that not everything is perfect first time and that work and effort needs to go in to get the outcome they would like. This would help those involved to share ideas on the positives and negatives of their routine, building on what they have and using it to go forward.

Rounding up, I feel as the workshop progressed, my confidence grew not only in the class, but also in the idea that I could develop a lesson plan on dance if I needed to during my placement. After looking through the PowerPoint and using the expressive arts outcomes I have an understanding what is expected of me as a teacher to help generate an effective lesson for the pupils in my care, building on their experiences and understanding on what they think of dance and how it can be used.
Lastly, I feel using a youtube video at the beginning of the day would indeed help children come in and get ready quickly, as they would be curious as to what is planned for the day, and how relevant videos can help them with their learning and what is planned for their school day. However, as a side note it would be useful to load the video so that no advertisements are viewed by the children, and ensuring content is appropriate for them to view.