For our first science input we had been asked to prepare a short science demonstration to share among our peers. Personally, I had not studied science since I had been in 2nd year, so the thought of this task made me slightly anxious. After researching ideas for topics for science projects, that could be done within the classroom, I realised there were LOADS of ideas that could easily be done, and explained, without a major background in science. I decided that I was going to make a lava lamp to show my group, as it demonstrated how different chemical compounds don’t mix- i.e. water and oil. The water and oil don’t mix ,and naturally separate from one another, due to water having a higher density to the oil. This also allowed me to make a simple, yet fun experiment, which would be possible to be recreated within the classroom. To demonstrate this process I constructed a poster which also displayed to process of an actual lava lamp and how the heat source causes the wax to rise and then as it cools the wax falls only for the process to start again.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised about this task. It allowed me to see that although I didn’t know much about science as a topic I was able to find enjoyment while doing this. It has also made me want to bring these tasks into the classroom on placement and share this excitement with the children working with.
Reflecting upon our work is important in order to allow us to pick up on the things we have done well on as well as highlighting the areas we may need to work on. Taking the time to look back over past work we have done will help us to progress as learners as it will show us our strengths and weaknesses. It is beneficial for us to try and learn from our mistakes in order for us to improve and therefore not replicate these errors in further work we do. As teachers it is crucial for us to always endeavour work to the best of our ability in order to set a standard for the children we are teaching. Although we must accept that not everything we do is going to be flawless and 100% correct; we must always strive to perfect any glitches we come across in our work so that the information we are providing is accurate and the example we are setting is one we are proud of. It must be remembered that we going to be the main source of information to these children and so buy providing them with false facts or an improper way of doing things we are letting them down.
However, making sure we take the positive aspects of our work into consideration is also vital for our progress too. By also taking your strong points into consideration this helps your confidence in your work grow; giving you assurance that you are on the right track and have the ability to produce work of the same quality again. The reassurance of knowing that they are on the right track may be what some people need who lack confidence in order to prevent them from holding back from producing work in the future. Therefore, I believe that reflection is vital in allowing our work to mature as it allows us to identify where we thrive and struggle. Where some people struggle to point out their strengths and weaknesses this is where comments from peers come in handy. Sometimes having an outsiders prospective on your work allows you to evaluate your work more clearly and so gives you a better outline on where you may need to improve or even strengths that you can continue to build on.
What do you see as the main benefits of working co-operatively?
– There are many benefits to working co-operatively. One of these being that it allows you to get an insight into professions or areas of the job which you may never of had the chance to look into before. For instance, as a teacher you will more than likely have to work with children who do not have English as their first language. As a result of this you will have to work co-operatively with an EAL (English as an Additional Language) teacher who will come into the classroom to support and train the teachers in order to provide them with strategies to support the children who do not have English as a first language. Another benefit to working co- operatively is that you will be able to give support easier to the different areas. As you will be working together it would be hoped that this would result in a positive working relationship. This would benefit anyone who was struggling with a particular area out with their expertise in order to be able to come forward and seek advice within the group. Working together co-operatively will also help to take a holistic approach to the child’s needs. For instance, by having teachers, social workers and CLD workers all coming together, this will ensure that all aspects of the child’s life is taken into consideration. An example of when this may happen is if the child was seen to be struggling at school and a board of people were brought together to discuss the reason why. By bringing all these professions together it will help there to be a more rounded view of the problem as each the professions have a different relationship with the child and see them in different settings.
What are the challenges to working co-operatively?
– Some challenges facing working co-operatively is that not everyone will share the same opinions so people may not be willing to take on other points of view. Due to a lack of willingness to take on others inputs this will hinder the groups working ability resulting in a delay in the task being completed. Another challenge to working co-operatively would be that not everyone has an understanding of different professions so wouldn’t know how to approach them. This can lead to people putting up barriers around themselves and so stops them from gong out and seeking advice from other areas of expertise who could help them get a more rounded and knowledgeable view on a matter.
· Set up a study group of like-minded peers· Engage with the online community
Making sure I am organised
– By printing off the powerpoints the night before. This will help me to follow the lecture better; as if the slide moves on before I have fully read it I can refer back to my printed notes and so am less likely to get confused.- By having all my work stored neatly I will be able to access it more easily. This will help me when it comes to studying too as I will be able to look through my resources more efficiently.
Having a good relationship with my peers
– By maintaining a good relationship with my peers I will be able to receive reassurance if I am stressed about something on the course as they are going through it too. Knowing you have the support system of your peers can take added pressure off which will help me to work better as I will be calmer.- Having friends in the course can also be a help in giving motivation when it comes to studying. Many find it a hinderance going with others but I actually find I get more work done than when I go alone.
Being a good time keeper
– Keeping track of time will help me improve my learning as it will prevent me from being late to lectures.-This will help me to plan my time efficiently which will benefit me when it comes to studying as then I can allocate sufficient time to each of my modules to make sure that I am confidant with then when it comes to assessments.
