Category Archives: 3.4 Prof. Reflection & Commitment

Reading, Writing, Listening and Me

For me, primary school was so long ago that I find it hard to recall details of learning rather than all the time I spent with my friends. However, I do have a few memories of some aspects of learning reading, writing and listening although not so much on the talking but I guess that comes hand in hand with the other.

My memories or reading begins with being read to when I was younger by not only my parents but my big sister as well. When in school I have vague memories of being in reading groups for different abilities and being taught to sound out the words. How ever, due to having dyslexia I wasn’t the quickest reader but it is something I still practice to this day by reading whatever I can whenever I can. Also I still clam up when I have to read out loud as I fear my dyslexia will make me sound like an idiot.

I have more memories when it comes to learning to write. One of these is the Magic Pencil programme that we were always so excited to watch, seeing the TV being wheeled in was always a sign of a great lesson ahead. As well as the Magic Pencil I remember being taught cursive within school. We would have to copy text out in cursive which again I really didn’t get along with, but to this day I do still write in cursive, even if my handwriting is completely illegible. I also have memories of before starting school my mum writing my name out and then me copying it out in an attempt to learn how to spell my own name before starting school.

And finally listening. When it comes to listening I don’t have any specific memories. I just remember being taught from an early age that we should always listen and respect the teacher, and coming from a long line of teachers this was drilled into me from a very early age. So as a result I always did my best to keep quiet and listen and pay attention to what the teacher would say.

Semester one, over and done.

So here we are, second week of January after surviving the first semester of my first year at university… and how do I feel? I feel pretty good to be honest. And following receiving my results I am feeling OK with my progression so far, although there is definitely plenty room for improvement.

For the first semester there were two main subject areas we were working towards, Working with others and Values.

The ‘Working With Others’ module was all about exploring how those in the education profession must use and sometimes rely on those from other professions to help them in their goals and achieving the best possible outcome for the children. The groups which we worked within had a majority of education students within them, due to the vast amount of education students, but there were also students from Social work and Community Learning and Development.

With the perspective of these other professions mixed with our own outlooks, we were able to see the importance of having support from other professional in handling situations and ensuring that every child is treated equally and protected from harm. This is also something that is very important that I continue to look into and put into practice as I work towards becoming a teacher and within my future career of teaching.

The second topic – Values, was focused on what our values are currently and how we much have personal and professional values to help the pupils we teach to have their own values that help them develop as healthy and happy adults who make right decisions within their own lives.

Now, at the start of the third week into the second semester and everything is pretty full on from the get go.

As well as the tutorials, preparing us for our impending placement and lectures preparing for the horrors of lesson planning, how not to lose your voice and other such important teaching techniques, we have also been having workshops introducing us into the topics that we, as future teachers, will be teaching to the future generations and techniques on how we can go about doing this 

in a way that is appropriate, inclusive and diverse for all pupils as well as ensuring we cover the benchmarks required within the subjects.

So far I have only had a handful of workshops and these I will discuss further within my next blog post. 

I am excited to see how the rest of the academic year goes and I’m particularly excited to start placement to see how I can handle the pressure of the classroom. Until then, stay tuned.

It’s now or never…

It’s now or never… have you ever got to the point in your life where you have to tell yourself is “it’s now or never”? Sometime we let these chances pass us by and once again this is what I almost did. It was when a big change happened in my life that I decided that this was my time to do what I wanted… nay, needed to do.

There I was, on the cusp of turning 29, living with my sister after my relationship fell apart, in a job that I had been doing for nearly nine years that was not going anywhere, and basically with nothing worthwhile going on in my life. At this point I decided it was my now or never time. So I went online and filled out the application I had considered doing for a very long time; to go to Uni, a chance I never felt I had before, and study education to then hopefully become a teacher.

That was until my application was rejected and I was hit smack bang in the face by a wall. What do I do now? Maybe I was kidding myself. Maybe this isn’t for me! These were the thoughts that very briefly crossed my mind until I talked some sense into myself. I thought there must be another way and explored the option of doing some higher education to help my application when I applied again the next year, as I was not giving up!

I ended up doing a Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) at Dundee and Angus College. I would 100% recommend this course to anyone…in fact I did! I now have two people I know who are doing the same course this year. This course really helped me with managing the workload that is demanded of a full time student, and Sue (my course leader) more than prepared me for what uni was going to be like. She was amazing at pushing me and giving me my confidence back, as well as being a total hard a** and making sure I had my work done on time. She is definitely a teacher I aspire to one day be like.

I’d love to sit here and tell you that teaching something that I’ve always wanted to do. Truth be told I actually wanted to be a pilot! I loved flying and through my childhood hobby of being in the Air Cadets, this is something I was able to experience from a young age. However, after I found out they don’t like pilots to have asthma, or eczema, or wear glasses etc., etc., I threw a tantrum and decided if they didn’t want me, I didn’t want them and considered other careers.

Naturally, being the naive entitled teenager I was, I changed my mind on my career many times from chef to receptionist to doing hairdressing. However, I realise now that, any career I choose, the part I enjoyed most was training others in the job I was doing. Teaching them this skill and watching them learn and master it with my help. This made me consider more and more the prospect of teaching as a career. The more I thought about it the more I wanted it… but there were setbacks that came into play.

One of the biggest setbacks was the loss of a parent. This led to our family moving from England back to Scotland. Then a couple of years later I became the sole carer for my younger brother. This meant me to having to find a job so I could support us both as he was still at school. That’s when I fell into dental nursing.

I was a dental nurse for eight, nearly nine years. I did enjoy the job. There was a lot to learn and through the years I worked my way up the ranks, so before I knew it I was at the top of my game, with nowhere else to progress. That’s when I started to take on the responsibility of training new nurses. Getting, once again, that chance to pass on my knowledge and experience to others. My managers and colleagues complimented my coaching skills on several occasions and told me I have a way of explaining things in a manner that is easy to understand. This helped me feel I could actually do this teaching thing.

But why primary teaching as opposed to secondary or higher education? That comes down to the kids and the usual cliché of loving children, but it’s true. Their wonder of the world and their potential unreached. I love the idea of being one of the influences on their life for what they can achieve in their futures. Even 24 years on I still remember so much about my first teacher and I hope one day my future pupils will think of me like that.

So I did SWAP, I got my Highers, I got my profile grades, I did my work experience and I once again applied for uni. Only this time… I wasn’t rejected. I was in! And I was so happy I cried. Literally!!! And this is where I am today. Starting my first year. Determined to do this because this is my time. This is my now or never.