Monthly Archives: January 2017

Reflective Practice

we-do-not-learn-fromThe SPR section 3.4.2 emphasises the importance of reflection and the part in which it plays on professional development, I am now more aware of how important reflection will be both in my professional practice and in my teaching career.

Reflecting on semester 1, one of the most important moments of my professional development was the process of working collaboratively across the professions in the Working Together Module.

Although I have worked in groups throughout my time at school, the experience of working collaboratively across three different professions was a new concept to me however I feel as though the whole experience was a key moment in my professional development.

Throughout my collaborative practice I learned more about the three different professions and the skills and attributes each professions bring to work collaboratively, I also learned more about group working and the skills and qualities needed to work effectively in a group towards a common shared goal. This experience was a key moment in my professional development as I now feel as though I am more informed on collaborative working and this will allow me to confidently work with others both when I am on placement and in my future work. I also feel that by working with others in a school setting I will further develop my knowledge and understanding of collaborative working and gain more experience in working with others.

Following todays input on reflective practice, the process of reflection is now something I am much more aware of and conscious about. I now have a brief understanding of theorists such as Dewey and Schon and will now read more into these theorists and their ways of thinking in order to prepare myself to effectively reflect on my practice when I am on my placement.

The process of reflection now has much more of a meaning to me, I know what the characteristics of a good reflection are and how to reflect on a lesson. I feel as though the knowledge I have gained about the process of reflection will aid me in effectively reflecting whilst out on my professional practice, by considering what went well and what could be improved, considering why things may not have gone the way I had intended them to and also linking my reflection to my goals with reference to literature.

Overall, reflection is vital in my own professional development and I will continue to further my understanding of the process by reading to ensure that I can effectively reflect on my own lessons and practice in the future.

Health and Wellbeing

As part of our most recent health and wellbeing input we were advised to watch two videos about the importance of early years, pre birth-three. One of the videos was by Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk and the other was by John Carnochan OBE.

Both videos focussed on the fact that as humans, we are brought into the world much earlier in our brain development than other species due to the size of our brains. This means that children’s brains are still developing throughout the early stages of life and factors such as relationships that they have with significant people in their life and the quality of environment around them will have an impact on their brain.

A scenario focussed on in the clips is that if a child is brought up in a home wherein domestic violence takes place, the child’s brain will then be focussed on the violent environment and the stress around the, the brain will then see the world around them as a threatening place and be focussed on spotting the next threat, this can then make t difficult for a child to concentrate in a classroom setting therefore have an impact on their learning.

Due to brain development being ongoing in the early years of a child’s life, it is important that children have significant others in their life and a safe, consistent environment to ensure that their brain development assists their learning and does not hinder it. For some children the only place that they will have this safe, consistent and supportive environment is within nursery or school.

By watching the videos I am now more aware of the importance we have, as primary practitioners to ensure that children have this safe and consistent environment available to them as many will not have it at home. I feel as though having this knowledge will impact on my professional practice as I will ensure that my classroom is a place in which my pupils feel safe and supported and I will aim to be a significant other in the life’s of my pupils to ensure I can aid their brain development and watch them grow as learners and also as individuals.

Teaching Across the Curriculum- Dance

When I noticed that a dance workshop would take place in the second week of the semester I instantly looked forward to participating. I have danced for around 13 years now and it has always been something that I see as not only a hobby but also as one of my main strengths. I taught a dance class for younger children during my final year at primary school and have been part of a dance group for as long as I can remember, now at which I assist in taking classes for younger dancers and have done for the past 3 years.

After reading parts of “Get Scotland Dancing: A Literature Review (2014)” I now have a clearer understanding of the various purposes dance can have- whether it be to improve physical health, to portray emotion or to reflect on human behaviour in society- dance is something that has an involvement in our lives at some point or another. Also by reading the article I have become more aware in the part dance plays in our culture here in Scotland which roots from our folk history. However, research has shown that at present, a low percentage of Scottish people participate in dance regularly. Dance can be a great form of improving physical wellbeing therefore if we teach dance to our pupils with enthusiasm and passion it will then allow them to enjoy what they are participating in whilst forming a healthy lifestyle and learning new skills all at the same time.

There are many individual factors which suggest that dance may only be aimed at a certain group of people, these factors include age, gender and motivations. It is part of our job, as teachers, to ensure that every child in our class feels as though they can fully participate and express themselves with confidence in the things they do, therefore by teaching dance from a young age, this will allow the children to both grow in confidence and develop their skills.

I feel as though my own experiences and my dance background will help me in terms of teaching the dance curriculum. I still feel as though I will face some challenges that will perhaps include getting the children to have the confidence to participate or finding the enthusiasm to fully enjoy what they are being taught. My goal, as a teacher is to ensure that all of my pupils feel confident and comfortable enough to participate and enjoy the dance curriculum, I aim for a relaxed environment in which the children can enjoy their learning and gain new skills.

Although I feel as though dance will be one of the areas I am most confident in to teach, I have still set myself a goal which is to familiarise myself with the curriculum around dance and to broaden my own creativity to come up with various different ideas to use whilst teaching dance to a class.

I feel as though teaching the dance curriculum will come with both ups and downs but it is something that I am greatly looking forward to doing in the future.