Category Archives: Professional Goals and Reflection on Placement

Placement Experience

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.

Self Evaluation Study Task

After watching the videos, I feel I am more aware of the importance of self-evaluation. I understand that the only way to improve and move forward is to take time to reflect on how well you did something and what you could improve for future. Without taking the time to look back and evaluate, you may stunt your professional progression. It is hard to get into the habit of self-evaluating. It can seem a little unnatural and uncomfortable, but the rewards definitely make it worthwhile and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.

With placement fast approaching, it will be useful for me to take time to reflect on how I perform when I am there, and what aspects could do with some improving. I know that it is okay to make mistakes (which is very likely in your first placement), as long as we learn from them. Hopefully this will mean I get the most out of my time at placement. Placement is an exciting but nerve-racking time, so it is important to use time efficiently and make sure we benefit from our time at school.

From watching the videos, I understand not only that self-evalutaion is important but also that peer evaluation is also key. A lot of the time, someone else can pick up on things you don’t notice. A second pair of eyes can catch things that may have slipped through the net. It is important for a peer or mentor to be encouraging, by giving praise as well as areas to improve. The videos talked about how vital it is for a trainee and mentor to have a good relationship of respect and understanding, in order to give effective feedback. I think it is also important that we, as teachers, are comfortable receiving feedback and don’t take it personally – we all want to be the best we can be professionally, and the only way to achieve this is through evaluation and reflection. We should make sure when we are reporting back to a trainee or peer, that we give constructive criticism and feedback, rather than judgement.