The last 2 weeks have flown by. I didn’t think you could learn so much in such a small amount of time within a school but I certainly did and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Before going on placement I tried to get prepared (as much as I could) before I went. Prior to placement, I only found out my school a week before and so I was very anxious. However, as soon as I knew my school I researched as much as I could on the school website and by phoning the head teacher. I printed out sheets which gave a summary of what each class was doing this term which allowed me to get an insight of what they were going to be up to when placement quickly came around. I then arranged a pre-placement day, which I recommend doing as it made me feel much more relaxed and even more excited to get started. They showed me around the school and met all the class teachers. I had made up a pack for the class teacher that included my 8 placement tasks, observation record sheets and some personal details – this was complimented on on my report. I also tried to be as organised as I could so I would be able to soak as much knowledge and skills in the classroom from the shadowing the teacher without having to stress about all the placement tasks *until I got home*. When I got home, I made time to transfer all my notes I had written that day onto my laptop and started to compile them into more structured answers to complete my placement tasks.
AREA FOR DEVELOPMENT
USING HAND GESTURES…
As the days went on, the teacher began to involve me much more with presenting and communicating with the whole class. This involved taking a small lesson based on firework safety, using the board below to help spark ideas for their writing task (excuse the pun). Also whilst in the Primary 7 class I led a single word spelling test of 25 words. I had to make sure I was clear and precise in my pronunciation. However, something that was picked up on on my report and peer observation (completed by a teacher) was that I should use hand gestures to contribute to my communication more. On reflection I do understand the importance of doing so as I observed the teacher and the classes attention and eyes were drawn in by the teachers movement of hands. After I had been given this feedback, I was offered to lead a class health and wellbeing lesson. I took the advice on board and made conscious awareness of my hand gestures. I noticed that the class began to listen more carefully to instructions and understood the task more.
The way I think I’m going to improve on the area for development is sheerly through practice and growth of confidence. I will also try and add as much in to my oral presentation too and this will hopefully help emphasise points and making and mirror my enthusiasm to the audience.
Monday 24th September 2018
So, todays workshop surrounded the idea of taking our developing skill as an ‘effective communicator’ into more environments rather than just the lecture theatre. As a primary school teacher, this will involve – speaking to children, parent/caregivers, other members of staff, people in different authorities, people within the community, the list goes on… so its vital that we build up the confidence, professionalism and energy to be able to do this on a day-to-day basis.
Den Building Task
We were given minimal resources and as a team we were to build a den using communication to make sure it fitted the task aim. Here is a picture of our den (it did look much better in person, I promise)
Reflection of the Task
- Group and leadership
- Was there a group leader? There wasn’t a ‘group leader’ as such, some people shared their ideas more than others but there was no disagreement to any suggestions – we brought everyones ideas together to come to a mutual agreement.
- If informal, how did you know? What were the actions that marked them as a leader? They put the plan into place and selected a person for each role, without being bossy, which made the task run smoothly.
- How did this impact on the rest of the group e.g. was there some underlying resentment/ did anyone feel excluded? I feel maybe some people were reluctant on sharing their ideas, sometimes I shared something that wasn’t heard but I made sure it was in the end.
- What was most challenging for you about working in this group? For me, I do like to take control of certain tasks, especially creative things such as this one. However, being in a group full of also very creative people I had to take a step back but this was actually really helpful the task itself.
- How clearly did you think the group explained to you? We didn’t explain our ideas to begin with in front of the whole group which led us to having around 3 attempts at possible ideas for the structure to our den.
- What made this clear or unclear? I think we were all wanting to help out which meant that nothing was made clear, verbally, at the planning stage.
- What stage of the 5Ps might have been missed out?
- What was the impact of the environment on your communication? For the task to be successful, everyone had to get involved. I had to share my ideas, as well as listen to others and also physically contribute to building the den.
- What changes did you make when explaining to others that you might not have considered in a typical classroom? The main difference would be that you had be very clear in what your idea was for it to physically work but also the idea had to be shared to everyone so the whole team knew what the next step was.
- How challenging was it so speak above the sounds in the environment? How can we make this communication easier on both speaker and listener? As we weren’t limited to a very small space, it was hard to find times where the entire team was together. To make this easier, we could have issued everyone a specific job or spent more time planning our design at the start of the task.
- When listening, did the environment distract you? How can we overcome this? Maybe slightly, however I see myself as quite a good listener and so this wasn’t as much of a challenge for me. However a solution to this could try and really focus on what the speaker is saying and engage, so ask questions to clarify for example.
- Were your negotiations successful? Why/Why not? Yes, our teams negotiation was successful, however it was the other team that approached us first for the swap instead of us getting out and asking. So this made us lose quite a big element of our structure, however we compromised and used something else to give us the weight we need for the roof to stay put.
- What was most challenging about these? Probably not giving in to the other team, even if they were being very persuasive.
Monday 17th September 2018
Welcome to my first post on my Glow blog as a BA Education Student. This is where the ‘reflection’ aspect of teaching begins and I could not be more excited. My first week at UWS has been a great introduction to a course that I am thrilled to be apart of and I am looking forward to the next 4 years (and of course the further future as a primary school teacher).
School placement, I see as the heart of the BA education course, it is the core of the profession as you are directly in the working and busy environment of an everyday classroom. I can imagine how much knowledge, strategies and lesson inspiration that you will take away from even a small time in placement as a student teacher. Looking back at my primary school years and now seeing my little sister also go through her primary education – I have generated a small sense of the development in the education system and teaching methods now in place in 2018.
I will be going on my 2 week placement, I’m not sure in which school yet, with an open mind; bursting sense of excitement and energy but also a feeling of anxiousness – which I feel is normal when you wish to succeed to your best ability. Already within 2 sessions of Situated Communication I am certain I will have developed more confidence within myself and grow a better understanding of myself as an effective communicator as time goes on.
I’m also going to enjoy writing and keeping up-to-date with blog posts. Not only for evidence purposes but for my own interest to look back on as I go through the course, I think it will be very satisfying.