Get Scotland Dancing

Although I am a very creative person, I have never fully explored dance.

I have little dance experience and I only ever attended Highland Dancing. I went to these classes for around 3 years, however when thinking back to this time I realised that I viewed it simply as a social event. Although I always enjoyed the classes, I was always aware that I was one of the weaker performers in the group and therefore when my friends decided to stop attending the classes I followed.

I think that part of the reason I have never fully explored dance is because I have always had issues with confidence and am extremely conscious of what people think of me. I have always felt envious of my peers that are hugely involved with dance, many of them would appear in ballet shows at Christmas or spend their weekends at competitions all over the Britain.

Although I consider myself as not much of a dancer, I have always appreciated dance. I have attended many West End shows (and dance shows) and am always amazed at how much dance can express ideas and tell a story. I understand that for some it can act as a release and as a form of emotional expression, and I think that this could be (and for many already is) extremely beneficial for children.

‘Get Scotland Dancing’ is a fantastic initiative that aims to encourage more people to get active through taking part in dance emphasises it as a creative art form. I feel that it will hugely help children that have low confidence just like myself and allow them to feel as though they can express themselves through dance (something I feel unable to do).

Internet Safety

I have created a short Animoto clip that I could show to a class to emphasize how important internet safety is.

My clip acknowledges that the  internet is becoming a tool that most people use and it expresses that we should all take precautions to ensure our safety.

 

Important Values

I believe that it is crucial for a teacher to have each of the values given on the selected list. They are all incredibly important in their own ways. The five values I have selected to write about are- Honesty, Patience, Self-Control and respect.

Honesty

Honesty is a crucial value for teachers to have. Firstly, it is important for their own professional career and development, and secondly it is a concept that is vital to teach and display to pupils.

If a teacher happens to make a mistake then it is important that they are honest about it (to others and themselves).  They must ‘own up’ for what they have done, this may be their lesson not going to plan. By being honest to themselves, then can then evaluate what happened, reflect on it and then learn from the mistake.

Patience

I think that patience is a value that all teachers must have. Every child will learn at a different pace, therefore it is vital that the teacher is patient and gives the child enough time to complete it to the best of their ability. If the teacher is inpatient and gets angry at the child, then the work won’t be completed to as high a standard as it could be. The child may start to rush all of their work due to this, therefore never really bettering themselves. Also, due to the fact that children are constantly full of energy

Also, as children are almost always full of energy, the teacher could easily become exhausted and lose patience with them. However, they must not let this happen and must ensure that they remain professional.

 

Self-Control

Schools are busy and sometimes stressful places, therefore teachers must have a good level of self-control in order to provide the best teaching they can.

E.G – If the teacher is observing the class while they are completing work and notices that a group of pupils seem to be chatting and not bothering with their work, it would be easy for her to confront (shout at) them straight away. However, if she held back for a little longer and observed them, she might find that a few of the pupils were actually discussing work. Therefore, after having the self-control to hold back for a while, she knew which children to discipline and perhaps offer help.

If a teacher did not show any signs of self-control then they regularly get angry at the class. This could cause pupils to feel anxious in the classroom and not know where they stand with the teacher. They may avoid asking the teacher for help with work and lose all trust for them.

If they have no control then they could cause pupils to feel anxious in te classroom and scared to confide in them

Respect

I have always been a firm believer of the notion that respect works both ways. In order for a teacher to gain respect from her class, she must respect each of her pupils. I believe that the best way to teach respect is to show respect. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed. Children learn from everything we say and do. Teachers must make sure that they are modelling respectful behaviour to their class.

Some of the ways in which a teacher can display respect to her pupils is by:

Being fair – Listen to the child’s side of the story before reaching a conclusion and when appropriate give them the benefit of the doubt.

Being polite – Use “please” and “thank you”. Show that being rude is not respectful.

Being reliable – Keep promises. If a child tells a teacher something and asks them not to tell anyone, and they know that they must report it to the schools Child Protection Officer, they must not lie to the child and say that they can keep it private when they know that they are  unable to do so.  This could lead to the child losing all trust for their teacher.

 

 

Professionalism and the Online World

After reading the Professional Guidance on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media document issued by GTC Scotland, I found that they have accepted that social media (and other internet applications) is becoming an essential tool in the classroom. In this document they outline both the benefits and challenges of using these tools in the classroom. One benefit is that social media can be incredibly engaging for pupils, therefore they could be learning complex concepts without really realising it. Also, depending on the schools IT skills and resources, it is now possible to connect classrooms in other communities and countries. This is incredibly exciting for children and is really educational. Social media will also allow children to chat with each other and help one another with homework, and, it will allow them to form friendships and build bonds with other children.

One limitation of using social media is that many members of the public don’t have any trust in social media and can only see the dangers of it. Due to this ‘fear’ they cannot see how it can benefit pupils and how it can promote children accessing work at home. Another challenge is that, if not used in the correct manner, the boundary between the teacher and the pupil can become blurred.

Everyone using social media should be careful what they post, as when something goes online it will remain live there forever. Although teachers have the right to a private life, they should remain cautious to what they post, as in time it could affect their professional life. Social media encourages people to have casual conversations, for parents this could be appealing. If they want to tell their child’s teacher something or query something which happened in the classroom, they may decide to look them up on social media (eg Facebook) and message them. This is not a professional way of dealing with parental concerns, and teachers should avoid doing this. Therefore it crucial that teachers make all of their online accounts private and perhaps change their name.

