Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment

How do I feel about teaching music?- Taking the quiz

1. How confident do you feel about music?
b. Quite confident

1. What is your experience of learning to play a musical instrument?                                         a. I can and still do play a musical instrument (But only occasionally nowadays)

1. If you did play a musical instrument in your youth but have since given up, what was your reason for this? (choose the most suitable option below)                                                    c. I was too busy with other things/interests

1. How do you rate your ability in music?                                                                                           a. I think I’m quite musical (and play an instrument/sing)

1. What were your experiences of music in the primary school as a pupil? (choose the most suitable option below)                                                                                                                    a. Singing around the piano with the music teacher
b. Playing tuned/ untuned percussion instruments and/or recorder                                                  d. Singing in a choir and/or musical shows

1. What was your most significant (positive or negative) experience of music in primary school?                                                                                                                                                           b. I loved playing the musical instruments

1. How would you rate your ability to read musical notation?                                                     b. Have a basic grounding but may be a little rusty

1. How much do you enjoy music in your day-to-day life?                                                              a. I enjoy listening to music and have distinct likes and dislikes of certain types of music

1. How important is music to you?                                                                                                        b. I enjoy music and feel it enhances some things

1. Of the four curricular areas listed below, which of these are you most (if at all) apprehensive about teaching?                                                                                                                c. PE


While I am by no stretch a musical genius I have an idea of the basics and managed to make it to grade 5 with my piano playing. I do feel slightly apprehensive when it comes to teaching music but this is simply because of the pressure I feel to recreate the stunningly high quality music education I was given. Throughout primary and secondary school I was lucky enough to have music teachers who were incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about their subject and they spread a love for music through all their pupils. My music teachers were a real inspiration to me and have contributed to my desire to become a teacher as I hope I can bring the same level of enthusiasm and joy to all the subjects I teach. While I was in primary school I attended choir, recorder classes, piano lessons, orchestra and we had music lessons and singing assembly’s. As it was a church school we also attended ceremonies within the church which always involved music and we sang hymns during every assembly. Although I never took on the religion the sense that music is important and should be a large part of school life has stuck with me throughout my education, I can still remember my disappointment when I realised you didn’t sing during assemblies at my secondary school. The fact that our musical life within the school was spread across all the year groups it also helped to create a strong community feeling inside the school and my memory of primary school was everyone knowing each other and getting on, although it was a relatively small, middle class school within a well-off Cambridge suburb which probably helped us all get along as we were all having relatively easy childhoods. The music department within my secondary school was also incredible, they produced incredibly talented children year after year who go on to do incredibly well in life, two of my peers now attend the Royal Academy of Music. However once I moved to Scotland and spent my last two school years doing my highers I attended a school which valued high grades a great deal and pushed its pupils to achieve the most they could but completely ignored music and other expressive arts. They had a sparse number of extra curricular music activities which hardly any pupils attended and were rarely advertised. This school produced one Christmas concert which ended up being cancelled both years I was there and that was the only celebration of the music department within the school.  This stark contrast really showed me the importance of music within a school and has made me really determined to overcome any concerns I have over teaching music and ensure that the class I teach take on my enjoyment of music and let it change the way they see school life.


Lesson planning

Today was my first attempt at lesson planning, and despite having an input on lesson planning earlier today and doing some extra reading on the subject it was still surprisingly more difficult than I was expecting as although I was aware it wasn’t going to be completely simple there was much more to think about than I previously thouappleght. Instead of simply deciding what I needed to teach and how I was going to present my lesson in a fun and engaging way I also had to consider how I would assess whether or not each stage of my lesson was working to the standard I wanted and then evaluate what the next steps for my pupils needs to be. As I never actually got to teach this lesson I could not complete the ‘Evaluating my practice’ section however I looked at the questions and considered how I would have to be constantly reviewing myself as I taught the lesson. I like the format of the lesson planning sheet we were given as I felt that it was very clear and supported me a great deal. Although it did take me longer than expected to complete the sheet I am not concerned as I am sure that the longer I am on this course and the more I try lesson planning the faster I will be and once I have more teaching experience I will need less detailed lesson plans.


This is my lesson plan: Spooky story writing lesson plan

To complete the experience I decided to also create a power point which I would put onto the interactive white board and use as a teaching tool which would make my lesson much more engaging and interesting for the pupils.

This is my power point:  Spooky story writing power point


Although it was more of a challenge than I expected I thoroughly enjoyed making both my lesson plan and the accompanying power point, and it has helped my confidence when thinking about teaching on placement.

Professionalism and social media

We are living during a time ruled over by the internet and a whole host of forms of social media, this is both exciting and daunting, especially when starting out on a professional career. Social media can be incredibly useful as it allows for rapid spread of information, we find out about global events at a much faster rate than ever before, in fact in 2012 there were more than five million Instagram posts, 175 million tweets and 250 million Facebook photos being uploaded per day. This wide variety of information being available to us is extremely useful as we can now know far more about the world we live in and take part much more in a global community. Professionally social media is useful as it allows for discussion over many topics and encourages participation from many people who care about the profession, for example new teaching regulations can be discussed by the teaching professionals and this will lead to a stronger and more developed profession where all those involved have had an input. However as a professional you must keep your personal life separate from your working life, you must also always keep your professional boundaries and moral standards. Social media gives us a chance to voice any thoughts and opinions you may have and this is a fantastic opportunity but can also lead to serious issues or ruin your professional appearance. There have been many cases where an inappropriate comment made on social media or a photo showing non-professional behavior have emerged and ruined the career or reputation of a member of the teaching profession. However through careful monitoring and thought you can marry your personal and professional life online. You can share interesting ideas and news stories which you feel will enhance your professional life, sites like Pinterest are also useful as they provide a vast resource pf creative ideas and help make new and exciting ways to teach. I plan to keep social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram separate from my professional life as I feel these are more personal and I use them as a way to keep in touch with friends. However I have a Pinterest which I collect interesting teaching ideas on and if I was to get Twitter I would use it for my professional life. However all forms of social media need to be kept professional and I monitor what I allow to be put up and will never make a statement which could be deemed unprofessional or put my career at risk. They key factor when using social media as a professional is that you have to remain sensible and always be aware of how you are presenting yourself.

How did gender affect me when I was a child?

I was lucky enough to go to a primary school which was very inclusive of both girls and boys. I didn’t come across many incidences of gender stereotyping while at primary school. The main incident which sticks in my mind was during the casting for the annual nativity play. Every year I asked to be a shepherd and every year I was told that that role was for a boy and that I would get to be an angle. In fact unless you played Mary as a girl the only other role available to you was to be an angel. The boys on the other hand could be shepherds, wise men or an animal. This always bothered me and I knew it was unfair I complained to my mum at home and while she agreed that it was unfair she pointed out that that was the way it was. So I had to stand on stage in an itchy tinsel halo while the proud shepherds paraded past. The only other visible gender stereotype during my primary school days was the fact that we were sat girl-boy as the girls were ‘calmer’ than the boys and were supposed to have a good influence on the boys making them work harder. Although this probably did help some of the boys it also distracted many of the girls and re-enforced the idea that a girl is quiet and calm and the boys get to be noisy and move around.

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 pull in a Flickr page

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.