The working together module for me, didn’t seem very important at first and I didn’t appreciate the importance of coming together and creating a PowerPoint presentation as a group, going on a placement visit or having to design a poster by myself. However, through reflecting on my professional development in semester 1, this has made me realise that one of the most important moments for me was when I was creating my poster and reflecting on my placement visit.
My placement visit was important for me in terms of learning how to cope before a placement, how to act and what to do during a placement and how to look back and reflect after a placement. I recieved great information from a fantastic organization, but it wasn’t until I was back at my flat and had to look back on what I had learned, and read parts of ‘Reflective Teaching in Early Education’ that I realised how important reflection actually was.
For me now, I am trying to get myself into the habit of reflecting on everything I do and say and this includes looking over my work and evaluating why I wrote a certain piece of writing, why I felt that way and how I can improve. Before university, I never reflected on my actions or my words, I never evaluated my work and never bothered to check over anything. But now, as I grow as a teacher, I am beginning to love to reflect on my journey and my experiences as a student teacher and the process of reflecting on my work is the start of me becoming the best that I can be.
In an earlier blog post ( https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/mmkeportfolio/2016/09/20/equity-and-equality-the-difference/ ), I said that equality is not the same as equity: which it is not. But since this blog post I have discovered a new third option (in Vics values class today), and it is that there doesn’t always have to be a choice about if someone is being treated equally and equitably – you can try and remove the cause of the inequality and therefore no one is disadvantaged.
The original picture I have always been aware off, and quite often think of it in situations, but this picture here makes you really think about the fact that there always a simple solution. You just have to remove the barrier.
For me, mental health and disabilities is a topic that is always close to my heart. Since I was 14, I found a love for volunteering, and not just volunteering for Cancer Research or big charity campaigns, but I volunteered for local disability charities. The first time I ever volunteered it was for a fantastic charity called Dreamz4U, the goal was to help children who
are disabled either mentally or physically get their dream. One lucky girl even got to meet Lady Gaga (and this was only a local charity in Edinburgh!). However, I chose Dreamz4U because for me, it doesn’t matter how rubbish I feel, or how hard my day has been because I know that someone else is feeling worse than me, and I know that I can make it better. I volunteered to put smiles on peoples faces, and make sure that while they are with me, I can make them forget the physical or mental pain they are feeling; even if it’s just for a few minutes.
I also volunteered with Guide Dogs Kirkcaldy (which was more for the puppies than actually helping people) and I’ve worked with schools and other places. But my favourite, and the one that really made me think was Down Syndrome Scotland. My time there was great, I volunteered for just under two years (I think!) and it was just amazing. I was apart of a new project called Friends Together – which was to make sure than the two voluntees than I took out became friends and wanted to hang out and eventually do so without my company (if the two friends that met up didn’t get along or didn’t bond, we would find someone else as soon as possible). During my journey I met 3 fantastic guys, but they told me horrible stories of how cruel the world can be. I also met one woman in particular who had Downs Syndrome and told me about the abuse she got just from her local shop. She would go in and ask for a newspaper and they cashier would mock her every morning saying that she was “too dumb to read” and “you wont understand”. This breaks my heart, and this is the reason why I volunteer and talk about my experiences so openly. I hate how people can be so nasty, so mean and so cruel and not understand how what they are saying can affect someone. Due to this cashiers words, the lady was too afraid to tell anyone incase they thought she was lying, incase they mocked her too and lived with this for many years. This lady was fully capable of getting a job, being paid and she lived in a house on her own but because she was mocked so much this effected her mentally as well.
Out of this blog post, I wanted to raise awareness on how much a volunteer can change just one life. The lady in question now has a job due to her great volunteers and the 3 guys that I worked with all have jobs now too – when before they were too shy to even speak to myself, they all also have girlfriends and they are best friends too.
But it wasn’t just volunteering, it’s about mental health and disabilities as well. It is about raising awareness of the abuse that goes on, about making sure people feel they can talk to their GP, friends or family if they feel they are suffering with a mental/physical illness, it’s about making sure people don’t judge others because of the way they look/speak/hear/sound/walk etc. and hoping that people open their eyes to everything that is going on around them.
This is just a brief update about my month so far, and about my first month in University Halls.
On my course so far, I’ve learned so much already. Not only from my lectures and workshops, but actually about myself as a person. I’ve learned that when living with 5 different people that you have never met before it can be seriously challenging, but through this we’ve became stronger as a flat.
From my course so far, it’s been so different from high school and college, I’ve went from having really personal experiences with a small group of people in a local area to somewhere I don’t really know with people I have never met before in huge lecture theatres. However, I am loving it! Our modules are interesting and university life is completely different to what I thought it would be. I imagined a lecturer standing at the front speaking for hours on end and the students just taking notes all day and then us going home and trying to decode what they were saying during that class – but it is so different to this. It’s a great experience.
It terms of the people I have met, they are great too. Everyone is in the same boat – confused, happy and homesick. Today we all agreed to meet after our lecture at the Liar Bar and get to know each other better and it was great, I met a lady who was previously a nurse, a few people I had never spoken to before and a few people who I had never even seen before and we all got along great.
So far, it has been exciting. I can’t wait to have another few years of this.
Radio X, for me, is one of the best radio stations. Not just because of the great music or the funny presenters, but sometimes because of videos like these. Chris Moyles takes apart this song and looks at each line individually and the result is hilarious. Jack Jones basically sings about how men should come home and if their wife isn’t dressed up and looking good, then ‘men will be men’ and just stray away!
The reason why i’m posting this, is because of how times have changed and just a little look into the 60’s where this was obviously the ‘norm’, yet it’s quite clearly very derogatory towards women.
Chris Moyles – http://www.radiox.co.uk/radio/chris-moyles/highlights/we-doubt-hear-song-lyrics-like-this-these-days/#F6hAZpsBtjXid3U0.97
Original video is underneath.