Author Archives: Katie Berwick

Reflection and Evaluation

Before starting the TDT (Tutor Directed Task) for this week, I looked at the Standards for Provisional Registration section 3.4.2. Within this section, it highlighted the importance of reflection; an example for professional actions regarding student teachers is ‘engaging where possible in the processes of curriculum development, improvement planning and professional review and development’.

Through reading over the points given it pushed me to reflect on the moments which I saw as important for my professional development in semester one. Despite viewing last semester as having no connection to teaching, this was wrong. It wasn’t until completing the reading which Derek set out, being ‘Reflecting on ‘Reflective practice’ ‘ by Linda Finlay, that I realised how important Dewey’s (1933) reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action is for practice.

Reflection not only allows you to see how you can better yourself for the next time you are on placement or completing a task, but it also gives you the opportunity to have someone else reflect on your actions. Although I am still reminding myself to reflect, this will hopefully stop overtime as by the end of my four years at university I will hopefully subconsciously begin to reflect after completing work.

Personal and Professional Values and Commitment- Online Unit Three

Within this task, it asked me to look at my own personal values and how they motivated me to choose teaching as my future career.

Yet, when answering this question I believe that your own values need to be understood before entering your professional practice. I would say that my first core value is equality, regarding equality in teaching I believe that everyone has the right to an education regardless of their race, gender or religion. So, through this view I would say that this would be one of my core values within my classroom as no child should be subjected to stereotypes within school. However, when looking at this I began to realise that treating every child equally may be a hindrance in addition to being a benefit, as those who may be more disadvantaged within the class may still be below others. This then ties into the importance of equity where a child’s capabilities wont be underestimated due to their background, gender etc. Yet, when looking at the chance to give children equal chances to achieve you must understand that the same methods to educate will not bring this forth. For example, when going over English within a lesson it would not be fair to ignore the fact that some pupils may be using English as a second language, meaning these children wont necessarily achieve as highly as the rest of their class. Therefore, through keeping the values of equality and equity within my teaching this will mean that every child will be presented with equal opportunities to be educated in addition to having the equal chance to achieve. By saying that, there are numerous other values that are important and should be brought into your professional practice, these can include: honesty, team work and determination.

Although some of these values listed are professional, the aspect of personal values can also be brought into your professional setting. By saying this, there is a clear line of which personal values are acceptable within your career and which ones aren’t, for example the aspect of religious or political views cannot be discussed within a classroom setting. But, personal values such as trust, respect and social justice can be brought up in the class as they are important within teaching.

Reflection (Online Unit Two)

Within this post I will be describing reflection. Reflection is the act of looking over a past experience and then thinking about what you can learn for it. An example of when I recently used reflection was when looking back at the agency visit we completed, regarding the working together module, and considering what I learnt from it.

The example of reflection I gave is one way in which everyone reflects; through going over what went well and what didn’t within an activity. This can be done through bringing up your own experiences related to the situation so it becomes more obvious what was positive and negative, in addition to what needs worked on. Yet, it can be extremely helpful to have others help you to reflect as this brings forth an extra point of view that you may otherwise have been oblivious to.

Regarding reflecting with others, this is useful when working in groups or through working on similar tasks. This can be done through reflecting with groups e.g. children within your class, to see what needs improvement or what was enjoyable. Through doing this, it allows you to better your understanding and learn from the experience which may, in turn, help you bring new inputs into the classroom.

Both of these types of reflection bring forth a new learning experience which should then be implemented within future practice, and then when it is time for reflection again this process will continue. Ultimately bettering the way in which you are within your career. So, there are many reasons why reflection is important and some examples of why are: you learn from mistakes, you are then able to take control of your own learning and then gain new ideas from it.

So, when looking at the final task given within unit two it asked me to reflect upon my understanding of various academic skills of punctuation, spelling, grammar and shaping of text. Once completing the required reading, it gave me an idea of where my strengths and weaknesses were within these areas. I believe that my strengths are in punctuation and the shaping of text whereas my weaknesses are in spelling and grammar. After reflecting on my weaknesses and strengths I now understand how important these skills are for not only my time at university but also for my professional life. Therefore, I will continue to develop these skills by practicing the OLA and using the Study Skills Booklet to revise the areas where I am weaker.

Managing and Engaging With My Learning

For this blog post it is based on my Online Units where I will identify and reflect on factors which will help me manage my learning.

Reflection/Recognition                                                                  Action

What helps my learning?                                                                  How can I utilise this?

Discussing with others– I could meet with my peers after lectures and workshops to continue discussions in addition to participating in the online discussions on the blogs.

