Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment

Dance is a universal language…

Increasingly, I am becoming more and more passionate about incorporating dance into the curriculum in new and inspiring ways. Dance really is a universal language, anyone can dance – any where, any place, any time – and I find there is something beautiful about the telling of a story without the need for words.

I feel that within the curriculum, Expressive Arts are greatly overlooked and considered to be of minimal importance in comparison to areas such as Literacy or the STEM subjects. In my opinion, the role of the teacher is to engage pupils in their learning and to help them to ENJOY what they are studying and by regularly incorporating Dance, Drama, Art and Music into everyday lessons that key enjoyment can be readily achieved.

During the dance workshops, I was pleased to realise that all my previous experience in teaching dance was pretty spot on in terms of what we are expected to do as a teacher – pat on the back for Miss Petrie. I’m not really scared to teach dance in the primary schools, in fact it’s probably the are I’m most comfortable with. I have always loved teaching and learning in relation to literacy through dance; unpicking the key elements of a story, poem or play and recreating it to make a short, stimulating dance drama piece.

My favourite experience as a dance leader was creating a short dance-drama piece on the poem Havisham by Carol-Ann Duffy. I studied Duffy at both Higher and Advanced Higher level in English and LOVED her work and the prospect of bringing her words to life inspired me. I worked with around 40 girls from 1st year to 6th year, presenting the poem in a new & exciting way – bringing the words out of the paper and making sense of them on the stage. By the end of one month of practice, we all knew the poem word for word and the story behind the words inside-out. The best part for me was seeing young girls who ‘HATED’ English, actively engaging with and enjoying great Scottish literature. How many English teachers could have inspired that simply with a few annotations to the side of each verse on a page?

I’m a huge advocate for literature through dance, anything through dance for that matter! I would really encourage any one who feels they couldn’t teach a dance lesson to give it a go. In my opinion, there is no ‘right’ way to dance – you just go with the flow and do what you feel. I find it empowering to express my thoughts and ideas in creative ways, and I would love to encourage my pupils to feel the same.





Congratulations on your engagement….

Over the past few months, my interest in blogging on the e-portfolio has ceased to exist with my last blog post dating back to October. Even then, as I read through the page it becomes increasingly apparent to me that not one post is demonstrative of my passion, commitment and desire to do well within my teaching career. To an onlooker it may seem that I am underperforming, not engaging with the TDT’s set by lecturers and failing to show any insight into the world of teaching through reflection on external reading – but this is very far from the truth. I am continually inspired by what I am learning from day-to-day on the course, I just express this in different ways. I prefer a more creative approach than just words on a page, I feel as though when I am writing the blog posts I am just churning out information and thoughts with no real connection to the subject at the heart of them. I haven’t engaged with the e-portfolio because I have increasingly felt that it didn’t mirror my own creative style and therefor was not conducive to my learning – just a case of ticking a box set by the university.

Photo by Master isolated images. Published on 30 March 2013  Stock photo - Image ID: 100152582

Photo by Master isolated images. Published on 30 March 2013
Stock photo – Image ID: 100152582


However, our latest input on the e-portfolio really did get me thinking about how my own considerations regarding the online blogging portal were similar to the experiences of children within the classroom. Not all children learn in the same ways and this fact doesn’t dissipate as we become adults. When a child is struggling to learn in a certain way do you give up? No… You find new and interesting ways to engage the child in the subject area and help them to understand and enjoy what they are learning. To cut a long story short, I’ve decided to apply the same technique to my own learning in relation to my participation in the e-portfolio and find new ways to engage with the content of the lectures, workshops etc to allow me to feel inspired again. Expect colour, vibrance, pictures, videos, crazy mind-maps and scribbled annotations – when I am creative I am most engaged, and to develop as a professional and connect with my education I really need to get under the skin of things in a way that reflects my personal learning style best.

Photo by zirconicusso. Published on 07 September 2015  Stock photo - Image ID: 100356695

Photo by zirconicusso. Published on 07 September 2015
Stock photo – Image ID: 100356695

Congratulations, Miss Petrie – you are FINALLY engaged.


Social Work Module

I am really enjoying my elective module, ‘Working together to achieve social justice’ as part of the Social Work course. There are lots of interesting ideas being shared within my study group that I can reflect on. It is interesting to work with Social Work and CLD students as I will likely be working with them in the near future.

We have recently been looking at collaboration; in particular collaborative advantage and collaborative inertia. By looking at two case studies, one which showed advantage and the other inertia, i feel like I was able to fully understand the meaning of these terms and will be able to use them appropriately in future academic response.

We are heading out to a placement on the 26th of this month, my group will be based at Baldragon Academy while other groups have different placements within the community. I am looking forward to being able to feed back what we have learned in the ‘world cafe’ presentations but more so to see what the other groups have to say on their placements.

The module is a really great addition to my core modules and I am glad I was able to change over. It ties in so well with things we are currently studying as well as some of the content in the online modules. I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks on the course.

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.