Reflections & Evaluations

On Friday 18th January Derek gave us a lecture on how to reflect effectively. Reflecting as a teacher is a very important skill as it furthers you improving your skills and practise as a teacher.

The Standards for Registration under the heading Professional Skills and Abilities (3.4.2), this highlights the importance of and ways in which reflection acts in the daily life of a teacher and the development of the prospective teacher.

Derek asked us to reflect on one of the most important moments of my professional development in semester 1. In my opinion, the process of reflection is extremely important. When you make the wrong decision or have a blunder you always learn not to do it again, you reflect on what you did wrong to make sure you don’t do it again. A very common saying ‘you learn from your mistakes’ is something that we all say when we haven’t done the right thing. Looking forward to working with my primary 7 class, where after each lesson I prepare I will reflect on what I thought went right and wrong alongside my tutor’s thoughts to come to an overall reflection of what I could do better and the positives of the experience.

In semester 1 the Working Together module involved working collaboratively with 10 others from Education, Social Work and Community Learning Development. When preparing the presentation on Working Together we reflected on how our group worked together collaboratively. As my group all got on so well it was hard to think of any negatives however we reflected upon the positives. The positives lead us to come together as a group and produce a final presentation. However, as we mentioned in the presentation due to the friendships we made it made it difficult to focus on work at certain points.

Overall reflection is a skill that as a prospective teacher I will develop and learn from in the present and the future.

Racism still exists.

A race is just how society groups humans. Different races have different characteristics which make each of us unique. Everyone regardless of race should be treated equally and fairly, because we are human and put simply humans have rights. Reflecting on Derek’s lecture surrounding social inequality and engaging with the materials on week 3 of the values module, I have certainly gained insight and have grown an interest how as a society we still are learning and developing to treat each other equally. Racism today isn’t so much of an issue compared to decades ago, however it still exists today and forever will. After Derek’s lecture, it made me realise how complex racism actually is.

Surrounding the term race. It is simply how humans are categorized. Many years ago racism was a major problem in society. Derek showed us cases such as Emmet Till, Stephen Lawrence and many other cases which clearly shows the social segregation at that time in history. Black people were not treated fairly at that point in time. Events like this and how they were handled at that point in time clearly highlights the injustice in the system and how it has affected society today. Stereotypes exist and will do for the rest of eternity and racism is partly to blame for this. Evidence wise it shows that police are far more likely to stop a coloured person in the street presuming they have a gun and are going to cause harm, this is much less likely with if a young white person was walking down the street. Why does the colour of someone’s skin make police think they are harmful? Unfortunately, we only have a society to blame for this. At this point in time, you would think that it has changed however innocent unarmed African American people have been shot or physically hurt by the police force in America, as people still have stereotypes and prejudice towards coloured people. We refer to this as unconscious bias, we are all guilty of implicit bias. The implicit bias of the mind encourages stereotypes concerning social groups, they come into your mind automatically and it is exceptionally hard to control these as they are engraved in our minds. As unfair and unjustifiable it sounds, two women going for the same job, the black women have more qualifications compared to the white women the white woman is more likely to achieve the position. Implicit Bias gives a reason why discrimination and inclusion in various forms still persist today. Discrimination is wrong and always will be, it does in no way give an excuse to discriminate against certain groups however always be on our conscience.

Engaging with materials on campus pack the videos linked I found practically interesting. While watching the videos I felt myself not being able to take my eyes off the screen the words they used were so powerful. Clint Smith’s video “How to raise a black son in America” opened up my mind, by putting yourself in the shoes of someone who has gone through the prejudice black people face every day. Clint reflects on how as a child his parents felt like they had to protect their children much more than white parents. Playing out on the streets, simple fun for kids of a young age playing with water guns. Just because Clint was black a water gun can be interpreted as something very different. In the video, his dad quotes ” you can’t act the same as your white friends”. To me, I find that absolutely unfair and non-justifiable, children are young and just because they are a different colour of skin they should be able to go out and play and not worry.

Every human should be treated equally. No question about it. Your unconscious bias does not reflect your actions. As a teacher, every pupil will be treated with respect in my classroom.

Not just a teacher, a role model.

As a teacher, you become a child’s role model. I see the profession of teaching as a challenge. You are placed in a classroom with the ability to motivate and build more confident young people. Over time you build a connection with the pupils in the classroom and this allows you to motivate them through engaging lessons suited to enhance their learning experience. Through various opportunities, I have had I have been able to reflect on each of them to build on knowledge that I will use when it is my chance to educate young people. There are very few teachers that have made a difference to me and have shaped me as a person, these are the teachers that I will always remember. That’s my number one priority as a teacher. To have an impact on children’s lives would mean so much to me. The passion I have for teaching and making a difference in children’s lives will lead them to have a positive perspective on learning through their whole lives. What can I bring to the profession of teaching? The passion and dedication I have to teach and the relationship I form with my pupils will be something rewarding and I can look back on in later life as a massive achievement.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The ePortfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can upload an image or pull one in from Flickr or any other image sharing site.

Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.