Growing up I always respected my teachers highly and remember thinking “Wow, they know everything. I wish I did!”
That’s when I started to become curious as to what was involved in becoming a qualified teacher.
This curiosity only continued further as I moved up into High School and my opportunities broadened. When I was 14, I signed up to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. This involved a 6 month period of volunteering which I returned to my old Brownie unit to complete. During my time here, I shadowed and encouraged a young girl with severe autism, Jess. I remember the feeling of pride I got when she managed every day, simple tasks and remembering thinking “Wouldn’t it be great if I could experience this sense of achievement every day?” For me, that’s when I knew I definitely had to become a Teacher.
I always grew up immersed by teaching due to my Mum’s dance school. At 13 I began to take an interest in the dance but more importantly the teaching. I liked the idea that I could help the children better themselves and help them achieve in life. I began to help my Mum run her classes and even had the idea of establishing a rewards club. I began to run the ‘FunClub’ in May 2012 and have continued to this day. The sense of pride I receive each week from doing so and from parental feedback cannot be matched.
From running the ‘FunClub’ I have been able to explore what kind of teacher that I would like to become. I have been able to establish myself with authority but have also, at the same time, been able to adapt myself to the same level as the children so that they can confide in me with any problems they may have.
My work experience placement at High School also broadened my expectations of myself as a Teacher. In the p3 class that I was placed in there was a girl who had Downs Syndrome and required specialist one to one attention and encouragement. I was able to help Lily with various tasks that week including maths, language and topic, all of which required patience and the correct level of encouragement.
In my final year at school I had Wednesday afternoons free so I took it upon myself to get in contact with a local primary school. I phoned the Head Teacher and agreed to come along for an induction, I loved it. For the next year I then began to assist the teachers throughout the school, at various stages. For my final few months I was to shadow a first year student and assist her where need be. This opportunity opened my eyes up to all that was involved in lesson planning. Having someone in the position that I would hopefully find myself in the following year was also key to my understanding of the role. I was able to ask questions, gain experience in lesson planning and teaching a class of 26 students.
This experience also allowed me to develop my skill of peer reflection. After each lesson myself and the student would sit down and discuss what we thought went well, what we could improve for next time and what we thought the children gained from the lesson. This also allowed me to always consider the benefits of the lesson first and to adapt various learning styles so that each child has the opportunity to strive.
My experiences have only strengthened my passion to become a Teacher further. I know that I would like to be a teacher who is approachable, patient and also has authority. I would like to be an encouraging teacher who strives for the best in each child’s individual goals and one that is flexible and can adapt to the different learning methods of the new curriculum.