Staying focused in lectures
– This will help me to be a better learner as I will maximise my learning potential.- Staying focused will also benefit me as a learner as if I find anything confusing during the lecture I can ask the lecturer at the end rather than having to seek them out at other times.
Keeping in touch with my tutor/lecturer
– By keeping in touch with lecturers/tutors regularly it will benefit me as then I wont be intimidated if I need to contact them when if I have an issue or problem with the course or work assigned to me.
Keep on top of work assigned
– This will be a big benefit to me as then I wont feel flustered when deadlines come up as I will be on top of all my work.- Keeping on top of my work will also mean that I wont get stressed out like I would if I was to allow all the work to build up
What hinders my learning?
How can I address this factor?
Example: “I’m easily distracted”
· Study in a place where distractions are minimal· Read lecture notes before the lecture and then take notes lectures to keep me focused
Chatting in lectures
– To prevent myself from chatting in lectures I should chose to sit away from people who could easily distract me as this will stop me from being focused and I could miss important information.
– My phone is a major distraction to me so by keeping it on airplane mode it will stop notifications coming through which would take my mind off my work.
Having to commute to university
– I feel this hinders my learning as in between lectures I cant go settle in halls in between lectures, when I could do some work, and as I have to travel home, I am often shattered from having to get up so early for morning lectures. I feel this makes me struggle to concentrate on the work at hand.
– NOVEMBER 2015 ( Complete online modules) (Plan and start assignments) (Keep on top of studying and course work)
– DECEMBER 2015 (Complete assignments early on in the month)
– JANUARY 2016 (Start of semester 2) (Keep on top of TDTs) (Start thinking of preparations for placement)
– FEBRUARY 2016 (Start of month make solid preparations for placement) (PLACEMENT)
What does it mean to be an enquiring practitioner?
I believe an enquiring practitioner to be someone who is always keen to seek the answer of something which has a logical explanation and can be defined. They would always go out to find the solution which has the most solid evidence.
What does this imply for us as a student teacher?
It is important for us to be enquiring practitioners as student teachers due to this helping us to ensure that we striving to always give our students the correct facts. By ensuring that the information we are supplying to our children is backed up we then guarantee that they are receiving genuine materials. When children come to school there is an expectation that they will leave with a bounty of palpable knowledge that they can build on through life. We, as teachers, would be letting the children down if the information we taught them wasn’t based on fact; hadn’t been researched or couldn’t be proved. It is highly important we supply them with an assortment of knowledge to make sure that they have a diverse insight into many areas of the curriculum. I believe by providing the young people with as much of a rounded understanding as possible this will help discourage ignorance due to them gaining a knowledge of things they may never have come into contact with or be aware of in their normal environment.
– In class when asked to contribute in discussions on points raised in the lecture.-When commenting on my peer’s blogs on their e-portfolio’s as I wont be afraid to give my opinion even if it is conflicting. However, I must do so in such a way that I don’t offend the other person and respect that they have a different opinion than me.
– In a psychology lecture where we were discussing the ‘Nature vs Nurture’ debate we were encouraged to turn around to the row behind in order to discuss our views. In doing this we were able to openly voice our opinions with one another and also in turn got to hear different views on the subject and why they thought this.
– To socialise with my peers in tasks when advised in order to help each other through the work set.-To enable me to make friendships with people in my course by having the ability to approach them in order the make conversation
– When participating in tutorials by conversing confidently I am able to complete the tasks set efficiently and contribute to the group discussion such as when we had our workshop on ‘the standards for registration’.
– To make wall displays exciting to the eye in order to make people interested in the work you are displaying.- To enable me to document my notes in more interesting ways, such as by using mind maps and colour, which will help me to study better when it comes to assessments.
– I am a class representative and we were given the task of designing the Education information board. By doing this I was able to show my creative side. We updated the board through the use of boarders and by adding glitter to the dividers which separate all the different year’s information.
Organise and plan
– To organise myself efficiently in order to get myself to lectures on time.-By planning ahead I will be able to be more prepared for tasks and lessons and so be ready for the task/lesson ahead.
– To keep myself organised I store all my notes for the different modules in separate areas so that I clearly know where everything is. By keeping my notebook organised this will help me when it comes to assignments.
Act as a leader
– To lead a team efficiently to reach their goals- Be a leader who inspires confidence in her team and so helps her team to be at ease with the task being carried out
– An example of when I acted as a leader was when I took charge during a section of the QR hunt. I helped lead my group to the next section and in doing so I believe I demonstrated the key attributes that are essential to being a leader such as being a good listener; being respectful to my fellow team mates and being able to pick out my team members key strengths in order to get the task done efficiently and to a high standard.
