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Why I want to teach

I am passionate about teaching because not only are teachers needed to provide children with skills and knowledge but they are also vital for giving children a nourishing environment for them to strive and grow to their full potential. I find it highly empowering to be able to influence other people’s lives in a positive way. Through different experiences I have observed the crucialness that teachers play in providing children with a safe and nurturing place to learn. Some children do not have safe and nurturing environments to learn in at home. Research has shown that children tend to achieve more when they are in positive and encouraging environments. Therefore it is key that teachers can provide this. This is the main reason I want to become a teacher because I believe that I have the ability to inspire others to learn.

During my most recent placement I was given the opportunity to work with children who required extra support due to different circumstances. It was highly rewarding to me that I was the one who was able to give them the extra support to encourage them to want to learn. Within this time, I had one particular child who struggled within a classroom environment therefore I provided extra support to him out with the classroom. It was clear to see that he worked extremely well in a different environment and his learning developed a lot more. He became a lot more social and due to the extra support he began to work well in the classroom. This motivated me to work harder so that I could become a strong support system for any child who may need it.

Dance Class

Last week I participated in a Dance class as part of the module “Teaching across the Curriculum”. The class begun with warm-up exercises which involved copying the lecturer doing some stretching activities. This relaxed the group a little and eased us into the dance aspect of the class without it being heavily intimidating.

We then got into pairs and had to create various ways of travelling from one side of a room to the other. This was a fun way to work with someone new and also made it less scary as we were working with someone else.

Towards the end of the lesson we were teamed up with another pair to form a group. We then had to combine the travelling techniques we had used with the other pairs to make a sequence of dance. Once we had done this we presented it to the class. 

Initially I was nervous about this class as I thought it was going to be really high intensity dancing. However, the whole atmosphere of the class was very chilled and relaxed which made it an enjoyable experience. I feel that I have picked up a few “tricks” to be able to teach a dance lesson. 

An Eye Opening Workshop

Imagine being the highly thought of students in the class and not even realising that your fellow classmates don’t have as many resources to complete the same task. Imagine being so distracted by your own successes to not even notice the downfall and unfair treatment to those who are sitting less than 5 metres away from you. Last weeks values workshop opened my eyes to the day to day struggles that people face within life.

After being split into 5 groups we were each given a “resource pack”. We were all asked to create something that may be helpful for a fresher. The pack my group (group 2) was given was bursting with materials which gave us a range of opportunities to create anything we wanted to. Along with a great deal of encouragement when we discussed our ideas with the lecturer we felt that we were already succeeding before we even began.

After having a brief discussion in our groups we were asked to present our ideas to the class. Group 1 had come up with the idea of a “free parking badge”, the lecturer loved it and gave them a huge amount of praise. It was our group next, our idea was more for humour rather than something genuinely useful but yet we still got a massive praise for it. Group 3 designed a “buddy app”, somewhere you could easily chat to people and ask questions about the university. It was deemed not good enough by our lecturer.

Group 4 presented the idea of “meet up nights” for people to get to know other people on their course and make friends. Unimpressed looks and comments were made by the lecturer about this idea and we swiftly moved on to the next group. Group 5 designed a map, it had plenty of information about Dundee and about the university, something that would probably be helpful. Unfortunately, our lecturer thought it was a terrible idea and the group was shamed for it.

By this point of the task, the room was tense and uncomfortable, we couldn’t understand why we received so much praise and other groups got none at all. We felt like we had come up with a groundbreaking invention due to the way we had been treated.

All the groups were back to work to create physical props of the ideas that were previously discussed. Once again group 1 and 2 were highly credited and groups 3,4 and 5 were not impressive at all. The group scored also reflected this, with group 1 scoring the highest and group 5 scoring the lowest.

Soon after there was a class discussion about the poor treatment of groups 3,4 and 5 and we then discovered that they had actually been given fewer resources. It soon became clear that this was nothing more than a mere social experiment. A hard-hitting one at that though because it is true that not everyone has the same advantages in life. This workshop has taught me to focus more on my surroundings and to be more aware of deeper issues that may not always be visible on a first glance.

It is highly important in the profession that I am going into to treat everyone equally. It is so easy to ruin what little confidence a person may have in themselves, therefore, it is pivotal to learn to understand people’s backgrounds and past experiences and promote any achievement as small as it may be. This workshop truly took a turn for me and was definitely not something I was expecting. However, I do feel it was something truly powerful to be able to experience at such an early stage in my career.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The ePortfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

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Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.