Organisation- Once finishing a lecture/workshop I should write any further slides or pieces of information which I missed so that I have better notes. Also, I should organise my notes into categories so that all of my work is together.

Revision- I should go over pieces of information that I am unsure of and write flashcards or go over them until I understand them.

Planning- I should plan my day more often so I have a list of tasks to do, this will help reach my goals for each day regarding: discussion tasks, reading etc.

Experience- Through completing placement it will allow me to learn more practical skills about teaching, thus giving me a chance to reflect more.


What hinders my learning?                                                                  How can I address this factor?

Distractions- I should study in a place that has little to none distractions, for example in the quiet section of the library or in my room.

Studying for a long period without breaks- I can set mini aims to complete whilst studying so that when I complete a chapter of reading I have a break.

Social events- I could choose events which I really want to go to rather than every week so that I have something to look forward to. This allows me to get more revision/studying done due to not being fatigued after an event.

Not putting enough analysis into written work- I can spend more time after completing work to read through to check and spend time on bettering my analysis.

The next part of this task is based on the benefits of Active Learning and Co-operative Working.

When looking at active learning, it is the opposite of passive learning; active learning involves you engaging with the information you have been given. The way in which you could do this is through re-writing your notes into spider diagrams or making them into shortened lists so that you are able to process the information easier. By doing this, it has numerous benefits as this allows you to retain the notes better since you are writing them in a way that you personally understand. Additionally, this may lead you to re-write your notes in more depth as if you relate these to real life situations or link this to reading your notes will be backed up with another source. Another way in which you could actively learn is through reciting your notes to either yourself or another person. This is also beneficial as you are putting these bits of information into your memory, allowing you to describe or explain these notes to others without having them in front of you.

Whilst looking at co-operative working there are many benefits that are brought forward. When looking at working together in a group this shows many positives to co-operative working; through completing tasks as a group this allows different perspectives to be brought forward, allowing those within the group to learn new things. Additionally, through working together it can allow tasks to be completed to a higher standard. The reason for this is because each person can be assigned a role rather than being put under pressure to complete a task on their own. Lastly, through working together this brings forward new skills and knowledge that would not have come about if not working with others; through working with others, especially from different professions, it provided a wider range of knowledge and skills to be revealed.

As a result of completing this activity it has helped me understand how to improve the ways in which I study in addition to showing me new methods that I will be using in the near future.

First Values Workshop

On Tuesday we had our first values workshop, this tied into the lecture we had that morning. When I first walked in I found myself trying to go to a table that wasn’t too full nor too empty, this was fruitless.

When Carrie came in we were each assigned a number between one and four. I was given the number three; this number meant nothing to me when the task first began as I was blissfully unaware of what the task involved. As everyone began the first task (emptying the intriguing envelope and creating items to give to new university students to help them settle in) people began to notice that different groups had either more or less compared to another group. When starting at group one, they had a plentiful supply of stationary, paper etc. but when you reached group four they only had a few items. As the task continued it became extremely apparent that each number was being treated differently; having great praise in groups one and two, and then almost no comment at all in groups three and four.

This task was a great example of values and experiences in today’s society. Through subtly showing that some people or families are less fortunate and have to live with the little amount of items they have, it brought forth many discussions on the topics of wealth, community and schooling.

After leaving the workshop I began to reflect upon how, in some areas, the community can affect a child’s learning or how being unable to buy new clothing/accessories each school year may push children to dislike school. So through this one workshop it has been interesting to see how by having different upbringings or experiences how this can affect the way you perceive something to be.

Why Teaching?

Teaching has been a career I have wanted to be part of ever since primary. I never had a teacher that made me think “teaching is what I want to do in life”, instead I had a lesson which I found extremely fun.

Even through secondary school my dream of doing teaching stuck, despite this being ironic due to me rather being anywhere else but school. Although, through disliking certain aspects of secondary school this made me understand the reason of why I wanted to become a teacher. It wasn’t just because of enjoying working with children or finding new ways to make maths easier to understand. It was because I wanted, and still want, children to enjoy and embrace learning more so than what I did. Although there are many other reasons of why I chose teaching, the want for children to enjoy being in a learning environment is the number one reason of why I chose to apply to do education at university.

Through helping out and volunteering at schools and establishments it helped me understand how difficult it is and how patient, persistent and confident you have to be to work in this profession. Despite having an insight of what it is like to be a helper in a classroom the aspect of having full control over lessons and a class full of students will be a shock.

So, through wanting to be kept on my toes, explore a variety of topics daily and make learning enjoyable I decided that teaching is what I wanted to make my living from.