– When recording information from lecturers so that I have substantial notes to look back over for when it comes to revising for assessments.- If there is important points being made at a class representative board meeting I can take notes to then be able to relate it back to my peers effectively
– I take notes every lecture on either my laptop or notepad. I try to take as detailed noted as possible in the time given in order to give myself adequate resources when it comes to looking back over what it is I’ve learnt in the lecture/tutorial/workshop.
Skills not yet developed
How will I develop these
How do I know (evidence)**
– By paying more attention during the ICT workshops and trying to take myself out of my comfort zone. Despite being very interested in certain technology, i.e. my mobile phone, I’ve never seemed to gain the same ease when using a laptop/computer. Through increasing my use of computers I can then in time develop my level of skill
– When participating in the ICT sessions I often found myself struggling to keep up with everyone else. I found that this was partly due to the fact I got confused with following the directions set to us and also because I kept experiencing difficulties trying to log onto my blog.
Gender grouping never appeared to make itself apparent throughout my childhood but looking back it was evident all along. In Primary there was always separate queues for lunch lines and we were nearly always dismissed first from class depending on what gender had stood the best or been the quietest. My primary building was designed in such a style which enabled the promotion of gender segregation as it was built with two playground; dubbed ‘the boys playground’ and ‘the girls playground’. The upper playground, which was the girls, was provided with a garden, a trim-trail and boxes of skipping ropes and hula-hoops. Whereas the lower playground, which was for the boys, was kitted out with football goals and not much else. Thinking back I would say this reinforced gender stereotypes as it implied boys were only into football while girls were encouraged to stick to activities which didn’t push them out of a ‘comfort zone’ that has been created for them.
The phrase ‘like a girl’ has come under great scrutiny in recent years with deodorant company ‘Always’ who fronted the ‘like a girl’ campaign. This aims to break the stereo type that girls are weaker and less able to take on the same tasks as boys. Through campaigns such as these this the aim is to prevent young girls from being ‘pigeon holed’ by their sex and not feel held back from doing anything they wish do due to the fact they feel the wont complete it to the same level as a boy.
What made me want to be a teacher? I cant say there was one single defining moment that made me think that this profession was for me; I would say I had many. Being the eldest of five siblings and many cousins I have grown up since the age of six with children around me and have always loved helping out with them where I could. The first time I considered that teaching could be for me was when my brother, Ewan, was given a white board at the age of three. My dad suggested I help him write his name and so for the next half hour or so that is exactly what I did. Despite the slight frustration when he couldn’t replicate the letters without dot to dot aid, we got there. Seeing the joy in his face when he realized what he had accomplished was priceless and gave me a buzz I had never experienced before. I didn’t start to seriously consider that teaching was for me till I was sitting my exams in 4th year. After discovering I had nearly three weeks off for study leave once exams had finished I decided to take that time to explore further and go work in schools. It was during this time that I received what I believe to be my confirmation that this was what I was meant to do. I was working with a group of children who were in need of extra support doing comprehensive skills. It was coming to the end of the session and I was still working with one boy. Despite getting through a decent chunk of his work he hadn’t completed it and I was worried his teacher would be displeased I hadn’t been able to help him finish it all. I couldn’t have been more wrong. On going up to the teacher to present his work she was stunned. Even though he had only finished 7/12 pages I was told this was double the amount of work the boy was usually doing and she couldn’t believe I had been able to get him to that stage in the time given. The buzz I received was amazing. I had such an immense feeling of pride that I had helped this child to push himself to his full potential and exceed his teachers expectations of him. It was at that point I knew I had to pursue this further.
It was through working in a range of different schools that I realized the kind of teacher I want to be. The school I went to, St John’s RC Academy, was a campus school which had nursery through to secondary within it and so made it really easy for me to access work experience within the primary classroom environment. During my 5th year study leave I had been sitting in the lunch hall revising when the primary had been sent out for their lunch break. Sitting at the edge of the hall I was able to take in all that was going on around me when I noticed a young boy being excluded. He had been sent to sit on his own as punishment for misbehaving in the queue and was being questioned by a classroom assistant as to why he thought his behavior would’ve of been acceptable? She asked him if he thought that, as he was a primary 6, did he think that he could continue this sort of behavior as he continued to go up in the school as an example to the younger pupils? His answer stunned me. ‘I don’t care. I’m just going to the jail anyway. That’s what my dad done, so, so what if I don’t do well here?’ What got to me most was that he believed that he was a product of his parents mistakes and so had to follow in their footsteps. I believe that despite where you come from or what circumstances you live in, its down to you to write your own future. I want to be the kind of teacher who shows boys like him that you aren’t your parents. I want the be the kind of teacher that shows children that despite whatever barriers life throws at you if you want something you can get there. I want to be the kind of teacher that fills children with hope about their future and helps them see that they can be someone. I hope by the end of my four years at Dundee University that I can keep this dream alive and put it into practice.