IB Reflective Activity 3

Developing your understanding of the history and philosophies of the IB.

There are many IB Education Trends from the 1960s that also align with the CfE in many ways. For example, ‘Student Choice’ aligns with the CfE because one of the principles in CfE is ‘Personalisation and Choice’. This trend is vital in both IB and CfE because pupil voice is extremely important in schools in order to make the schools the best possible place to learn for the pupils. If they can get a say on how they are learning it gives teachers an idea of how to find an approach that works best for the pupils which helps the teachers evaluate their techniques. It also allows pupils to learn in a way that interests and stimulates them.

Secondly, I believe that the trends ‘Range of Skills Testing’, ‘Constructivism’ and ‘Transdisciplinarity’ align with the CfE principle ‘Relevance’. I think this because being taught a range of skills is needed for every day life because the more skills a person has, the better for their futures later in life.  ‘Transdisciplinarity’ is similar to interdisciplinary learning in CfE which is connecting lots of curricular areas to enhance learning across all areas. Transdiciplinary skills are skills that are valuable in the classroom but also outside of school, hence why the trend aligns with the CfE principle ‘Relevance’ because these skills are necessary for living. ‘Constructivism’ is building knowledge from experiences and the fact that the experiences in both IB and CfE schools are ‘relevant’, it means that the knowledge they build up is beneficial for later in life as well as in school.

The trends ‘Child-centred’ and ‘Education of the whole child’ align with the CfE because in CfE the child is the focus of everything in the school. The children are the most important thing and it is the teachers job to give them the best quality education in both IB and CfE schools.

Finally, I believe that the trend ‘Criterion-referenced’ aligns very well with CfE. In the CfE lessons are planned out with reference to the Experiences and Outcomes documents across every curricular subject area. This makes sure that for every lesson there is a distinct learning intention and helps the teacher to provide suitable success criteria that are achievable and realistic. This helps the teacher to make lessons the best they can. Benchmarks and guidelines are also available for teachers in CfE which is even more beneficial to help create interesting lessons for all pupils.

IB Reflective Activity 2

Developing your understanding of the IB Learner Profile

The IB Learner Profile attributes are as follows:

Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced and Reflective.

The CfE’s four capacities are as follows:

Successful Learners, Responsible Citizens, Confident Individuals and Effective Contributors.

 

Between IB and CfE, there are many similarities and differences between these.

There are many more similarities than differences. To begin, The IB attribute ‘inquirers’ links to the CfE capacity ‘successful learners’ because they both encourage pupils to learn independently and in a group and also enables pupils to feel enthusiasm and motivation for learning.

Next, the IB attribute ‘knowledgeable’ applies to the CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ because they both provide opportunities for commitment to participate responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life and to engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. They both allow pupils to understand the world in which they live better.

Furthermore, the IB attribute ‘thinkers’ relates to the CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ because they both allow pupils to think critically and make informed choices and decisions in society and to develop informed ethical views of complex issues. This helps them to think about issues relevant to the society in which they live, helping them to understand how to contribute positively into society through making the right choices.

The IB attribute ‘communicators’ is similar to two CfE capacities; ‘confident individuals’ and ‘responsible citizens’. It is similar to ‘confident individuals’ because this capacity teaches pupils self-respect and gets them thinking about secure values and beliefs. The ‘communicators’ attribute enables pupils to express themselves creatively. It is similar to the ‘responsible citizens’ capacity because it enables pupils to have respect for others and understand different beliefs and cultures. The ‘communicators’ attribute enables pupils to listen carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

The IB attribute ‘open-minded’ is  very important because it encourages pupils to not be judgemental and accept anyone for who they are and what they believe in, even if they are different to themselves. The CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ is similar to this attribute because, again, it encourages pupils to understand different beliefs and values. The ‘open-minded’ attribute gets pupils to critically appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others, seeking to evaluate a range of points of view. This helps to create a more positive society for the future as it discourages negative mindsets and issues such as racism in society. Similarly to this attribute, the IB attribute ‘caring’ links to ‘responsible citizens’ in the CfE capacities because again it encourages pupils to have respect for others. The ‘caring’ attribute makes pupils show empathy compassion and respect.

