Throughout Semester 1 and starting my journey into becoming a teacher, one aspect that I have begun to develop in my professional career and additionally in my personal life is my confidence in believing in my own capabilities and judgment. I recognise that it is a pivotal attribute and requirement of a teacher to be able to think for themselves and have the ability to have confidence in what they are teaching and in speaking to people.
Writing this post, I started to reflect upon why before I came to university I lacked confidence, especially in speaking in a group situations and doing things independently, as I felt like I needed constant reassurance that I was doing things correctly. From reflecting, I think that this lack of confidence came from lack of experience, as I tended to avoid speaking in large groups and being part of a very small community. I was too comfortable within my school and community, which hasn’t done me any favours as I became hesitant to speaking to new people. Additionally, I only left school four months before coming to university, where in school I was very much guided and supported on a one to one personal level as my school was so small, which coming to university I had to adapt to trusting my own instinct much more, which I feel I have definitely progressed in. This is evident especially when writing the values essay, as I began to trust my own ability and start to believe in myself, as I didn’t have the immediate option of having personal assistance, when in fact I could manage well on my own.
Reflecting back on my first semester, I recognized that the Working Together module was a key development factor in boosting my confidence, as the other students from Education, Social Work and CLD in my group encouraged me to be able to share my thoughts and opinions, which normally in a group situation with people I am not familiar with I tend to shy away from having an active part in conversation. However, using Schon’s (1987) theory of reflection in action and in reflection on action, I reflected on action as I knew I was holding back from contributing to discussions, which I then made sure that every week I contributed more and more to my group, which led to me being so much more confident by the end of the module, a skill which I never believed I had before and that I can transfer into my professional and personal life.
From moving into a new city where I was forced to connect and converse with new people as I didn’t initially know anyone, I have definitely become more confident in being more independent and sociable. I pushed myself to approach and have a conversation with people and join various clubs, which I have met lots of new people. I think this is really important, as a teacher it is a key part of the role to be able to speak confidently to pupils, staff, parents and other relevant people, as well as being an essential life skill. I will further develop this skill through my years to come in university and during my time on placement and continue to reflect on my progress.