Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment

Reflection, reflection, reflection

From reading the blogposts that were produced from our year group it was clear that there was different levels of engagement with the eportfolio.

Throughout all the example posts a high level of knowledge was displayed to the topics covered and this was conveyed through the use of professional language and reflection. From writing these posts students will be adopting their professional role in society and beginning to adapt what characteristics a professional has into their work. 

I believe that it is important for all students to read these posts to develop a deeper understanding for the eportfolio and the topics covered in the posts. For example, I believe Claire’s post on classroom grouping and behaviour management was beneficial to me, in particular. By coming onto the course straight from school I have not had much experience assisting the teachers in work experience when it comes to the likes of grouping the class. Approaching my first placement as a teacher has also created apprehension surrounding the area of behaviour management. From reading this post I was able to develop a deeper understanding into the reasons behind certain grouping techniques and how these can influence the ambience within the classroom. 

I believe that the eportfolio can be a key resource in our learning pathways as aspiring student teachers. Not only can we learn more on topics covered in lectures by researching them before creating a blog post on them but we can also develop the professional attribute of criticality and reflection by looking at other’s posts and offering critical feedback which they can build upon to further their professional development.  

One, 2, Three, 4, Five

Throughout Secondary school I had varying experiences of Maths which I believe has been the major factor in influencing my opinions on the topic. 

angryIn my first year at Secondary I was given one of the stricter teachers who was firm in his belief of textbook work. I had always been good at maths yet, I began to struggle. I would ask for help and would be ignored or mocked of in front of the class for not understanding what to do from the brief explanation at the beginning. 

 

I then moved into my next year and was assigned a new teacher who I remained with until the end of S5. What a difference. The teacher believed in a thorough note which was taken in a separate jotter at the beginning of each lesson on the chosen topic then progressing onto textbook work once a clear understanding had been established within the whole class.

numbersIn my personal experience, it was the teacher who made the difference to my outlook on maths. They may not have had the best understanding of the topics we were covering but I believe that was beneficial on both our parts. A clearer explanation was given at the start for the class’ understanding and the teacher’s clarity.  The teacher also implemented fun into his lessons with the use of interactive white boards for class recaps and discussions.

When faced with the daughnting task on my first placement of teaching maths I will arrive at the situation with the confidence and enthusiasm that I saw in my teacher. Even though I may not have a clear understanding on the topics myself I hope this will not portray through my work and that every child has a clear and profound knowledge of the maths covered that day.

 

 

A Big Bang

Biology and Chemistry were always made to be fun with lots of experiments throughout primary and secondary which is why I believe I enjoyed them so much more than physics which was mainly equations. 

scienceI believe that in primary schools there is a lack of science in the curriculum with maybe one lesson a week, if any. This has always been a concern of mine as there are so many different topics which can be made so much more enticing and enjoyable through the use of experiments relating to science. 

 

experimentAt a local placement there was a day set aside to science once every year where the kids were encouraged in the weeks previous to research and come dressed as their favourite scientist with 3 facts about “themselves”. The children were also encouraged to bring into the class a short science experiment which I believed to be a great idea as it not only allowed the children to explore their creativity but also created room for class discussion on what was learned through the experiment. 

Whilst on professional practice I will hopefully be able to introduce a vast range of science into the classroom from the knowledge that will be built up over the next few weeks through the science inputs. 

 

 

Stranger Danger

From the ever increasing number of headlines appearing these days surrounding internet safety I knew that it was an important matter to educate myself on as a teacher. 

internetIn our ICT lecture we were given the opportunity to explore a range of resources that we could engage with whilst on professional placement. I used the time set aside to exploring these resources to have a look at the video titled ‘Tom’s Story’

This was a short youtube clip that followed the story of Tom who went to meet up with a friend he had gained online at his house. Tom was greeted by what he thought was his friend’s big brother and was given alcohol after realising that his friend was made up, Tom attempted to leave the house. This angered the man who then abused Tom. The video clip ends with Tom reporting the man then his arrest. 

I believe that this video clip could be a very interesting resource to use with an older class as it hits hard the dangers of meeting strangers from online without a trusted adult. I would only use this resource with children of an older age as the content is quite intense which could distress a younger class. 

smart crewA resource that I would use with children of a younger age would be the adventures of Winston, Kara and the SMART crew. These are short video clips with a childlike nature to them whilst still conveying important messages regarding internet safety. 

As part of the Internet Safety TDT I have also linked a short Prezi that I created on the topic which I believe could be used at the end of an Internet Safety lesson to round the topic off. 

https://prezi.com/vq6qwfxrbf-q/internet-safety/

Developing Professional Skills and Abilities: Online Unit 3

Words/phrases relating to professionalism:

  • Competent
  • Knowledgeable
  • Calm
  • Skilled
  • Respectable
  • Punctual
  • Motivating
  • Encouraging
  • Enthusiastic
  • Constructive criticism
  • Passionate
  • Collaborative working
  • Going above and beyond

professionalismI chose to watch One Born Every Minute and believe that the midwives displayed all the characteristics I associate with a professional. I believe that the midwives displayed a great deal of commitment and dedication which was seen when encouraging the ladies through their labour regardless of their situation. There were no situations within the programme that I thought the midwives acted unprofessionally, they done everything in their power to ensure the best start to life for every individual child.

midwivesThis level of professionalism offered by the midwives made a lasting impression on all the families, I believe. For years to come the mothers especially will remember how motivating and encouraging the midwives were and without their help it would have been a very difficult situation.

I believe that it is important for the midwives to wear the uniform that they do as they all look the same and can easily be recognised. By wearing the uniform also the midwives also have a sense of authority.  Also, the colour blue, that the midwives wear, is known to be calming which I think is important for the mothers to be in their situations.