‘Risk-takers’ in the IB attributes is also a very important attribute. It encourages pupils to approach uncertainty with forethought and determination and also makes pupils resilient in challenge and change. This is similar to the CfE capacity ‘effective contributors’ as it also encourages resilience and self-resilience in pupils. It also encourages pupils to apply critical thinking and new contexts.

‘Balanced’ is an IB attribute which relates to the subject of Health and Wellbeing in the CfE curriculum. The attribute is all about making sure the pupil has a good well being by having a good balance of intellectual, physical and emotional wellbeing. This is similar to the CfE in the ‘confident individuals’ capacity as it also gives pupils a sense of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Both curricula strive for pupils to be happy and have a good well being, so that they can be the best they can be and achieve their full potential.

Finally the ‘Reflective’ IB attribute is similar to the area of Growth Mindset in CfE. This gets pupils to think about how their learning is going and how they feel about their own learning. The ‘reflective’ attribute gets pupils to think about their strengths and weaknesses, which is similar to what Growth Mindset does for pupils in CfE.

 

The differences I noticed between the IB attributes and the CfE capacities were that the CfE is very much centred around Scotland; for example, although pupils do learn about the world around them, the ‘responsible citizens’ capacity states that children have the knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it. Whereas, IB schools do not have a focus and learn about the world around them in greater detail. In addition, I noticed that the ‘communicators’ attribute makes it a priority that pupils can speak more than one language in order to achieve better communication with the world around them, however, the CfE has made language learning bigger in schools, there is still less of a focus on speaking more than one language than in an IB school. Lastly, the ‘principled’ attribute teaches pupils to take responsibility for their own actions and their consequences, however this is not expressed as much in the CfE.

Through my educational experience, I have seen the attribute ‘reflective’ on more than one occasion. The first occasion I witnessed the attribute during my work experience in S6 when the class were focusing on Growth Mindset. The class completed a survey with the teacher on how they felt their learning was going throughout the year, being asked questions such as how they feel about how smart they felt, or how good they felt at a subject. In addition, I also came across it in my MA1 placement when the teacher did a Reflective Learning activity with the pupils, providing stations around the class rooms with questions about what they enjoyed learning about etc. Pupils have also been ‘risk- takers’ through completing the Chilli Challenge in my MA1 placement as well through having the chance to challenge themselves in choosing an activity that could be a bit more difficult.

 

On the whole, both curricula are extremely similar, and both work very well and provide pupils all over the world with the best quality education.

 

 

 

IB Reflective Activity 1

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a not-for-profit foundation, motivated by its mission  to create a better world through education (IB, 2015). From researching it further, it has made me realise connections IB and the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). The aims of IB are that it centres on learners, develops effective approaches to teaching and learning, works within global contexts and explores significant content (IB, 2013). The aim of the CfE is to help children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century, including skills for learning, life and work (Education Scotland, 2019).

The aims of the IB align with the aims of the CfE, for example, to begin, the aim of ‘centres on learners’ is very similar to the fact that in the CfE the children are the main focus of absolutely everything that goes on in the classroom. The pupils are the centre of attention and it is important to give them the best quality education possible.

In addition, similarly to CfE, IB develops effective approaches to teaching and learning. From my educational experience in the CfE, I have seen many effective approaches to teaching and learning such as creating good classroom talk, formative assessment and good restorative behaviour management. I can understand that IB will use similar approaches to help encourage people to listen to each other and learn from each other through communication, and understand each other better through the restorative approach and also through having a mix of different cultures existing in the school.

