Today we have been thinking about self reflection and feedback in preparation for our first school placement in two weeks time. This is an area I find largely uncomfortable and certainly one that currently makes me nervous.
It has been interesting to watch feedback sessions take place with two teachers. It has given me some idea of the sorts of observations that someone may make of me. However, it also strengthens the knowledge of the sorts of observations I will need to make of my placement partner. Furthermore, through watching these videos today I have a much deeper understanding of the benefits of feedback and self evaluation.
Before today I would have been dismissive of recording myself in a classroom setting to reflect upon later. However it is clear to see that watching myself teach would allow me to see things happening in my classroom that I may miss while it is happening (in a good and bad way). Also, while I may feel that I come across to pupils in a certain way, watching a video of myself would allow me to re-evaluate verbal and non verbal communications which may be causing concern or confusion. Reflecting upon my own practice in this way will allow me to move forward in the right direction with my teaching.
Sue Cowley observed a third year student in the second of the videos we watched today. There was a lot to observe both good and bad about the practice of the teacher and Sue gave constructive criticisms and guidance to allow the teacher to better his practice with his class. In a group we discussed the video and found that we had very similar views to each other of the practices of the teacher. One difference of opinion that we did have was surrounding the teacher choosing to send three members of his class away from the main part of the class to sort out an argument they have been having over lunchtime. I felt that it was good to see the teacher care for the well-being of the children in this way. However other members of my group felt that this should have been left at the door of the classroom in order to not disrupt the learning for the whole class. Upon reflection, I can understand this stance and it will be something I carry forward with me.
There is now only two weeks left until I go on my first placement. I am nervous about the experience. Knowing where I am going and who I am paired with has lessened my nerves to an extent though. I am very interested to be within a school outwith the area that I live in and also one that is very small. I am intrigued by the logistics involved in a school with only two classes. The website for the school is informative and shows me that they are a busy vibrant school which I am looking forward to finding out more about.