Category Archives: 3.4 Prof. Reflection & Commitment

RME Reflection – What is Special to Me?

Ever since I was little, I LOVED birthdays. Not just my birthday, but all of my friends and families birthdays too. All the presents, balloons and cake was the most exciting thing ever, and I started to get excited for birthdays weeks before the actual day.

However, ever since last year when I moved to university, I grew to dislike birthdays. Not the fact that we are all getting older, or the cake, or the presents, it was the fact that the people I loved were celebrating without me. Now that may sound selfish, but I came to realise that it wasn’t all of the materialistic stuff that birthdays brought with them that I missed, it was the person who’s birthday it was I was missing. Seeing tradition being with those I loved not happening as I was apart from them was heart breaking.

To me , it is much more important to be with that person on their birthday, and the whole purpose of a birthday became much more prominent to me. Although I still find it upsetting, I realised that I can still celebrate their birthday without being there physically and I appreciate those at home much more.

After our RME inputs, I considered what other days are special to me and other people and why. Although birthdays are special to me, so is Christmas and Easter. Everyone in the world celebrate, or don’t celebrate, different events and days for personal reasons, which I feel it is my duty as a teacher to find out what is special to the pupils in my class and why. I think its important to respect, appreciate and celebrate every child’s beliefs and special days.

Even though birthdays aren’t the same, I have realised that I can still have special days and celebrate in my own way. I will explain to children that they can celebrate what they want to and discuss and explore their special days.


Semester 1 Reflection

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.

Resource Allocation Workshop Reflection

Walking into the Values workshop hosted by Derek, I didn’t know what to expect. When Derek announced that we were going to make ‘Student Starter Packs’, initially I was a bit confused as to what relevance this would have in relation to the values module.

We were split into five groups and each group was given an envelope of resources we could use to make our student starter packs. I was in Group 1, and we found our pack was full of materials (such as coloured pens, paper, pencils and other stationary items) which would allow us to construct our pack easily with lots of choice.

My group could easily put together our starter pack, reflecting on the difficulties we have had a new students (for example, finding our way around the Dalhousie Building proved to be a difficulty that many of us faced, and admittedly still 5 weeks in) and we constructed  information on: A map of Dalhousie, a personalised timetable, a guide to DUSA, simple recipies and general tips and information.

As my group got stuck in to making our started pack, overwhelmed by our extensive choice of resources, we were constantly encouraged  praised by Derek, as he commented on our team work, effort and good ideas when we were presenting our starter pack to the other groups. Group 2 then presented their creation, which again was showered with encouragement by Derek, and too had an extensive range of stationary to use.

I was so absorbed on my groups task and working with the people in my team, it only became apparent when the rest of the groups started presenting that they had much less resources than my group and Group 2, as they highlighted when presenting that it was a lot harder to complete the task. Some of the groups had as little as three items to work with, and although had made a good effort, they were not given the same praise or encouragement my group had received and Derek took very little interest in what they had to offer.

After all groups had presented ( and some groups feeling much more accomplished than others), it became clear that Derek was demonstrating to us first hand the inequalities in society that can come up when we enter the teaching profession.

I found this workshop extremely worthwhile, and it is one that I will remember for a long time. I felt this workshop was very important in emphasising that as going into the teaching profession, the children (and even staff and colluegues) will all come from different backgrounds, and require different needs. It showed me that teachers have to adapt to every childs learning style and pace, and offer extra support to those that need it. We need to ensure as teachers, that each child is included, treated equally and their is a strong level of equity is practiced to tailor every childs needs.

After the workshop, I fully understood the relevance to the values module, and really enjoyed the workshop and took away an important lesson on equality and equity to tackle the inequalities in our society, and will not question Derek on his workshops again.


Values: As Embodied and Culturally Specific

Prior to Tuesday’s input and engaging with the materials on MyDundee, I had a rough idea of race, ethnicity, prejudice and discrimination, with my main understanding including the idea of people belonging to some sort of group, or being confined to some sort of group.

I perceived initially that race was something to do with a person or groups origin and heritage, ethnicity is something to do with culture, and prejudice and discrimination as a single person or group of peoples pre-conceived and strong opinion which singles out a certain grouping of people, making a distinction between people.

I understand that there has always been racism and discrimination towards certain groups in society, and through knowledge gained through school and media, that it was still a problem today.

However, it soon became apparent to me that racism today is just as big a problem, that has been carried through history. I thought it was interesting and thought provoking that to learn about how racism and the perceptions people have has changed throughout history, and how even though certain landmarks in history (such as Emmet Till) made me disgusted and feel relieved I wasn’t ailve at that time, it became apparent that discrimination and racism is still just as relevant today.

It was interesting to see how racism and discrimination happens today, and that even though it may not be as brutal as some events in history, it is still as much as an issue, possibly even still as prominent because of the significance of social media. Especially the section on the recent events in the USA and the many recent articles on Padlet, made me consider the extent in which racism is still happening today, and it is not a thing of the past.

After the input, reading and watching the content on MyDundee and engaging with Derek’s Padlet, it became apparent to me how large the issue of racism is and made me consider, going into the teaching profession, how I can create awareness and discussion about racism in the classroom, emphasising how someones race and ethnicity doesn’t change the person they are and highlighting how people shouldn’t be confined to the group society puts them in, which unfortunately happens as a result of discrimination, prejudice and racism.