Semester one reflection

Reading and organisation are two words that I have heard over and over again during semester one. I’m sure this will be the same during the next three years. At the beginning of first semester I was sure I would remain organised and keep up to date with all relevant reading, however I can honestly say this wasn’t quite the case. Although I did attend every input for all of my modules and took part in any tasks given I still believe I could have been a lot more productive with my time which is a vital skill for a teacher. I did manage to earn good grades on all of my assignments including my elective but I was very last minute and this resulted in causing myself a lot more stress than necessary. After receiving good grades I knew I was capable but wondered if I hadn’t left it till the very last minute would I have been given even better grades?  This semester I plan to develop my time management skills to make assignments less stressful for myself and to ensure I have the right skills required to be an effective teacher in practice.

To begin with I was unsure about why reflection was so important and why there was such a huge deal made about it. Already I am beginning to see the advantages to reflecting critically. It has helped me to decide what I need to improve on in this semester academically and am looking forward to seeing what advantages it will bring me during my placement. I think it will be a great tool to use everyday not only for my student years but throughout the whole of my teaching practice. I feel as though it will benefit me hugely during my placement and I will try to use critical reflection as much as possible. Hopefully during my placement I will also be able to develop time management skills which are absolutely vital.


The first value’s workshop

Last Tuesday marked our first workshop of the Values: Self, society and professions module. To say I was anxious about what would be involved was an understatement. When we arrived to the class we were randomly split into four different groups. I was in group four (if only I knew the implications of this beforehand).

Each group was given a large brown envelope. The task was to create a tool to help a new student joining the University of Dundee. This all seemed very exciting until we opened our envelope and seen how little we had to work with. We were given a post-it note, three paper clips and a pencil. To begin with we were completely shocked – we had no idea what we could possibly make out of this with such little resources. After discussing what we first struggled with we decided to make a campus map out of the envelope with the sticky note pointing out key places to know. Although our idea was not the most creative we felt fairly proud as we made the most of what we were given. It was however, disheartening when Carrie made her way around the groups and didn’t seem to like ours at all. We had no clue what more we could possibly have done.

When the presentations begun it became apparent that the other groups had a lot more to work with than we did. Carrie was extremely impressed with group one’s design constantly praising them throughout the presentation. However, as the presentation went on Carrie seemed more and more disinterested with out group being last. We were given no eye contact and no praise. This was a humiliating thing to experience as we really had tried our best to be resourceful.

We were then made aware that it was all an act (which my group were very pleased about!). This was to increase our awareness of inequalities n society; in both large and small scale scenarios. There is inequality everywhere – between countries, genders, cultures, race etc. However, inequality is also massively present in the classroom. This could be concerning many different issues such as academic skills or something so little as who has the nicest school uniform.

This workshop highlighted to me just how important it is to ensure that each child is treated with equal opportunities in an educational setting. Whether they’re in group one or group four each child should be given the same attention to prevent embarrassment and lack of confidence. I feel very strongly about this aspect of teaching and feel that the workshop has deepened my understanding of how it feels to be in ‘group four’ in the classroom which emphasises how important it is to have no hierarchy in the classroom.

Why teaching?

Deciding to apply to teaching was a pretty simple decision. I was very lucky to receive the best support from all my teachers from nursery through to my last year at high school. One particular teacher inspired me to follow the teaching career path.

Mrs H (as we knew her) was both my primary one and primary seven teacher. I can honestly say that my memories of Mrs H are some of the greatest memories in my school career. Learning was always fun in the classroom and it was very nice to feel as though She was not only there to teach but to be your friend and confidante. ‘I’ve seen your class grow fantastically in the last seven years’ I always remember her saying at the primary seven leavers assembly. It was then that I knew for sure that I wanted to be a teacher. To be able to feel so proud and really make a difference to a child’s school career is amazing to me.

I am really looking forward to beginning my journey through university and can’t quite believe that in four years time I will be a fully qualified primary school teacher. The idea of making such a great impact on a child’s life is unbelievably exciting and I hope that one day I can be just as good as Mrs H and possibly even influence another child to follow the amazing career that is teaching!