During my first semester an important moment that enhanced my professional development was during one of the first ‘Values’ lectures. All the different concepts we explored and new ideas that were introduced to me, made me realise that it was okay to push the boundaries of my own values and see them from an other’s perspective. I remember at one point it felt as though I was having an out of body experience; as though my understanding of values had only scraped the surface and suddenly I’d been exposed to a whole other aspect of what values are and what they had the potential to be. They are everchanging and I finally understood that that was okay. My stubbornness to believe what I was told to be right could be expanded, but only I had the courage to let it; and I feel as though I did. I found this whole process very enlightening, and refreshing, and it made me realise the open-mindedness, that I thought I harboured so greatly, had no limits. This was a critical starting point to my professional development journey.
The ‘Values’ module in particular had me constantly reflecting on and challenging my old habits and made me think about my new ones. It pushed me to reflect on my behaviors and attitudes and encouraged me to be more transparent with myself, as well as others. I appreciate that reflecting can be difficult and challenging, but in doing so I think it enhances your effort, performance and confidence, guiding the way to reaching the goals you have set yourself; which is something I hope to improve on and be consistent with throughout my first placement and for the rest of my teaching career.
I was quite nervous to partake in the first dance workshop on our first week back of semester two; and with it also being the first Learning Across the Curriculum input I was eager to discover how these workshops would be delivered. I had no idea what to expect but with previous knowledge of dance I tried to stay positive and confident in my abilities, reminding myself it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought – which it wasn’t. The warm up ‘copy me’ activity put most of us at ease and I feel as though we all just dropped our fears and got on with it. We got into partners and were asked to think of as many different ways to travel across the room as we could, which was fairly easy. We then had to pick our favourite travelling step and share it with the group. I’m quite a reserved person so wasn’t too keen to have watchful eyes on me but I reminded myself that everyone else had to do the exact same thing and they were probably feeling the same way as I did. This gave me enough courage to share our favourite travelling step one at a time in a circle which wasn’t bad at all. We then partnered up with another group of two to combine our travelling steps, and add some spins and a pose to create a little routine to show the other groups and that was it; finished before we could even think about how dreadful it might be. It was a good starting point and helped alleviate some of my apprehension towards teaching this area of the curriculum. And as for some ideas, key messages or concepts I’m happy to have stumbled upon before venturing into my first placement; I came across a concept that encouraged you to think of your teacher training as learning to drive your first car and to view your full registration as a driving licence. ‘Like a novice driver you are not an expert and will continue learning’ (Medwell, J. & Simpson, F. 2008, Successful Teaching Placement in Scotland: Primary and Early Years). As I’m still learning to drive this really resonated with me and helped to calm my nerves surrounding placement. ‘You learn from the less successful experiences as well as the brilliant successes’. This quote, that came from the same book, stood out to me and is something I think will help me stay grounded and perhaps stop me from being so harsh on myself during placement. It particularly made me excited at the prospect of having my first ‘brilliant success’ as a teacher. Finally it has to be one of the wise sharing’s of my Tutor, our sessions really get me excited for placement and keep my nerves at bay. He simply said to enjoy it; forget about the pressures, stress’ and nerves that surround placement and just enjoy it. Which is exactly what I plan on doing.