Monthly Archives: November 2016

Let’s Reflect….on Reflection!

Reflection overall can help us look at experiences we have had and evaluate exactly what happened and we can learn a lot from them through evaluation. We can also consider why events happened, what caused it to happen and how we can make changes to stop it from happening again. Overall it can help us develop and move forward our understanding.


Reflection is massively important in life, especially in professions such as teaching. You have to be a reflective practitioner if you are to continually improve yourself as a person, a teacher and as a professional. As professionals, we are always reflecting. We will most likely have to reflect every day as teachers about lessons, children’s individual behaviour and collaborative working with colleagues and other agencies. For example, if you have taught your class and you realise your pupils are not understanding what you are teaching them or just not picking it up as fast as you thought they would, you then have to reflect on certain things: what is the reason for them not understanding: was your teaching of the lesson too difficult for your students to understand? Is it just the kids who need extra support that haven’t quite grasped the concept? If it is your teaching, how can you make changes to improve the children’s learning and understanding? The reason that you have to ask yourself these types of questions is because reflection can’t just be from one person’s perspective. It must be from varying opinions and viewpoints from everyone involved as this will ensure that your reflections have the best chance at making a difference.

We have to reflect in order to make children and young people’s school experience as enjoyable as possible. This will give them a better chance of achieving their potential. This can only be done if we reflect in order to make sure the whole class is learning in the correct way for them personally so that they can engage in learning more effectively.



My Understanding of Academic Skills…

One of the biggest things I have started to understand about academic skills is that they are completely different from skills that were required for essays in school for example. A much higher quality is expected from you and in order to get good grades in University assignments, it is essential to get the basics right. You have to be able to improve certain aspects of academic skills, these are:

Punctuation; spelling and enhancing your vocabulary; punctuation and grammar and shaping your texts: sentences and paragraphs. Each have equal importance and are all vital in making your academic writing as fluent as it can be and to the best quality.

Punctuation can have your reader understand exactly the message you are trying to convey but it can easily mislead them if you use any punctuation incorrectly. Examples of this can be if certain punctuation marks are inserted in the wrong place in sentences, it will completely change the meaning of the sentence and can make it ambiguous.

Spelling is such a simple concept but it is so important. If you completely misspell a word in your assignment then you will be marked down,  irrespective of whether your essay was very good. Also, if you spell a word wrong such as ‘ your’ which has a couple of different spellings, it will change the meaning, which could lead to it not making sense anymore.


As you are a University student, you are expected to show the maturity of one. One of the ways to do this is to ensure your vocabulary is ever expanding. Thesauruses are always handy when writing an essay, to make sure it is at the required academic level. Never insert bigger words all the way through the essay just to sound better. It will become obvious that none of the words are your own.

Grammar is essential when you are a student and are writing assignments. McMillan and Weyers (2012) state that “it is an integral and expected component of academic writing” and “without it your writing may be nonsensical, illogical or ambiguous”.

Shaping your paragraphs and sentences together is the basis of writing academically for University. They ensure that your whole essay links together and flows smoothly throughout. This will give your marker an easier job and will allow them to easily understand what message you’re trying to convey  through your essay.

Overall, I feel that the academic skills are vitally important in giving you the best chance of success in essays and assignments. Master the basics and you will be well on your way to writing an essay that will achieve a high mark.



The benefits of collaborative working!

There are many benefits of working co-operatively and can be very varied. For example, lots of different ideas can be generated from different perspectives which can deepen the group’s understanding and knowledge of the area that is being worked on. The task can be made easier and can potentially be completed quicker by sharing resources. In addition to this, a wider set of skills can be used effectively during tasks as different members or professionals will have different expertise. As well as this, the group can share different ways of completing tasks to help and support their fellow group members in future challenges they may face. By working collaboratively, you will be able to hear and listen to other people’s opinions and viewpoints. It is vital you acknowledge these as they can widen and develop your own understanding.

For professionals, collaborative working is vital. On the General Teaching Council for Scotland website (find link below text)  in the ‘Model of professional learning’ section it states that “collaborative practices underpin models of professional learning”. It is also mentioned many times in the 3 standards of teaching on the same website: Standards for Registration, Standards for Career-Long Professional Learning and Standards for Leadership and Management.

For professionals, the most important aspect of collaborative working is that they have the best interests of the child at the centre of their work. Information will be able to be shared which will give professionals a bigger picture of what they are doing. Ideas can be passed on to different agencies if needed, for example to give a child the most effective help and support possible.

For our professions, collaboration is essential between members of our own professions and the different agencies and this all depends on effective communication. This will ensure that we can change the world of so many children to make it possible for them to achieve their potential, no matter who they are.

Sharing the same visions and turning them into reality is what will transform lives for the better.



Professionalism Word Cloud!

As part of one of the activities on my online units for my course, I was asked to design a word cloud filled with words that related to professionalism. This is what I came up with:


I completed this task twice with slightly varying words. Unfortunately the proper document wasn’t allowed to be uploaded here, so I had to simply take pictures of both word cloud and upload them instead.

This has made me think about professionalism more and gave me a better starting point to develop my knowledge.