Sophie Cairney UWS ITE ePDP

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November 13, 2018
by Sophie Cairney

Reflections on Placement


An area of strength for me within placement was having the ability to engage children in their work and use an appropriate level of communication and language that the children understood. I was given the opportunity to take small groups of children out and help them improve their reading, this involved focusing the children on the task ahead and ensuring that anyone who was struggling was able to get the support that they needed. This required me to be patient which is also one of my strengths which became evident throughout placement. It became clear that the children were at different levels with their reading and some took longer to read their sentences than others. This gave me the opportunity to practice being patient with the pupils and not put them under any pressure to read faster.

Area of Most Progress 

Each day within my time at placement my confidence grew, this is my area of most progress as in such a short space of time I was able to create many positive relationships with both the pupils and staff at the school. I became increasingly involved in both the classroom environment and the staffroom environment, offering any support and guidance and having everyday conversations with teachers. I became more confident within myself and my ability to help the pupils.

Area of Requiring Progress

My area of requiring progress that I recognised from placement is needing to focus more on involving non participating pupils. Although one of my strengths was engaging pupils and keeping them focused on their work, some of the pupils from the class I observed would become very distracted and often not participate in lessons. An area for me to focus on would be discovering strategies on how to focus these pupils and get them involved in the class discussions and group tasks. Another area that requires progress is learning different ways of helping children with their maths questions, it became clear to me that some children were struggling with the basic concepts and I also struggled with alternative ways of helping them.

Action Plan

I plan on continuing my strengths and working on the areas that were highlighted to me by my peer and the teacher observing me as areas for development. I will also offer support to others in my course if one of my areas of strength has been identified as one of their areas for development, in turn I will also seek advice from others in my course who may be able to share some tips on how to meet my targets.

September 25, 2018
by Sophie Cairney

Situated Communication – Outdoor Experience

Within my group there was no designated group leader, as all the groups were small we were all able to contribute ideas and take lead if need be. Due to no group leader being decided it allowed everyone in the group to suggest strategies and explain how they would carry out their ideas, this in turn meant that no one was excluded. The most challenging aspect about working in this group for me was still not knowing everyone in my group and trying to get to know them whilst remaining focused on the task set.

When another group came to explain their ideas and actions for tackling the challenge I think they explained it clearly and concisely.  They used eye contact with everyone in my group and supported their ideas with reasoning. They also would refer to certain materials they used and demonstrated how they were useful so that others were able to visual their thoughts. When speaking the group were also loud and clear so that they were able to be heard by everyone, however they were not shouting.

The environment had a slight impact on our communication as it was often difficult to hear some members of the group due to the noise surrounding us for example, the trees blowing in the wind. When explaining to others our ideas we changed the volume of our voices so that we were able to be heard over the background noise but made sure not to shout or have an aggressive tone. It was challenging speaking over the sounds of the environment however it can be made easier by making eye contact with your audience and for those listening to be making eye contact in return. This ensures that the speaker and the audience are paying attention to one another. Also to overcome this if possible try and make the surrounding areas quiet and less distracting.

The negotiations that my group made with others were successful as we were able to trade them an item of material in return for something of theirs. The most challenging aspect about the negotiation was trying to convince the other group to trade certain items without coming across rude or informal.

September 17, 2018
by Sophie Cairney

October Placement

Approaching my school placement in October I am looking forward to having the opportunity of experiencing life as a teacher. I am eager to observe certain techniques that teachers may use throughout lessons and how they approach certain situations, also taking part in lessons and getting to know the pupils that I will be helping over those two weeks. Although I welcome the idea of going on placement I am aware that I may be presented with challenges and it will be interesting to monitor how I cope with these situations. I believe that using this resource will benefit me over the next four years as I will be able to look back on my progress and development.

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