What I learned: Dance Workshop

This week I received an introduction to teaching dance and what it means to cater a lesson for learners with all abilities. The tutor of my session showed clear enthusiasm for the subject which was motivating and showed me the positive impact that enthusiasm can have on learners.

I have previously volunteered at a Primary School as a dance teacher and held a 6-week block leading 20 children. I have always had a passion for dance and teaching so this is an activity that came naturally to me.

From the workshop, I have learned good teaching techniques and feel that I could confidently lead a class with a similar PE lesson if required on placement.

One key lesson that I learned was to always check song lyrics/music videos in advance to ensure nothing explicit is introduced to the children. This is a point that perhaps would not have been one of my main focuses and after learning the importance of doing research on songs I will remember to do so in the future.

Another key lesson I learned was to remind myself that dance is a form of self-expression and children should be free to express themselves in any form they like (within reason). This means reminding the children to have fun and not to fear they are dancing incorrectly as there is no right or wrong.

A final key concept of the workshop was to encourage partner/group work in order to spark ideas off of one another and share ideas. This allows children to learn off of their classmates and have an opportunity to share their originality. Therefore I will ensure I include this in dance but also in other forms of learning within the classroom.

Overall I found the workshop to be both fun and interesting. I have learned some great tips for teaching and I am looking forward to putting them into practice over my placement!

My Goals for Professional Practice


As I am writing this blog post I am currently in Week 1 of Semester 2 and beginning to prepare for my placement starting in March. The idea of placement for me is both equally exciting and nerve-wracking however I am aiming to work hard and get the most out of placement. In this post, I will be discussing my aims and goals for placement and hopefully, during/after placement I can reflect on this post to check if I have met my goals.

Firstly, I am looking forward to learning off of my mentor and gaining a leadership role within the classroom as I believe it will allow me to develop confidence. To do this, I aim to build a good relationship with all learners in the classroom to gain respect and make the children look forward to each lesson. I hope to further develop my organisation skills by creating lesson plans and stepping out of my comfort zone when asked to prepare and teach a class.

I also aim to build a good relationship with all members of staff within the school and take in any advice and expertise that they have to offer. I believe this is important as I learned the importance that collaborative working can have when it comes to self-development in the Working Together module. I hope to learn from all of the teachers as they will all be in different stages of their career and will have a large variety of experience and knowledge.

Throughout my placement, I aim to keep track of my own development by writing down what I thought I did well and what I think I need to work on. To do this I will use Brookfield’s Lenses to reflect back on how I think I am doing using my Autobiographical Lens but also using the Peer Lens to listen to the advice and constructive criticism given by my mentor.

As the weeks go on, I hope I can notice an improvement in my teaching and take on advice given by my tutor or mentor to show them that I can develop my skills and abilities. I also aim to become more critical and analytic when it comes to my work to question if the strategies I am using are the most effective.

Overall, I am really looking forward to my placement and I hope that I manage to achieve my own goals and learn a lot along the way.

Discarding Discrimination

Looking back on Tuesdays Values lesson, it is clear to say that it was thought-provoking and eye-opening. For me, Racism has always been thought of something that happened many years ago and has been always been unacceptable for as long as I have known. However, I also knew that this was not the case for everyone as racist behaviour and words are still common in the present day.

By looking at racist incidents in the past such as the brutal murder of Emmet Till, we could all strongly agree this was unnecessary and inhumane. However, despite the shocking case of Till, racism continues in the present day and we can see things haven’t completely moved on. A present day example of racism could be as relevant as this year, 2018. This would be through the rise of Islamophobia due to misinformation in the news and media. However, this is no excuse for the racist behaviour.

In the future when working as a professional I hope to teach children that inclusion in everyday life is one of the most valuable attributes to have. Whether this inclusion is for people of different races, gender, sexuality or anything else, I want to teach acceptance for everyone. I believe that the best way to do this is to teach children at a young age that it is ok to be different, in fact, it should be celebrated as we are all unique.

Therefore, this values lecture not only opened my eyes to the wider picture of discrimination but has also motivated me to make a difference. I hope to challenge discriminative thoughts of anyone who holds them and to stand up for equal rights to everyone.


