Monthly Archives: September 2015

Did Gender Affect Me as a Child?

From listening in lectures to other people’s experiences about gender in primary school, I heard a variety of different examples. Varying from female teachers favouring female pupils to boys being picked first for sports teams. But, looking back on my experience in primary school I can only remember a few examples of gender affecting anything that happened in my class- it was to do with sport.

From primary 3, I took part in netball. But, this sport only applied to girls and we never had a boy on the team. However, it was offered to boys two years after I left primary school. However, this was only for training rather than actually competing against other primary schools in Arbroath.

I also remember that there was a girl’s football team and a mixed football team, there was never one for just boys, which the boys found quite unfair.

When I transitioned to high school, I did notice a difference in my experience. My French teacher, who I had from first to fourth year, preferred girls over boys. She would always mention how girls could continue to write while she spoke, but boys must stop what they’re doing because boys can’t multi-task. She would often send boys out for talking, but would never do that to girls.

So, throughout my time at school I haven’t had many bad experiences with gender, and when I’m a teacher, I won’t ever single out pupils for their gender.

Why Teaching?

From being in primary school, my teachers were always so important to me and I see them as role models I will always remember. I’ve had teachers who have inspired me. I love history and I had a teacher who would show his clear passion for the subject, which made me as a pupil love the subject too. But teachers who did not engage in my learning and understanding of their subject did not allow me to have the same enjoyment of learning as I did in other classes. From having so many different types of teachers, in both primary and high school, it has made me want to follow that profession and be able to make a positive difference to a child’s education.

I’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. One of the main reasons being that I want to make a difference in a child’s life and for them to remember that I taught them a specific fact or something which they will use in their day to lives. I also want to be able to see that ‘light bulb’ or that ‘eureka’ moment in which a child understands something that you’ve been teaching them. I would like to vary my teaching styles in order for each pupil to get something different out of what I’ve been teaching. I’ve always enjoyed school and I want my pupils in the future to feel the same way as I do about education, and share the passion I have for learning.

Being a teacher means being a role-model. I would love for my pupils to look up to me and admire my devotion to the subject and career.

In my 4th year at high school I was given a week’s work experience in a small school in Arbroath. The school had composite classes so I was able to spend time with each year group throughout the week. This showed me what each year group was like, but it also taught me each teacher had their own way of teaching and how differently they came across to their pupils. I remember one in particular, she was very friendly and engaging with her pupils, but also in a way that the children would listen to her and she was in clear control of her classroom. I knew for a fact after this one week that teaching was definitely the path I wanted to follow and I would do everything I could to get onto this degree and in four years’ time, have a class of my own.

I spent a week in 5th year and every Tuesday morning in a different school with a teacher I had in Primary 1. I noticed her teaching styles were very different from the other teachers’ in the smaller school. She had a stricter way of controlling her class, but still in a way that she would allow the children to enjoy what they were learning. But, this allowed me to understand how teachers differentiate, but still manage to do a wonderful job.

These separate occasions of work experience highlighted to me even more that teaching was the career and life that I wanted. I was able to understand a teacher’s workload for the week, but also the rewarding aspect of the job.

The teacher I’d like to become is one who will be remembered. I want to be a teacher that pupils will look back on and remember little thing I’d taught them and for them to be excited and eager to learn, just like I was at school and now at university. For me, teaching is not about the money or the time off, that so many people seem to think it is, but it is about making a difference in so many children’s lives and being in a vocation you enjoy and everyday being different.