Furthermore, IB gets children to work within global contexts and explores significant content. This is similar to the aim of the CfE where children are given skills for learning, life and work and skills and attributes for living in the 21st century. These align because content learnt in both IB and CfE schools are significant and apply to the principle of relevance in the CfE. Skills needed for the CfE aim are significant to contributing positively into society and learning within the global context is also significant to this as well because it is important to be understanding about those who are different from you to contribute positively into society and to decrease issues such as racism. Children in CfE also learn about different cultures through RMPS which also helps to decrease these issues. Both curriculua encourage learners to be open minded.

Throughout my experience in working with children, I have experienced the aspect of making content significant through adding meaning to lessons for the pupils to help them be more engaged and ready to learn. For example, throughout my MA1 placement, I taught the pupils literacy in a Harry Potter context (which was their class novel at the time) which helped them to be more interested in the topic and encouraged them to engage more as it was in a context that the pupils were really interested in. It made them more enthusiastic about learning literacy which helped to improve their learning experiences.

 

Classroom Talk

Classroom talk is so much more than just the teacher delivering a lesson to the pupils. It involves so much more. Interaction between pupils and the teacher is key for effective learning and can be done in a variety of different ways, which is extremely beneficial as every child has different learning styles that work for them. For example, an incredibly effective method of communication between pupils and the teacher is through questioning.

Questioning is an amazing way of engaging pupils as it gets them actively involved by participating in thinking of the answers. The teacher can come up with lower order thinking questions to get pupils into the mindset for learning, which are questions that perhaps require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, or they can come up with more advanced higher order thinking questions which really get the child to think deeper about what is being asked. This allows children to extend their knowledge of the subject by digging a little deeper into the analysis of what is being asked, making them think even deeper and giving them an element of challenge to push them that much further in their development. Questioning is an effective way for the teacher to find out the level of knowledge their pupils have in relation to a subject and it helps them to formatively assess who in the class might need more support than others. It is an effective form of communication between pupils and the teacher as it allows the teacher to discover how their pupils are getting on without the children actively telling them as they might be ‘scared’ or ’embarrassed’ to. This way is therefore much more anonymous.

In addition to questioning, another effective method of classroom talk is getting children to work collaboratively in groups which helps them to develop trusting relationships with each other so that they get support from their peers to know that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. It encourages shyer pupils to get their voice heard in the class as well as all the other children. Furthermore, pupils can hear other opinions from their peers that might be different from their own which makes them more open as people to hearing knew ideas which develops their listening skills even further, allowing for even more effective communication. This helps everyone to achieve the best they can.

Finally classroom talk can even be developed through areas of the curriculum such as drama as it allows for pupils to express themselves in a different way than in the classroom. It gets them to focus on body language and facial expressions further which is also an essential part of non-verbal communication.

Teaching Writing

For this weeks Literacy TDT we are focusing on writing and there are some key messages from the reading and video i have read and watched that I will discuss.

Firstly, for children, in order to write, the have to be able to talk first as from Pie Corbett’s video,  children cannot write sentences unless they can say them and they cannot say sentences unless they can hear them. From this video, I felt the key message was that as a teacher it is my job to model good sentences in order for pupils to understand how to form their own sentences and be able to put them down on paper. This is important as some children do not get their parents to read them stories as they might have a lack of books in their households, so it is important that in school teachers immerse children into hearing as many stories as they possibly can in order to build their vocabulary.

In addition, it is important to differentiate in writing lessons as all children have different experiences with language and some might be of a higher level than others. This can be done by providing many different resources such as writing frames, sentence starters and a range of vocabulary. By doing this, it helps create equity in the class as pupils can use these to help if they need to and if they do not need the guidance then that is fine too. It helps fill the gap to bring the pupils to a more similar level. From Medwell, I could see that another key message of this book was that children need to be inspired by understanding the relevance of writing in their lives by engaging in purposeful writing and understanding how it works. If children understand the relevance of a lesson, then they are more inclined to want to engage as they know that what they are learning has a purpose to it which will help them later in life. Furthermore, teachers can make lessons more engaging by using the Interactive White Board (IWB). Through using this, the teacher works with the pupils in a more active way as they work with the whole class to hear everyone’s ideas for planning, writing, exploring and discussing a text. Through active discussion, it allows the pupils to hear their peer’s ideas rather than only the teacher’s. This therefore reinforces the importance of talk in the classroom as discussion is a key way of getting children to develop their thinking more deeply and it gives them a chance to learn from their peers, helping them to build their vocabulary.