Also, if the teacher wishes to communicate with their pupils over the internet, they should use a formal and professional tone, in order to maintain existing professional boundaries and they should only use official channels such as GLOW. Also, teachers should avoid becoming ‘friends’ online and they should never share private information that they would not wish to share in the classroom.

Overall, I feel that social media and use of the internet in classes is an engaging and exciting new way of teaching and learning. Although it has many limitations and dangers, as long as it is used correctly and managed in a professional manner it should be most definitely be encouraged in schools.

Practitioner Enquiry

Menter et al (2011) defined Practitioner Enquiry as being a ‘finding out’ or investigation with a rationale and approach that can be explained or defended. It is usually undertaken in collaboration with others, for teachers this will most commonly be with other teachers in the same school.

The group of teachers will share a common research question and they will then investigate it in different and unique ways. Through doing this and sharing their experiences, they will enhance their knowledge. In order to have an impact on their practice, and ultimately their pupil’s experiences, they must evaluate their practice and then reflect upon it. This should eventually lead to the teacher having a better understanding of their practice and, through working collaboratively with others, they will find ways in which to improve it.

For teachers, being an enquiring practitioner is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding that is required in order to become the kind of teacher that is able to question, challenge and have a deep understanding of teaching and learning.

An enquiring professional is:

  • Adaptive
  • Open to change
  • Engages critically with their context and practice

Enquiry is about knowing deeply. This is knowing what, knowing why and knowing how. Teachers involved in enquiry will become critically informed, this will lead to transformative learning.

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Practitioner enquiry has many benefits and challenges.

Benefits

Practitioner Enquiry empowers teachers and encourages them to challenge and transform education.

 

It provides a way for teachers to monitor and develop their own practice

 

Teachers will begin investigating new strategies and initiatives

 

It will increase their knowledge of teaching and learning. Therefore enabling them to make judgements that are more professional.

 

It will enhance the teacher’s self-esteem and their professional identity.
Enable teachers collaboratively to enhance the curriculum.

However being an enquiring practitioner can have challenges. As it involves lots of collaborative working amongst teachers, they may find that they have opposing views which, in time, could cause friction amongst the group. This could turn into disagreements and end up not benefitting or having any positive impacts on their classes.

 

As a student teacher, practitioner enquiry is hugely beneficial. It will allow me to discover and adopt professional opinions while also questioning them in order to increase my knowledge. When on placement, and when qualified, I will be able to build on these existing skills and knowledge in order to better practice.

Online Unit 1: Section A, Activity 2

Recognition Reflection Action
Skills already developed How I will use these How do I know (evidence)**
Self-discipline When avoiding distractions in order to achieve personal goals, set prior. 

 

 

 

When I am completing a task, or studying, I do not act on impulse. I set a goal at the start of my work and ensure that I meet it. For example, when I have been completing TDTs, I give myself a set time (eg 3 days) to complete them. I have realised that I work more effectively when I set a task to complete and a time period in which it must be completed.
Set Personal Goals I (will) use this skill in order to monitor my progress (and assure I am on track) when there is something I have to achieve (e.g. Assignments, reading) An example of when I set a personal goal was when I was completing a TDT. The task was to read a chapter of a book. I noted that the chapter had 20 different sections to it, I then set a goal that I would read and evaluate 4 sections every night, over the course of 5 days. This worked well for me as it allowed me to fully concentrate on a section at a time, without rushing through it.
Team Work I will use this skill throughout my career as a teacher. It is vital for teachers to work well with each other (e.g. to share ideas and strategies) I know that I have well developed team working skills as I often work in teams effectively. When in school and college I always enjoyed working in teams and was able to negotiate and reach compromises with the other students.
Take Responsibility As a teacher I must be able to take responsibility for my actions, therefore must always be aware and sure of what I am doing. When in my placement, if I asked a pupil to do something and the teacher later asked them to do it differently, I would let the teacher know that I had asked them to do it. I know that I must take responsibility for my actions, even though they might not always be correct.
Recognition Reflection Action
Skills not yet developed How I will develop these How do I know (evidence)**
Problem Solve I will develop these by undertaking many problem solving questions and by challenging myself in real situations.   I will know that my ability to problem solve is improving when I can tackle these questions in a calm manner and can logically work my way through it.
Work Under Pressure  I will develop this by reminding myself to remain calm and complete the task at hand. I will know that my ability to work under pressure is improving when I am able to stay calm and not show any sign of distress when there is a deadline to be met.

Online Unit1: Section A, Activity 1- Identifying Skills and Abilities

Activity 1.  

(1=Not very well developed; 3=very well developed)

   Personal Skills: 

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Flexibility
Self confidence
Self-discipline
Work under pressure
Set personal goals
Take risks
Share opinions confidently

Interpersonal Skills

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Team work
Take responsibility
Build social networks
Manage Time
Act as a leader
Negotiation

 

Communication Skills    

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Make presentations
Listen to others
Debate formally and informally
Contribute to discussions
Converse confidently
Take notes
Write for academic purposes

Technical Skills

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Computing Skills
Be creative
Use technology

 Intellectual Skills     

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Problem solve
Generate new ideas
Work on own initiative
Organise and plan
Think critically
Evaluate information