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Children and Relationships

As a future teacher it is important the we not only ensure that children are academically prepared for the ‘real world’, we much also ensure that they are able to develop in a way that is healthy to their minds and social being as well as their physical being.

When it comes to a persons social well being we can start by looking at their relationships and environment that helped them be the person that they are as an adult. Dr Suzanne Zeedyk in the video ‘Brain Development’ she states what not only does a children’s development depend upon their genetics but also their relationships and how they respond to these relationships.

From watching this video by Dr Zeedyk I learnt that compared to animals, human babies have a shorter gestation period and this is due to evolution. Babies grow to the right size to be birthed with ease and when their brains are less developed, making their brains more ‘flexible’. This flexibility does have its advantage in that children are able to develop in a way to help them cope with their environment or in any circumstances they may face. This is how they are able to learn languages, how to express emotions or how to cope in difficult situations. The disadvantage is that once a child has become used to a certain environment it can be hard for them to adapt to an unfamiliar one. I feel this explains why children who perhaps come from challenging environment such as domestic violence, carry this into their adult years and causing conditions such as depression and anxiety. Additional stress in early years can also affect a child’s ability to notice and take on new information slowing their learning.

So… as a teacher we play a part in helping ensure that a child can adapt to different environments. Again going back the domestic violence example, a child may come into the classroom and due to their situation at home, be on high alert and unable to relax for fear of  ridicule or violence. To combat situations like this we as teachers must ensure that the classroom environment is one that is safe, calm and predictable. But also we much assure that we are reassuring to our pupils that if they do get an answer wrong, or if they don’t know at all that this is not a bad thing and is something we can help them learn.

Positive reinforcement is something that is very important to remember when teaching a group of such impressionable people. We must not always focus on what is negative. Even if the child does something this is unacceptable, such as hitting another child, we must never scold or berate them but rather talk to them and explain to them what they did and why it was wrong and what will be re repercussions if they do it again.

I know this will not be something east to so when I enter into my teacher journey, but rather it is something I must constantly work on. No two days will ever be that same but it is important that I try and be as prepared as possible for any situation that may be thrown my way, good or bad.

Starring Role in ICT

Fourteen days into the semester and I have already been introduced to my first handful of subjects with many more to come.

The first subject I had for this semester was ICT, taught by the very enthusiastic Sharon Tonner-Saunders.

Within the first class we were introduced into the world of animation and how we can teach this ourselves within the classroom. Sharon broke down the class in a way that made everything straightforward and was still interesting to us adults but was so simple to do that younger children can also understand and enjoy it. Sharon explained what onion skin animation is and how we can teach this in a very simple manner with one sheet of paper, and also discussed how we could explain it further from there. This developed into us doing an onion skin style stop animation to Bernstein’s Mambo. This was fun and challenging to ensure the movement of the object moved and appeared in time to the music that was playing.

The second class with Sharon was as equally enjoyable where we once again did stop animation with play dough models. But before we started filming, Sharon had us created a quick story board of what we would be filming and how we can do the same when teaching our own classes in the future. Whilst teaching us these activities we did, Sharon also stressed the importance of keeping the class relevant to the Curriculum of Excellence as well as meeting the expectations and outcomes for ICT.

As enjoyable as I found these lessons myself, I do however have some reservations about teaching this to young children. I worry that equipment may be used incorrectly and it way be difficult to watch a full class of children work on this at one time. This task may perhaps, therefore, be better suited to smaller groups at one time to ensure that everything can run smoothly and hopefully without any hiccups to equipment or pupils

To entertain you I have included the videos we have created, although I do apologise for any sound errors there may be.

I also must stress that I, nor does anyone else involved in making the videos own any rights to any music but I do believe them to be copyright free as that is what I searched for when looking for music to use.


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.