On the whole, writing is a key skill in literacy and it is important to develop it in all aspects of the curriculum in order to give pupils as much practice as possible. It is important for the teacher to read as many stories out loud as possible to the children in order for them to build their vocabulary as much as they can to become successful writers so that they can achieve their full potential.

 

References

Medwell et al. (2017). Primary English: Teaching Theory and Practice. (8th End.) London: Sage PublicationsChapter 7

Pie Corbett- Talk for Writing

Restorative Practice in Schools- Why it’s so Important

Restorative practice in schools is a vital part of education in my opinion. It helps to promote positive relationships between both pupils and teachers by dealing with conflict in a mature and empathetic manner which is extremely important in schools for them to be successful.

In the past, the retributive approach was used which was very much focusing on accusation and punishment for actions and used blame. This in turn is not very effective as through this approach no communication between the pupil and teacher occurs on how they could do better, the pupil just gets punished and that is it. The child that does the actions that causes conflict in turn do not understand why what they did was a problem and will not not how to change and become a better person. This approach is therefore not very supportive and it feels like the child and teacher are essentially ‘against’ each other as they are not working together to make things better by just punishing bad behaviour.

Whereas through the restorative approach, a lot more communication is happening and the teacher is much more involved in helping to find a way to resolve the conflict. Communication is key to get to the root of what is going wrong. It is a much more empathetic approach as everyone’s point of view is discussed so the child that caused the conflict can understand how their actions made others feel. This helps them become better people by understanding the harm caused from what they did which motivates them to make a difference and change for the better. It is also effective in the sense that the teacher clearly addresses that it is the behaviour that they do not like and not the pupil themselves, which makes the pupil feel that the teacher is not against them in any way. This approach is therefore fair and helps children to develop positively as individuals as through the discipline of it the teacher keeps the pupil on the right track whereas with punishment the complete focus is on what you did wrong rather than on how you can be better.

The restorative approach therefore builds positive relationships between pupils and teachers as it makes pupils have more trust and respect for the teacher as they are being fair and reasonable when dealing with conflict. The pupils become better people through this as it gives them skills for later in life about dealing with problems and conflict in a mature and empathetic manner. It is important that the restorative approach is encouraged as much as possible and that we move away from assigning blame and dispensing punishment as pupils will not develop from that. The restorative approach will help create a much more empathetic society in the long run.

 

Key Features of a Good Science Lesson

Science is a very important aspect of the Curriculum for Excellence. Our world is forever evolving from developments in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), with many new career paths being introduced in this domain. This means that it is vital that we as teachers positively encourage science as much as possible to make as many children interested in it as possible. There are many ways of doing this.

A teacher can make lessons challenging, engaging and enjoyable for learners by involving stimulating activities. They can also include flexibility and choices in their lessons to help meet the needs of all learners. By doing this, it will help raise all pupils confidence as they won’t feel the lesson is too difficult or easy.

Following this, a way to positively encourage science is to create a positive ethos in teaching the subject. If you as the teacher act inspiring about the subject, it will automatically make pupils feel the same way. Also by creating this positive ethos it encourages pupils to feel at ease answering out and they wouldn’t hesitate to ask questions about the subject which promotes the development of thinking skills. This in turn shows that with pupils asking questions they are more interested in the subject, meaning they will gain more from lessons.

