Having just embarked upon a placement in my local authority, it was interesting to see the differences in the way this school was run compared to my placement last year through Ayrshire College. During my first couple of days, getting used to how each teacher managed their classroom and their pupils was challenging, as well as getting used to an open learning space as I had been previously used to closed off classrooms.
I started my week in a Primary 1 class where there was a couple of children with learning difficulties and one of these children also had a disability. This child always had one-to-one support be that from a classroom assistant, myself or time permitting, the teacher. Being able to see the strategies used by the teacher in order successfully manage the class and make sure they are all achieving their learning intentions. I was able to take a small group of children and help them learn the phoneme ‘f’. On reflection, this was a valuable lesson as I was able to observe different teaching techniques that I will be able to take forward with me throughout my career.
My second day was spent in with Primary 2. This was a much rowdier class with a few children who again presented learning difficulties. One child had already been placed on an ILP. Due to a health condition, the teachers felt this placed obstacles in the way of their learning, however they also said that without the health condition they would still have been placed on an ILP. I was able to take part in some topic work and put into practice some of the reading strategies, for example, sounding out the word. Having done a lot of this previously on my previous placement as well as with my own child, my prior knowledge allowed me to carry out this part of the lesson with confidence.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was not able to continue the rest of my first week on placement.