Monthly Archives: September 2016

My First Values Module Workshop – My Opinions!

On Tuesday 20th September, I had my very first workshop of the Values module. I found this to be a very interesting and fun first workshop of my University career. It felt like I was going into the unknown, but everyone was in the same boat as no one knew what to expect.

We first got split into two groups and went to two different rooms. Once there we were placed at tables based on numbers from 1-4 which is a basic method which would most likely come in very handy in our profession of being a primary teacher. I myself was in group 3. We were told to introduce ourselves to everyone and get to know people. Each group was handed an envelope and were told whatever was in the envelope was all we could use to make something that could be given to a new student of Dundee University as a guide. This instantly made us excited to see the contents of the mystery envelope and made the task relatable straight away as we were all new students too. Our first reaction when opening the envelope was that of surprise of what we had or indeed the lack of what we had. All we had was pieces of paper, a pencil, a pen, a few paper clips, rubber bands and post-it notes. We all had the same thought which was, how are we going to make something useful with these materials. Having a quick look around we noticed that some other groups had a lot more than us. This made me think already that there was something about this task that didn’t meet the eye. While the groups were working, it was clear to see that the lecturer was full of enthusiasm for the ideas that groups 1 and 2 had and on the other hand didn’t seem to care much about the other two groups. As a group, we all noticed this and began to wonder what was going on and why the task had been made so unfair for us. Again, after everyone’s ideas were created, each group took it in turns to present. During each presentation, groups 1 and 2 were greeted with praise while my group were just told to sit down after we presented and the lecturer was sitting checking the clock and not even looking at the group talking when group 4 presented.

After all the presentations were over, we were all informed that the lecturer was told to act the way she was for a very good reason. It was all done to show us about inequality in society. I believe that the whole task was set out very cleverly and really did make me think that this does happen in real life. It gave me more knowledge and understanding of how people do live in society, ranging from the wealthiest more well off people (group 1) and the most deprived people (group 4). The materials we had were to represent how much some people have and how little others have. This was very evident during the task as group 4 would try and trade with other groups but soon realised that the things they were offering to trade were already on the table of the other groups so there was no point. This can be transferred to people that have so little that they try and steal just to make ends meet and put food on the table. It’s horrible to think but its true that some people haven’t got enough to survive when others have enough to last them a lifetime and longer. The society we live in is not a fair one when there are people in countries who have nothing, not even clean water, something that in this country we take far too much for granted and even thinking about that sickens me. This task was to broaden our understanding about not only this sort of inequality, but inequality in Education and the effects it can cause. Through my experience, I have seen that some children will simply not have as much as their class mates and it does make you stop and think what could be done to stop this horrendous issue. The answer of course is not simple by any stretch of the imagination and that is the harsh, sad but very, very real truth.

Overall this was done incredibly well and I feel like it will help me throughout this module.


My First Attempt at the NOMA and the OLA

Over the past 2 weeks I have attempted both the OLA and the NOMA online assessments. The NOMA was easy enough to complete in my flat, however the OLA wouldn’t work correctly, so I had to head to the library.

My scores for both tests were:

OLA – 80%   NOMA – 81%

I was very happy with my scores, especially for my first try at both tests. I have looked at the feedback which highlighted my strengths and areas that need to be developed. I will work to improve these areas throughout the year so that the next time I take the test, I will have increased my percentage.

In my opinion, these tests are very effective as it tests your knowledge to see how good you are at literacy and maths. However it also shows which areas you need to work on and it helps everyone develop further skills they thought they already knew how to do.

Why teaching?

This is a very simple, yet difficult question for me to answer. I know it may sound like a cliché but I’ve always wanted to be a primary school teacher from a very young age, but my passion for this profession really ignited when I was in primary 4. There was a male teacher who engaged, enthused and made a huge impact on me. I have such amazing memories from primary school, which has always made me want to be a teacher even more. I have been fortunate to have had a fantastic learning experience which has further developed my interest and enthusiasm.

Image result for primary school teacher clip art

As I have grown older, I started to realise that I wanted to give something back to the community and help young children prepare for their future. I am a firm believer that children should be able to always achieve their full potential, no matter who they are and what background they have come from. I feel that it is vital to instil a love of learning from as early an age as possible.

During placement at a Primary school, I helped out in classes of all different ages and abilities and the children seemed to have a natural affinity towards me because of my young age. Also when I was teaching in smaller groups, I could see first hand how children love to learn and I couldn’t help the absolute joy I felt when seeing the happiness of the children when they learned something new, got the right answer etc.

Overall, I want to be a teacher because I want to transform lives. I want to be able to teach children new things and alternative ways of looking at challenges they will have to overcome in their lives. I feel that I can develop myself as a professional and as a person through my dream career. I know it will be difficult but I have absolutely no doubt that it’s the best decision I could have ever made. I am the only boy from my school who wanted to be a primary school teacher but that never stopped me believing that I could achieve my goals. The overwhelming feeling of happiness when I got accepted into Dundee is one that will live with me for the rest of my life and beyond.

Now starts the journey to become the best possible teacher I can be…