Following Derek’s input on reflection in practice, I have been reflecting on my experiences and development throughout semester one.
The beginning of semester 1 was challenging for me, as i am sure it was for others, in terms of finding my feet socially and gaining the confidence to speak out and have an input in so many situations that were foreign to me, with so many people whom i had never met. As I began to mingle more with my course-mates and make friends, I felt increasingly more relaxed in group situations and expressing my views in lectures.
The Working Together module was very useful in aiding me in developing my confidence when working with others in a university environment, as we were placed into groups with students studying each of the three professions; Education, Social Work and CLD. During the first few weeks of working as a group we found ourselves forcing conversation to break the awkward silences and hesitating to share our views if they opposed another group member’s – which happened often based on the differing viewpoints from each profession. However, as we became more and more comfortable and got to know each other better, it became clear how lucky we were as a group as every individual was motivated, respectful and open to share, listen and take on board all points shared within the group without making anyone’s input seem invalid. Because I had such friendly group members, this majorly increased my confidence in speaking out in university environments and was an excellent way of making new friends along with learning about the work of all of the aforementioned professions. Because of this, I feel that the Working Together module was the most beneficial for me in semester one as it gave me such insight into work I hadn’t previously considered and made the beginning of university a lot less stressful for me.
The Values module, however, was a lot more challenging for me to grasp as I found many of the subject areas covered in lectures were dull or repetitive. This caused me to often lose focus in lectures as I would find myself thinking of other things, which caused me to struggle when it came to later writing the assignment as I probably missed some valuable information. I did enjoy the seminars based on how interactive they often were. These were much more appealing to me as I was able to hear a range of viewpoints on different topics being discussed and share my own points of view with many different people within the course.
When it came to the assignments for each module I definitely found the Values assignment more challenging. This may be due to the fact that part of the Working Together assignment was completed as a group and so the work was distributed between us all. I definitely needed to put in extra work to complete the Values assignment in order to get the grade I had hoped for, and luckily I received grades that I was very happy with in both modules.
Ultimately, semester one was a great start to the course and I hope that my experiences will be just as positive for the rest of the year!