Furthermore, active learning is extremely effective in science. If the pupils are actively involving themselves, they will get out everything that they put in in the lesson. This increases the efficiency of their learning greatly as they are automatically more engaged without even realising than if they were just sitting writing notes in a jotter. Lessons can be made much more active by involving investigations and experiments. By asking pupils a variety of questions throughout investigations it helps them to consolidate their knowledge and increases their curiosity, for example it gets them to make predictions of what could happen at the end of an experiment or think deeper about why certain things are happening. By increasing their curiosity it encourages them to want to find out more and more about the subject, which inspires them to discover more and develop their thinking skills even further. Science is an amazing subject in the way that it can also involve lots of out-door learning and school trips. This helps children become even more inspired as it gives them a change of scene out-side the classroom which increases the active learning the children get to experience as they see the subject in a different environment.

Lessons that involve working collaboratively help to allow pupils to discuss and reflect on ideas through group discussions. Group work builds team working skills and encourages pupils to actively involve themselves by making good contributions to discussions and also by listening to the opinions of their peers which helps them to become more open-minded as individuals. Through discussion, pupils can learn much more than just writing as it gets them to think deeper into what they’re learning and it applies their knowledge much more which makes it easier to consolidate what they’ve learned. From this, a good lesson would involve less use of copying notes, cutting out sections from handouts,  pasting into jotters and colouring in as these tasks don’t really actively engage pupils much at all. Copying notes is not stimulating enough as an exercise in science lessons as it is a much more practical subject. By making the lesson as practical as possible it brings more hands on work for the children which makes them much more inspired by the subject as they enjoy it more through learning actively.

Lastly, adding relevance to lessons has a massive impact. For example by basing the lesson on current environmental, scientific or technical issues it helps children to see a purpose in why they are learning what they are learning. A good example of this would be learning about the water cycle as children see the rain very frequently and already have a background knowledge of it. It means that they can talk about what they have learnt to their parents or carers with passion as they see how what they learnt is connected to their everyday lives, inspiring them to find out even more.

After the science workshops, they have raised awareness to me the importance of teaching science to children as it is important to get as many people to be inspired by it as possible. It is  my job as a teacher to make my science lessons as stimulating and inspiring as possible to allow pupils to figure out if it is the area they wish to have a career in and I will do everything that I can to achieve this.

 

Teaching about Food and Nutrition- My Ideas

The TDT for this week’s Health and Wellbeing input about Food and Nutrition was to plan 3 lessons based on 3 different experiences and outcomes for Health and Wellbeing. Below are some of my ideas:

Lesson 1: First Level Experience and Outcome

I can experience a sense of enjoyment and achievement when preparing simple healthy foods and drinks (HWB1-30b)

Learning Intention: To learn how to make a healthy fruit skewers

Success criteria: Make a fruit skewers safely responsibly and creatively.

Resources: Strawberries, Apples, Grapes, tangerines, bananas, skewers, aprons, food boards, plastic tubs

Setting the context/ Beginning the lesson (Introduction)

Begin with telling the children how fruit is good for you and the importance of including them in your diet. After this explain the task of creating the skewers. Fruit will be pre-cut by the teacher to prevent potential injuries of pupils. Explain the fact that pupils need to be clean and wash their hands before handling food. This could take up to 10 minutes.

Teaching the learning intentions (Development)

Once all children have an apron on to protect their school uniforms, they will all be at their stations to begin. The teacher will explain to the children that they need to stick the pre-cut fruit  into the skewer nice ad safely to prevent any injury from the pointy top. Children will be encouraged to be as creative as possible by creating different patterns of fruit on the skewer, but still being responsible and fair by letting their peers have equal access of the fruit and that all pupils have the same number of skewers to promote more fairness. Once completed, children will keep their fruit skewers inside a plastic container. Photographs will be taken of the food to document the work, with no pupils in the photos. This could take 20- 30 minutes.

Ending the lesson (Plenary)

All children help to tidy up the equipment and hang up aprons neatly away. Children will wash their hands also to stay clean. They will then return to the class room and evaluate their learning whilst eating their creations. The teacher will ask the class what they learned today, what they enjoyed about the lesson and what their next steps would be. This could take around 15 minutes.

