Sexism Reflection

Some women are abused my men in power, but i can’t stop that.
Some women are labelled a wife or a mother, but that has nothing to do with me.
These are things I admit I have thought.

I was scrolling through facebook when I came across an advertisement for a class. It was a support group for ‘new mothers’ on how to care for a baby. Following on from this week’s class, I picked up on their use of the word ‘mother’ rather than ‘parent’ and decided to do further research.

I found that in fact, the class is only for mothers and any other carer can not attend. I was shocked at such a blatant form of sexism displayed from a professional organisation.

Their reasoning for this is some women may be uncomfortable sharing details about their birth, breast feeding or any other personal aspects of raising a baby.

I say, so what? Why should men miss out on valuable information about their child’s development? Why should male single parents be excluded from a class because of their gender? How can we, as a society, expect men to accept things such as public breast feeding if women can not discus it with them in a safe and secure environment?

The group do run ‘dad only’ classes. However, these are run in the evenings and weekends. This conveys the idea that men will be at work while the women look after the children, an idea that should be long gone in 2018.
These ‘father friendly’ classes are scarce compared to the volume of mothers who are welcomed into the community. Why should fathers miss out on bonding with other males who are struggling with the same problems that woman are?
This made me think, what impact will this have on the child? A baby born into a world where his father can not express his fears, what does this teach?
Men are strong. Men work. Men do not look after babies.

Some men get paid more than women, but that doesn’t effect my life.
Some women are labelled a wife or a mother, but that has nothing to do with me, right?
By allowing social norms to dictate the way that we live, we allow sexism to play a prominent role. We advocate equal rights but do not realise that we are living with the repercussions of inequality every day.
Do we want to change, or are we all sexist?

Values workshop reflection.

This week’s values workshop was a very valuable and eye opening experience. I found that it made me think about the way in which teachers and pupils interact and what support the child is receiving.
The class was split into 5 groups of 6 (I was in group 2) and were given one big envelope each. Our envelope contained lots of materials such as pens, coloured paper, glue, paperclips , etc. Each group was given the same amount of time to use the materials in their envelope to create something that would be useful for a new first year student. The lecturer was very encouraging towards my group and gave us a lot of support, this made the task easier and more enjoyable. After 10 minutes, the groups did a small presentation to the class, explaining their ideas.
After the presentations, the lecturer gave each group a score out of 10. The first group scored 9/10 and the scored gradually decreased, leaving group 5 with a disappointing 1/10. We looked around the room, almost as in disbelief, as the lecturer ‘s face looked bored and unenthused with group 5’s presentation. I noticed the general look of shock as she uttered the words ‘Is that all you came up with?’.
After the presentations were finished, we discovered why group 5 did not do so well. Their envelope contained less than half of the materials that we had, making it almost impossible for them to make anything at all. The rest of the groups were completely oblivious to this. Our group had the continuous support of the lecturer and she motivated us, making us feel like we were doing the task correctly. Whereas, some of the other groups did not get this support, making them feel as if they were not good enough.
What did we learn from this experience?
By not giving each group the same materials and attention, it did not promote social justice, which is one of our key values as a teacher. The lecturer clearly displayed favouritism and a lack of respect in the classroom, leaving the class feeling awkward and for the high scoring groups, slightly guilty. We learned that for a task to be fair, everyone should be given the same opportunity but more importantly, the same input from the teacher and the same motivation. In a classroom it is sometimes not important what materials you have but what you are inspired to do with them. If group 1 had had the most positive encouragement, maybe they would have outdone the other groups even with less materials.
Another key value in teaching is respect. In this workshop, our team felt incredibly supported, making the task more fun. I think one thing I will take away from the experience is that it feels good to have your opinions or ideas respected and encouraged. It is always important to make a child feel as through they are doing well and that their ideas are not unimportant or dismissed. Knowing the lecturer was proud of our group felt very rewarding which is something all children should feel.
Overall, there was a deliberate feel of inequality in this week’s workshop. Demonstrating the effects of positive and negative comments from a teacher towards a child. This has highlighted key professional values and made me understand them in a deeper sense. This workshop was very useful and allowed me to view teaching in a different light.

Why I want to be a teacher

When I was young, my teacher asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her I would be a builder. She smiled and asked “why?”. Now all these years later I am faced with the same question. I want to work in education because I was inspired by my teachers growing up. I want to make a difference in children’s lives and be someone they can look up to.

I also want to work with children to be able to start closing the attainment gap in primary schools and take steps towards ending the cycle of poverty. I believe, as a teacher, I will be in a position to do this.

Through my time volunteering in primary schools and various children’s clubs over the years, I have realised the importance of working with children in my life. I have helped at events by leading various activities. Being able to see the excitement and enjoyment on their faces is very rewarding.

Finally, I hope I can be a role model to children who do not have one and help children learn and play in a supportive way. I want to be a teacher to encourage my pupils as my teacher inspired me.


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.

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

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