Semester 1 was new and exciting for us all as a cohort, and many of us were surprised when we had a significantly smaller number of timetabled classes than other courses. Although sometimes I got bored, looking back I think this was really beneficial for me as it allowed me to get involved with co-curricular activities such as hockey and allowed me to settle in and socialize with this brand-new group of people I was surrounded by.
However, I would say the most challenging part of semester 1 was the essays and assignments which were due towards the end of the year.
I took sustainable development and the environment as my elective and I enjoyed it, however the report deadline was very close to the Values module essay. This forced me to be organised and start my report in plenty of time. My sustainable development report was my first piece of university writing I had ever done; which I found challenging as I had never tackled referencing before, which I was slightly concerned about. I was also concerned about this with my values essay which came shortly after my report, in which I struggled with the referencing. However, the most challenging part of the values essay for myself, was just navigating my way through my first Education essay and combining the right amount of reading and creativeness (and keeping it within the word count!), to create a coherent essay which answered the question being asked. I actually really enjoyed the process of writing my values essay and I am proud of the grade I received in the end.
Overall, the aspect which I struggled with the most in semester 1 would have to be working through December. This is because, I’m from Glasgow and moved to Dundee to come to University, which I have absolutely loved, however, Christmas is my favorite time of year which I usually spend with my family. I found not being home and partaking in the usual festivities really difficult and found myself quite homesick especially whilst completing the working together module assessments as all of my flat mates were back at home and the university became very quiet. However, it made the reward of seeing my family at Christmas even greater and the fact I very happy with my overall grade.
Upon reflection, I am very happy and proud of how I tackled my first few pieces of university work as it is so different to school; where you are spoon-fed and given an abundance of information. This shows me I am capable of handling the workload, and the key to being able to do this is time management and organization. I will take this learning experience forward with me into semester 2 when these two aspects will become even more apparent with essays to be completed on top of placement and the professional practice file.
For me I am beginning to see the importance of reflection particularly from the start of semester two as I have been posting reflections of my learning experiences on my blog and it is making me more aware of where I am as a learner, and where I am in terms of becoming a teacher and what areas I might need to put a bit more work and focus into; such as mathematics. I am going to continue with my blog posts to continue my ongoing reflection and to better my learning and practice.