 

Lesson 2: Second Level Experience and Outcome

By applying my knowledge and understanding of current healthy eating advice, I can contribute to a healthy eating plan. (HWB2-30a)

Learning Intention: Create a healthy meal plan for a day

Success Criteria: Make a healthy meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner with a balanced diet including all the 5 main food groups throughout.

Resources: Interactive White Board, Food group wheel, paper plates (3 per pupil) , coloured pencils, normal pencils.

Setting the context/ Beginning the lesson (Introduction)

Begin by going over the 5 main food groups to the whole class. The teacher will explain the types of foods found in each food group. This could take up to 25 minutes. To consolidate this knowledge, playing a match making game as a class that gets the children to match a certain kind of food to the food group it belongs to by projecting an empty food group wheel onto the interactive white board and then handing the children hand outs to stick onto each (there would be one hand out for each child in the class to make the lesson fair). This could take up to 15 minutes.

Teaching the learning intentions (Development)

Once the children have a basic knowledge of the different types of food in each group, they will begin their meal plans. They will all receive 3 paper plates for each meal they create. They will draw the meals onto each paper plate and label each group the food is categorised in. Coloured pencils are used to help add a pop of colour to the meals and to encourage children to be creative. This should take around 20-30 minutes.

Ending the lesson (Plenary)

After completing their 3 meals, pupils will go into pairs with their shoulder partners or in groups of 3 depending on numbers and will present their meal plans to their partner. They will go through each meal they created and discuss all the different food groups used in each to consolidate their knowledge. By doing this they will peer assess each other’s meals and this should take approximately 5 minutes. Once everyone has finished, the teacher will ask pupils what they had learned today.

 

Lesson 3: Second Level Experience and Outcome

By investigating food labelling systems, I can begin to understand how to use them to make healthy food choices (HWB2-36a)

Learning Intention: To understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods by understanding their difference in the number of calories they contain.

Success Criteria:

I can understand that healthier foods are significantly lower in calories than more unhealthy foods

I can understand the reasons why unhealthy foods have significantly more calories

I can understand ways in which we can be healthier by making healthier food choices.

I have the knowledge of how many calories I should be eating a day.

Resources: Tin cans, plastic bottles, cereal boxes, unhealthy ready meal boxes, healthy ready meal boxes, healthy food boxes, unhealthy food boxes (all recycled and involving breakfast lunch and dinner foods)

*Before lesson ask children to bring in a recycled food packet if they have any. Teacher will provide as much as possible.

Setting the context/ Beginning the lesson (Introduction)

Begin the class by sitting the children down at the board and explain to them that the lesson is about healthy eating. Ask the class open questions such as: “What makes food healthy?”, “What makes food unhealthy?” (Healthy food gives you the nutrients and energy your body needs whereas unhealthy food gives you too much energy). This should take 5 minutes.

Teaching the learning intentions (Development)

After this explain that this amount of energy can be measured in calories. Get a picture of the calorie area of a food label for both a healthy food and an unhealthy food. Ask the children what they notice about the number of calories in each. This will get them to understand that healthier foods are much lower in calories than unhealthy more fatty foods. Following this, explain to the children the number of calories that they should be eating every day (around 1,600 to 2,200 from age 6-12). This will get the children to understand just how bad the unhealthy foods are for them as the number of calories in them are so high with regards to their daily intakes. This should take approximately 10 minutes.

Split the children into 3 groups and set up a station for breakfast foods, lunch foods and dinner foods- one group will be at each station. Set the children the task of creating a healthier meal option based on the choices of healthier and more unhealthy food/drink recyclables. This should take around 15 minutes.

