During my two week block placement, I was based in one of two P6 classes. The class was at full capacity with 33 pupils, which gave me an insight into the difficulties that this can bring to a teacher. I’m definitely glad I got to experience this early on in my journey to becoming a teacher, and hopefully this means I will be more equipped to deal with big class sizes in years to come. It was also evident to me that due to the needs in the class, the teacher had to take on more of a nurturing role than she would normally. This also gave me a great insight into the complexities of a large group of children and how to cope with varying needs in the classroom. I am keen to develop my knowledge of Additional Support Needs in the classroom and how to support pupils in the appropriate way. I am also glad I got to witness days that didn’t go 100% smoothly, as this happens often in reality, and how teachers coped with hic-ups in a calm and collected manner – a skill that is crucial in being a primary teacher.
I spent the first week in the P6 class, getting to know the pupils and familiarising myself with their class routines. I got the opportunity to have some responsibility of the class and small groups, i.e. taking their spelling assessment, bringing in the lines in the morning and after break/lunch, leading a group in practically working out a problem solving question with hula hoops. My second week was spent getting a taste of other stages in the school – I got the chance to work with nearly every stage. This gave me a real understanding of the different teaching styles needed for different levels within a school. It was genuinely interesting to see different approaches of teachers from class to class, and I hope to take these inspirations on board to develop my own professional teaching style.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on placement: it allowed me to put the theory I have learned so far into practice and gave me a context for my future learning. I think it will be easier to understand new concepts as I can relate it back to a realistic setting.