My Pre-visit Day Before Placement

Prior to my pre-visit day, I was really nervous. I have had lots of experience working with children but very little in a classroom environment. It was going to be different, challenging and hard work, but I was ready for it.

I was welcomed by my lovely mentor at the office who gave me a tour around the school. She showed me the main areas, where to find resources and of course, the fire safety routine. She finished with her primary 5 classroom area. The layout was fascinating, different to what i’d ever seen before. The classrooms were all open planned which encouraged open learning opportunities and a chance for children to interact with other year groups. This was intimidating for me at first as I thought I would be watched by all other year groups whilst taking the class, I soon realised this was not going to be the case as everyone was too focused in their own learning spaces. The children also didn’t have seating plans and sat where they felt comfortable. This will make learning names difficult, however I have already planned an activity to help me with this when I return.

I started off by reading the class novel. The children were engrossed and were able to fill me in on the plot. They were answering questions and predicting what will happen next. I felt this was the perfect class warmer for the children getting to know me and helping them to feel comfortable.

Later on in the day, I took a small group for a maths lesson. We did activities which fitted their age and stage and the children seemed to grasp it right away after me explaining it and showing an example. They were then able to pass their activities around for the next person. I felt a sense of accomplishment after this session and the children gave me their feedback.

At lunch I sat in the staffroom and got to know the other members of staff from around the school and also speak to fellow students from different universities. Everyone made me feel so welcome.

Assembly was after lunch, I took the class along and this was the perfect time for me to sit with my mentor for 20 minutes to discuss my aims, what I need to do when I come back and ask general questions. She spoke to me about the schools goals, the clubs and organisations set up and what they are currently focusing on. She also showed me behaviour management and child protection policy, I took a note down of important points mentioned. This was the perfect time to discuss all my questions I had listed.

By the end of the day, I was able to grasp children’s names and they felt comfortable with me being around. The children treated me with the respect that the teacher was given and they told me they were excited for my return. My pre visit day went so well and it has made me even more excited to kick start my teaching journey with this class.

The importance of reflection

Reflection is an important part of progression through learning and vital not only throughout my studies, but my professional career. It will help me to identify areas which didn’t work well for me, allow me to see where I went wrong and what my next steps are moving forward.

Upon reflection in semester one, I have highlighted issues in my learning and studies where I must make changes moving forward. I never realised the importance of wider reading throughout modules and it was something I overlooked. I underestimated the impact it would have in my overall understanding and have realised it hindered progression in discussion and debate. This became apparent when essay writing and I realised the lack of variety in my discussions – something that is important in order to achieve a high standard of work. This is something I will most definitely take on board in semester two, to look at wider arguments and build deeper understanding which will in turn, enhance my learning.

Reflection is something I will continue to do throughout modules, placement and essay writing to ensure I am always working to the best of my ability. Taking time to understand where you went wrong is key to improving.


My memories of Maths in school

From my earliest memories, maths has never been a strong point. In primary school, I have fond memories of playing with counting blocks and filling out fun work sheets filled with colour. Maths in primary school felt care-free, and I felt as though I was part of the class; with a basic understanding.

In high school however, maths caused me stress and unnecessary anxiety. Starting my high school years with teachers who picked you at random to answer questions was my worst fear and happened regularly. It caused my mind to go blank and look and feel stupid in front of a class. This in turn made me feel like a failure, and I stopped believing myself that I actually understood it and honestly, I lost interest all together. I began to fail and the class was a daily dread.

In my later years, I came across a particular teacher who saw potential in me. She made me work hard, without making me feel uncomfortable. She didn’t give up on me when I didn’t understand and she spent her nights staying behind at school club to help me to get the grades I never thought were possible. I was made to do ALL my homework corrections, which I absolutely hated and they piled up quickly. Now? I thank her for that. Her dedication to her students and job role helped me to enjoy maths again and was proof that I could do it with the right mindset, dedication and a lot of hard work.

Having went though both these experiences in school, Its made me aware of the impact my teaching strategies will have on children’s outcomes, and which method I would like to strive to achieve.

A comfortable classroom creates confident individuals and that is the key to understanding.

The influence behind studying primary teaching

My love for children started during my school years, where I volunteered in my local primary school. I got first hand experience of the classroom environment and made instant connections with the pupils and peers working alongside me.

I developed this experience by attending college; gaining my HNC qualification and working in further placements which deepened my understanding of the role and further assured me that I was heading down the right career path for me. I recently gained a part time job in one of my placements; which I love and continue to learn everyday.

I am creative, confident, organised and outgoing. I love being outdoors and have a passion for dance and feel these are qualities I can brining with me into my learning and professional environments.

I feel university will help me to reach my end goal of becoming a fully qualified teacher and I am excited for the journey I am embarking on.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The ePortfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

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You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

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Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.