Structural Inequalities Reflection

In this values workshop, I was placed into Group 1 and we were all instructed to plan and create a resource that would be useful for first-year students at the University. To complete this task each group was given a pack of materials. At the time we were given our packs we realised we had a lot of materials to work with including coloured paper, pens, scissors, paper clips, sellotape, glue and elastic bands.

Within our group, we planned a fun game that could be used in Student Accommodation to allow flatmates to get to know each other better and have fun. This included making ‘fortune-tellers’ out of paper with fun truth or dares inside. Our idea was simple and did not use many resources. However, our lecturer was very encouraging with our idea which motivated the group.

After creating the resource, each group presented their idea upfront and were given feedback. My group agreed that each idea was innovative and useful however one group had a similar concept to our one. After each group had presented, the lecturer gave each group a score out of 10. My group received the highest score which was 9/10 and the other groups had scored as low as 1/10 which confused us all, especially due to the group with the lowest score having a similar concept to my group.

At the end of the workshop, the lecturer enlightened us to something my group was completely oblivious to. We discovered that our group’s resource had won by default. The lecturer explained to us all that each group had a different pack of resources and group 1 contained the most and group 4 had the least. We also find out that our group was given the most encouragement and guidance whereas groups 3 and 4 were ignored completely. This was another aspect of the workshop our group had been oblivious to. However, Groups 3 and 4 explained they had noticed Group 1 and 2 were favoured by the lecturer.

What does this mean?

This workshop was eye-opening and helped reveal that in teaching, professional commitment is a standard that must be followed. The lecturer demonstrated that by not engaging with all members of the class it left groups 3 and 4 to feel unmotivated due to the lack of attention and support. However also showed the positive effect that engaging with groups created. Group 1 and 2 both felt supported and therefore became excited about the task at hand and wanted to succeed. Looking back, it felt rewarding being in Group 1 and having the lecturers praise therefore shows this must be a key aspect of teaching.

Another key aspect of teaching was demonstrated and this was Trust and Respect. This involves the teacher to be respectful of each child’s ideas and motivating them to achieve. The groups 3 and 4 quickly realised that their ideas were being ignored and this would have caused an effect on their work ethic. However, as Group 1 and 2 felt respected this only made us continue to make progress on our resource.

In order to follow professional values the lecturer should have also showed integrity across the entire class. However, as it has been stated the lecturer only showed a sense of courage and wisdom towards groups with more resources leaving half of the class in a less fortunate position. This idea links into the overall social justice system within the class.

It would be fair to say that there was purposely a lack of equality within the class in order to show the effect of treating people differently can have on their work and progress. The lecturer demonstrated a non-inclusive environment to those who had less and showed a much more warm environment to those who had more. The ones with very little resources noticed very quickly that they were being treated differently to groups 1 and 2, however, there was no obvious reason for this at the time.

Looking back to this workshop, I can admit that I did not notice the other groups were being ignored whilst our group received the most help. However, this has allowed me to understand the impact favouriting others can have on the rest of a class. I believe this workshop has been very beneficial in starting to understand the Values module by opening my eyes to the importance of following professional values within all areas of my work.



My Learning Journey

From a young age, I have had my heart set on a specific career path. Each day I would enter my Primary School classroom and feel a sense of belonging within the brightly coloured walls. For me, Primary School was a safe, nurturing environment in which I could express myself and be treated with respect. It was a place full of encouragement that allowed me to improve my skills and knowledge without a fear of failure. This is an opportunity that I believe every child should be given no matter their personal circumstances.

As a child, I also believed that all of my teachers knew the answer to everything. It took some time for me to realise that this was not the case. As I reached the end of Primary, I discovered that even teachers have to research and learn new things regularly. This surprised me at first, however, I also remember feeling like becoming a teacher was an achievable goal for the first time. I knew at this point becoming a teacher would involve a lot of determination and passion. I was always inspired by teachers for this reason.

Throughout High School, my love for learning continued to grow. I enjoyed the wide variety of subject choices to choose from and knew I could never pick just one to focus on. Therefore I knew a career in Primary Education was definitely the right career path for me to follow. Teaching would allow me to continue my own learning journey and allow children to begin theirs in the most welcoming environment I could possibly give.