Category Archives: 3.4 Prof. Reflection & Commitment

4 Weeks Later and Still Alive

I have recently finished my first year placement in a primary 3/4 class whom I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching.

Naturally, my highlight has been passing my placement with all sections marked as satisfactory. This is the product of my hard work and commitment over the past 4 weeks, and I am so proud to have passed first year. In terms of lessons I thoroughly enjoyed the music lesson where we created sound stories related to our rainforest topic. Although their finished products did not really resemble a story about the rainforest, I was proud of my behaviour management in this lesson. I set out clear expectations at the start of the lesson that if anyone played while I was talking their instrument would be removed and they would have to sit out. This worked well as all children wanted to continue playing the instruments. I believe this to have been my biggest achievement in terms of behaviour management and I thoroughly enjoyed the lesson.


At the beginning of this placement, I was unsure about my teaching ability as I had never been responsible for a whole class before, hence making confidence one of my goals. Looking back over placement I can see my confidence has improved hugely. There are clear links to behaviour management, which has either positively or negatively affected my confidence. There have been occasions where my behaviour management should have been better, and hence this has affected my confidence.  My confidence has been highest when teaching the children their dance for the UNICEF show. I was tentative about this to begin with, however, I am proud of what the children can remember and what they have achieved.


As the class has such diverse needs and abilities, differentiation was made my second goal. There is one child at second level, one at early level and a vast range of children from first developing to first consolidating in between. My ability to differentiate by task has improved vastly this placement, as at the beginning I really struggled to get things right for each child. Now I am more comfortable with knowing what each child is capable of. In terms of differentiation by support, I feel that I could work on this a bit more. I need to give children a range of activities that they can get on with themselves so that I can work with those children who need more support. This is something that I am developing and can see strengths in, however, it still needs improved. Waterhouse (1990) notes that this is achieved by finding a “balance of independence” for each child (p15). This week I was particularly happy with my differentiation during my lesson on the tribes of the rainforest. When comparing their life to a tribal child’s the children had differentiated passages and I sat with those who would struggle to read the passage themselves. I believe this has been a strong point in my differentiation.

Planning – SPR 2.1.3 Have knowledge and understanding of planning coherent and progressive teaching programmes

This was my first time creating lesson plans, and naturally I was worried about getting it right, especially my learning intentions and success criteria, as these are critical to any lesson. Looking back now I can see a massive improvement in the quality of my lesson plans. They are now much more detailed, which has in turn improved my confidence and is something I will take forward to 3PP1. I am more comfortable with the curriculum, particularly the experiences and outcomes (Scottish Government 2009), and am happier with writing learning intentions and success criteria.

Assessment – SPR 2.1.5 Have knowledge and understanding of the principles of assessment, recording and reporting

I believe my knowledge and understanding of assessment methods, especially AiFL has been improving towards the end of my placement, although is something to work on in future. I have used thumbs to gauge the children’s understanding and have used summative assessment marking their work and leaving comments. In the past week I have particularly been trying to use no hands up and wait time, however, I believe this could still be improved as it is not brilliant.  I have marked most of their language and maths work and have been using this marking in following lessons to see who needs more help.

Behaviour Management

I have been using dojo points more towards the end of my placement as a behaviour management strategy. The children really enjoy getting points, and dislike having points taken off them, therefore Class Dojo is always up on the computer for easy access. I have also been moving children to my feet on carpet as Smith (1979, cited in Robertson 1996) notes that the closer you are to a problem or target group of children, the more effective you are at managing their behaviour.

Looking ahead to 3PP1, I believe my goal of differentiation should carry forward as this still needs more work. I will also make behaviour management one of my goals as that is something I have struggled with this placement, alongside assessment.


GTCS (2012) The Standards for Registration: Mandatory requirements for Registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland. Available at: (Accessed 14/5/16)

Robertson, J. (1996) Effective Classroom Control. 3rd edn. London: Hodder and Stroughton Educational.

Scottish Government (2009) Curriculum for Excellence, Experiences and outcomes for all curriculum areas. Available at: (Accessed on 14/5/16)

Waterhouse, P. (1990) Classroom Management. Stafford: Network Educational Press.

Reading Enthusiasm

After reading through these posts from my peers, I am now looking at my own posts with a more critical eye. While I do engage with my professional blog on a fairly regular basis, from looking at these excellent posts, I really want to engage with the idea further.

All of these posts are highly insightful in the subject that they have chosen to talk about, and provide a very interesting read indeed. It is clear that these students have spent a long time working on their posts and have truly grasped the idea of collaborative learning by sharing the excellent ideas they have come up with. Also their enthusiasm for their subject and commitment to their learning shines through in abundance.

By reading through these posts, I have learned new ways to show my understanding of ideas and I have seen first hand the excellent results that can come from sharing our creative and insightful views.

In future, I want to spend more time on my e-portfolio to ensure that my ideas can be as structured and well thought out as these.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

Reflectionmirror as a noun occurs in everyday life, however, it is seen less often as a verb.

Reflecting upon work you have done is important in being able to progress and improve. This is especially prevalent in the teaching profession, as reflection on a day’s lessons can help improve the lessons for the next day, and in turn improve the overall education of your pupils. In terms of academic writing, reflecting on an experience can often form the basis of a piece, however, reflecting on these pieces individually will also help to improve overall writing ability.

Reflecting is not simply pointing out what you did wrong. Reflection is about finding weak areas, realizing how to improve them, and making a conscious, motivated decision to make them better. It is not enough to know you are not good enough, you need to know how to change for the better and actually implement these changes.

Personally, I believe that I struggle with reflection. While I can identify where I feel I may have gone wrong, I struggle to improve this, even with great effort sometimes. I have seen this in my past experiences of academic writing at high school, where I saw myself as a writer who focused more on delivering the facts or theories than one who had an opinion about them. I rarely challenged what I saw, however, I know that I need to improve this at university level, and will hopefully improve this during my time at university.