Reflecting on equalities workshop

In this week’s workshop we were split into 5 groups. Each group was presented with an envelope containing a number of resources, with these we were told to make something that would benefit a student starting in first year, something we wish we had been given. However what we didn’t know is that there wasn’t the same materials in each envelope, some groups had far more materials and resources to work with than others. Proving the task to be unfair from the beginning and more challenging for some groups than others. It was interesting to see which groups noticed that some were less fortunate than others, those with the most materials didn’t notice that other groups had way less.

After 10 minutes of discussing with your group you had to feed it back to the class. When we were sharing our ideas each group got a very different reaction from the lecturer.  I was in Group 5 and we were one of the groups with the smallest number of resources; a pencil, three paperclips, a sticky note and a small bit of blue tac. The reaction to my groups idea was negative and patronising whereas the groups with more materials were complimented and praised for their efforts. Needless to say this left our group feeling pretty insignificant as our idea was so quickly dismissed, especially as we had put in such effort to come up with something with so little in front of us.

Brenda, our lecturer explained the purpose behind the workshop once each group had finished presenting and got there scores. Personally I thought this was a perfect way to make clear to us the problems of inequalities in the classroom and in schools. This workshop gave me a much better understanding of how these inequalities will affect a child’s development and self esteem. Also the importance of how every child in the classroom should be given the same chance and opportunities no matter what their background or circumstances are in order to give them the best start possible. It made me aware of how people from less privileged backgrounds work so hard with what they have and don’t receive the support or praise they deserve which upsets me. It’s important that every child feels respected and all are given equal opportunities.

Why I chose to teach

Primary Education is arguably the most important stage of a child’s education, it provides the foundation blocks of their futures.  Personally I was lucky enough to have experienced this, my primary 6 teacher has been and will continue to be my inspiration as a teacher. It wasn’t just how she taught me, it was about her belief in me, her kindness, her selflessness and her constant enthusiasm which left me bounding to school each day eager to learn more and made school a wonderful experience. Now my aim is to replicate this for other children, and help to give them the best start in life. I want to be able to provide support and stability for each child no matter their background, culture, to give all children the best possible beginning. My aim as a Primary teacher is to try and alleviate the attainment gap we have in schools, each child deserves the same opportunities which is something I hope to preach and achieve. The chance to have children from different cultures and backgrounds to come together to learn values and respect for one another is something that I feel very strongly about. It will help them develop opinions which will make them more responsible member of society later in life. To be able to enhance a child’s learning and to watch them thrive and develop is something I want to be a part of. With my hope being they walk out at the end of the day eager to come back to learn more.


Don’t get me wrong teaching is no easy job. Although the working day may be 9 – 3:30 there is such an intense amount of planning and preparation outwith these hours for the next day’s lessons. Not only this but the large class sizes, the stress of trying to accommodate for each child’s abilities, the crying, the tantrums. However none of this has put me off, if anything it makes me more determined to do the best I can, for children to be achieving the best of their abilities. Hopefully having inspired them and given them the self belief that my Primary 6 teacher did all those years ago.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

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Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

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