During my brief time at university, I feel that I have already grown immensely as a person and as a practitioner. I have developed new skills and started to build essential professional relationships with my peers. I thoroughly enjoyed the content of semester 1, and adapting to my new learning environment. While definitely a challenge at times, I feel that university is effectively preparing me for my career as a primary teacher.
Many areas of the semester were interesting but, I found the values module key to my professional development. The values module definitely had a strong impact on my way of thinking and personal values. While it was often difficult to talk about subjects such as racism, patriarchy and poverty, I was able to gain perspective and knowledge about these topics, and question why society has created these issues. This module was highly relevant because it educated me about societal issues and how these could influence my practice. I think that giving all the teacher education students the opportunity to build a solid professional foundation was very sensible, because it is much more difficult to learn the content of the curriculum without having an understanding of the values which hold the profession together. For example, as a practitioner I must commit “to the principles of democracy and social justice through fair, transparent, inclusive and sustainable policies and practices in relation to: age, disability, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion and belief and sexual orientation.” (General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2012, p.5.). Without having learned what social justice actually is, it would have been difficult to understand this responsibility. I have found the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) ‘Standards for Professional Registration’, document to be a good start point to understand the expectations and responsibilities of primary teachers.
I have also started to develop my critical thinking skills, learning to unpick literature and find the most relevant information. I have also started to create my professional identity, however I believe I will establish this further while on my first placement, and as I progress throughout the course.
I will continue to get the most I can out of lectures, workshops and tutorials, in order to further enhance my knowledge, along with engaging with literature and policy documents to ensure I am ready to teach.
The General Teaching Council for Scotland, (2012), ‘The Standards for Registration: mandatory requirements for Registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland’,Available at:http://www.gtcs.org.uk/web/FILES/the-standards/standards-for-registration-1212.pdf, (Accessed 22.01.19).