Ending the lesson (Plenary)

After every group is finished, the teacher will then stop the class and ask the whole class to make a circle firstly around the breakfast station and get feedback from the children in the breakfast group by asking them their reasons for their food choices with the rest of the class listening. Then the same thing will happen with the lunch group and then the dinner group. This  will get all the pupils to understand all the different alternative healthier options that they could make in their diets to help make healthier food choices. This should take around 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Maths- The Importance of Encouragement

When you think of the word ‘maths’, what springs to mind? Often straight away people will say things like “I hated maths at school” or “I wasn’t good at maths!” Other people will also say that they loved maths at school as they felt confident in the subject. Moreover, people have the idea that people are either a “Maths” person or an “English” person. As a teacher, I need to do everything that I can to change these views and positively encourage the subject of maths as much as I possibly can.

When I was at school, I was guilty of having the opinion that I was not very good at maths, and I lacked confidence in the subject. Looking back, from having this attitude it really affected the efficiency of my learning in the subject as by going to the class with a negative mindset, it just made me concentrate on getting through the class rather than actually concentrating more on the work. In retrospect, if I went to the class with a positive attitude, I would have gained so much more from lessons. Therefore from this input, I have learned that as a teacher I will need to help pupils as much as I can to encourage to them that maths is an extremely important subject and to give them positive attitudes in many different ways.

There’s much a teacher can do to help promote a positive attitude to maths. Even something as little as a smile whilst teaching can have the biggest impact, because if the teacher acts inspiring, the children will pick up on that and will feel a sense of inspiration and encouragement also. In addition, the teacher can use many interesting ways to liven up lessons, for example by using Show Me Boards, the Interactive White Board or games. All of these play a part in helping children to see maths as good rather than having the false assumption that it is difficult and boring as it gives them a sense of enjoyment. By feeling this positively about the subject, it will improve children’s confidence without them even realising it because if they are enjoying themselves, they will feel a sense of success and achievement rather than giving up easily if they find they got a question wrong. This positivity will give them more motivation to be resilient and try again if they make a mistake, which in turn can increase the efficiency of their learning.

This workshop was very eye opening because it made me realise just how important it is to encourage positivity in maths as by having even the slightest negative view of maths can really affect how much you get out of the lesson. In short, positivity and optimism really do lead to success, and it is my job as a teacher to promote that in not just maths and all subjects as much as possible.

Reflection- Fundamental to My Development as a Teacher

A key element to a teacher’s career is to reflect on the things that they do. Reflection is vital because you are able to evaluate yourself in all kinds of scenarios which helps you to discover your own strengths and weaknesses. These can be used to think of ways in which you can improve and grow in your career, which helps to make you a better teacher as you progress.

For example, as I reflect from semester 1, I realise that my confidence in speaking out has grown massively throughout the  Working Together module. I remember at the very beginning during group discussions I felt I was very quiet and too shy to speak out my ideas. Thinking back this may have been because at this time our group didn’t have a strong working relationship as we had all just met each other. As the weeks progressed, I began to think to myself, that the way to improve my confidence to express my views and opinions was to try and be brave and speak out gradually. By doing this, I realised that my ideas actually made helpful contributions and as our relationship as a group became stronger, I realised that no idea was a bad one. This in turn encouraged me to speak more and more which made me develop my communication and team working skills by contributing as much as I could.

From this experience, I learned that I should not have been so shy at the beginning as it meant that I could not fully engage in our discussions by being nervous to speak. By reflecting, it helped me to address the situation in my mind and developed my problem solving skills by thinking of ways in which I could improve and resolve the fact that I was lacking in confidence. I learned that I could make useful contributions after I got the confidence to express my thoughts which encouraged me to speak even more. If I didn’t reflect on my feelings, I would never have resolved the issue as I would not have thought of ways in which I could have grown. Therefore, from this I realise just how important it is in my professional development to reflect as it is the only way to realise what I am doing right and what I could be doing differently in order to get better. Reflection will help me in many more scenarios throughout my career as a teacher as I understand that developing as a teacher is a work in progress. There are going to be good days in my career and also many bumps on the road but by reflecting, it will help me resolve potential problems and become much more resilient, which are essential qualities to have in a teacher.