So after two quick weeks in my first school placement I’ve found myself back at uni with an overwhelming sense of dread and fear for what the next hectic 4 weeks of my life is going to bring. Endless assignments, studying, research, academic reading, getting to grips with referencing and just in general managing to survive till I finish for Christmas!
However, looking back on a successful and eye opening two weeks in my first school experience I can only feel excited for what my future career holds! (The good, the bad and the ugly of course!)
In the lead up to starting my time in the school I felt excited yet slightly nervous just by being the ‘new student’ going into a busy school environment where relationships and friendships had already been formed. However, I found throughout the duration of my placement that I communicated and worked well with all members of staff that I dealt with and most importantly the pupils in classes that I worked in. I felt that having previous experience working in schools and being a youth group leader I already had the confidence and ability to assert myself when appropriate and become an authoritative figure to the pupils I worked with. By using my initiative and confidence this allowed me to successfully become part of an effective team for my short stay and build a rapport with both staff and pupils in the classrooms, staff room and playground.
Area of Most Progress
Being in the classroom with the children is where I felt most comfortable. Whether it was working with a child one to one or in group tasks with 6 or 8 pupils I felt I was in my comfort zone and in control of the environment I was in. Working in the classroom alongside the class teacher and being involved in the daily routines and pupil’s learning allowed me to develop skills and abilities I thought I already had confidence in. With assurance and praise from the class teacher that I was conducting myself in a professional yet nurturing manner allowed me to delve more into the children’s educational experiences and use my initiative to assist the class teacher in her planning and teaching. Using my creative abilities I was able to complete making props for the school nativity alongside using new ideas for the children to make at their annual Christmas fayre. Along with developing good rapport with the children and getting to know their names and learning styles this certainly made me feel like I was progressing successfully and developing my interpersonal skills throughout.
Area Requiring Progress
Looking through my self reflections and peer observations the one thing that appeared was my pace when delivering an input to children in a small group. Talking quickly is something I have felt I’ve always done and am aware of but find it difficult to overcome and fix. However, this is something I am aware I need to focus on and need to implement strategies to overcome this in order to make my pace slower and easier for children to understand and take in what I am saying.
Receiving my school assessment report form was a great confidence boost and assured me that my two weeks in the school were valuable to not only myself but those who I worked with. On advice from the class teacher I will continue to conduct myself in a friendly and professional manner whilst maintaining a nurturing and caring attitude towards the pupils. I will continue to use my initiative and offer my assistance to class teachers, pupils and other staff in the school for if and when they require it. Strategies to improve my pace of speech such as breathing techniques and looking back at recordings of myself presenting will allow me to improve and record areas in which I find I talk too quickly and implement strategies such as pausing or breathing to ensure I talk slower for those around me to understand me more concisely. Continuing to engage positively with all staff and children as well as maintaining calm and capable characteristics that will serve me well in my upcoming career.