If designing the midwifery degree I would arrange the following;

    1. Attending lectures – 10%
    2. Background reading about relevant subjects – 10%
    3. Practical skills based training such as role play- 30%
    4. Work based learning- 20%
    5. Other (Placement0 – 30%
    6. What have you learned from the programme that you can apply to your own professional development?

dynamicFrom watching One Born Every Minute I have learnt that within the professions of teaching and midwifery that no two day are the same. Our professions are dynamic and we must have the level of enthusiasm and commitment to the profession to be able to adapt to all the different situations we will find ourselves in.

 

aaaaaaFrom looking back at my UCAS Personal Statement my opinion on the personal values that we as student teachers must posses has not changed. I believe that it is fundamental for teachers to display professional values as we are the role models that children will observe and mimic. I believe that it is important to have the personal value of considering everyone as an individual and that everyone’s situations are different. I also believe that it is important to sympathise with children by showing a great deal of empathy and not to judge the children within our care. I chose teaching as throughout school I noticed the lack of passion displayed by the teachers, and wanted to change this for the better. Teaching to me is one of the most challenging, dynamic, yet rewarding professions. I am eager to get into the classroom and observing children flourish as individuals of the future.

To me, to commit to this course a professional commitment must be made. To support myself on the course, I have decided that I will spend more time in the library and make use of the resources available to me. I have also committed myself to engage in all the relevant reading to continue my self development.

Born but not wanted…

From various inputs I’ve realised that the topic of the ‘Romanian Orphans’ was brought to our attention several times. I decided to have a look into the topic as I’d never heard of before and reflect on what I found out. 

aThe term ‘Romanian Orphans’ raised due to Nicolae Ceaușescu forbidding both abortion and contraception all increasing birth rates. Many children along with people who were mentally ill or disabled were dumped in orphanages. These vulnerable groups of people were subject to abuse and neglect including; physical abuse, sexual abuse and controlling their behaviour through the use of drugs. 

The orphanages also lacked washing facilities and medicine. The conditions of the orphanages declined again in 1982 when Ceaușescu decided to use all of Romania’s economic wealth to pay off foreign debt. However, many of the children within the orphanages were recollected by parents at the ages of 12,13,14 – when they were old enough to help their family earn a living. 

aaWithin the orphanages, there were often 10 people crammed into a room with 2 sharing a mattress, which were often rotten, lying in their own waste. Many children looked much younger than they were due to malnutrition and suspected, undiagnosed condition.

In the adult rooms there could be up to 160 adults found up to the age of 80.  Those that were disabled were often found in isolated parts of the orphanages with no protection against the cold as their clothes were often thin with several holes. Many of the orphans never experienced the basic human right of sanitation and many of the investigators reported a stench of rotting flesh and gangrene.

aaaOver the years, many orphans lived for very few months, years in these conditions contributing to the exceedingly high death rates. Those who did eventually escape the orphanages had to learn to deal with the altered brain structure, brain damage and disabilities they had developed through living in such poor conditions. 

Little Minds

We know that everything we learn contributes to our memory. However what many are unaware of is the different types of memory. For example, there are many types of long term memory including;

  • Episodic – specific things – personal experience- where/when it happened
  • Semantic – all world knowledge
  • Procedural – knowing how to do something – riding a bike/driving a car
  • Mix of all these e.g- a trip to the market

brainAlso, automaticity is a very important aspect in increasing efficiency of processing information. Automaticity is achieved through practice and reduces the ST memory capacity. A classroom example includes, reading – children will often not be able to tell you what they’re reading (without automaticity).

Other factors that influence the development of knowledge include;

  1. Knowledge – increases as a function of age
  2. Strategies – rehearsal – repetition in various forms, organisation allows information to be stored more easily, elaboration – making links to aid memory

There are many different aspects to our minds and especially the way in which we memorise things.

Metamemory development refers to the monitoring, regulations and  awareness of the memory’s contents. There are two parts – Awareness of how memory works (what’s easier/harder to recall) and memory monitoring (what strategies to use).

Metacognition – refers to the knowledge and understanding of our own thinking process. It is the knowledge of what one knows and how one learns. As children grow up they become more aware of their own abilities and are better able to assess when a strategy will be effective.

False memory – Refers to they way children, usually young, reconstruct a memory falsely due to not tracking information as they encode it.

phineasPhineas Gage became a key interest of psychologists’ work after his personality changed after his brain’s left frontal lobe was mainly destroyed after and accident at work in which a large iron rod pierced completely through his head.

This started a worldwide focus into the theory of mind. The theory of mind refers to the ability to take perspectives of others and understand their mental state i.e – beliefs and desires.

The theory of mind develops across the world at roughly the same age regardless of cultural influences. However, children below 4 years old are unable to reflect on the mental state of themselves and others and their beliefs – This can be seen in the Deceptive box test. The development of the theory of mind can provide children with new realm of information on which they can draw from.
thinkingIt has been discovered that children develop this theory between the ages of 3&5 then at the ages of between 6 and 8 children develop the send stage in which the theory of mind allows other skills to develop including the understanding of jokes, sarcasm or bullying.

At what age a child develops this theory of mind depends on various environmental factors including;

  • The number of older siblings
  • The likelihood children are exposed to adult and peer interactions and communication on a daily basis.
  • Extended family

autismThe failure to develop the theory of mind has been linked with the autistic spectrum disorder. The lack of theory of mind produces many impairments affecting many aspects of a child’s life including; social relationships, communications and a lack of imagination. However, autism is not a product of the failure to understand the mind.