Monthly Archives: September 2015

Gender in Schools

In my experience at school I feel that my gender did not have much of an impact. I was lucky enough to attend Primary and Secondary Schools that allowed their pupils to be themselves. Males and females were seen as equal. The only time there was any kind of separation due to gender was for sports. Gym classes were all inclusive but when it came to sports teams and clubs that’s where the divide came based on genders. The boys in the football and rugby teams, the girls in the netball or dance club. Only now looking back I realise this wasn’t fair and that actually children should be allowed to choose a sport that interests them, rather than them doing it just because their gender fits the stereotype for that specific sport.

We are constantly encouraging children to take part in sports and to keep themselves fit and healthy. So why are we narrowing their opportunities to do so? Any child should be able to do what sport they want. In my 5th/6th years at High School I coached the junior netball teams. Despite the fact that I couldn’t enter teams into competitions that had a male player I still made the practice sessions open to boys too. They loved it! Sport should be available to anyone, no matter what their gender is. You don’t get to decide whether you’re born a boy or girl so to be told you can’t do something because you’re one or the other is just simply not fair.

Changing Education Paradigms

It seems that the current education system is conforming to the ideologies of the education system created years ago. Children are being taught for the sole purpose that they can then fit and contribute to the country’s economy. It’s designed to split the children into two groups; those that are academic and will be able to contribute and those that are non academic. Those that are deemed as ‘academic’ are then focused on to ensure they fulfil their potential, achieve the grade go go to college/university and graduate with a degree that will guarantee them a job. However, children are bored of this system. They no longer believe that the route to them gaining a job is through school and higher education. There is no guarantee that by having a degree you are guaranteed a job so many don’t see the point to it. On the route to achieving this, what they think of themselves is being subconsciously narrowed.

People work better by collaborating with each other yet are continuously being measured individually, purely because that has always been the way humans have been tested. Why continue doing this if we know it’s not the optimum way to do? We have to get over the old mindset of education and think about the present. Children are being alienated to fit in with social structures- they are being taught to fit the suspected economy of the future when the economy right here and now is constantly changing.

A child’s imagination is being hampered by education. It’s been proven that a child’s ability of divergent thinking generally deteriorates as they become educated. What does this say about their education?

We shouldn’t just be conforming to an education that worked for the people of the past; we have to think about what will benefit the children of right now. We need to think about what will allow them to develop academic and creatively because only then will they become the best they can be. As much as we should care about the future of the country and its economic situation we should put the welfare and education of the people within that country first. Only then will they will be happy and well rounded citizens which will make for a happy and well rounded, successful country.

Study Skills Introduction

From reading the ‘Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrel any student would have the basic understandings of what to expect in the initial stages of University. The lead up to starting and the possible ways in which they will grow and develop throughout the duration of their University career.  Preparing for University is endless. You have to prepare yourself for the independence in the decision making for how you’re going to live your life each day. So many other factors, like whether or not you want to/can stay at home, preparing yourself mentally for the newly found independence and how not to abuse it and also the drastic change in the work regime and how you’ll adapt to that.

Preparing for University requires an open mind to change. For me personally I was looking forward to the change whilst being apprehensive of what I was letting myself in for! Starting out at University means many factors have to be considered. As a student you have get comfortable in your surroundings and settle in.  Added pressure of getting to know your peers and your peers getting to know. Whether you’re in halls or staying at home finding friends is just as important as they are the ones that will be there to help you through your studies and experience exactly what you’re going through. Not to forget when you’re starting out the endless forms to be completed and the wide range of societies and clubs that can be joined. The book also reminds us how  important it is to  think about money and whether or not we’ve put a budget in place.  There are also the general expectations the University has for you. Making sure that you try to interact with as many people as possible, making connections, ensuring communication with staff through emails and portals is consistent, keeping up to date with reading and lectures- making sure you’re organised for them and submitting work when due. Furthermore, not being afraid to seek help if unsure about anything!

What makes University Education different? start with class sizes are now drastically bigger which can be extremely intimating at first. University is a lot of self directed independent study which has to keep up with the fast pace of lectures and tutorials. Not forgetting that with University you are there by choice and selection which means that those who accepted you must think you demonstrate the ability to succeed at your chosen course.

Finally the Study Skills booked reminded me of the  graduate skills and attributes University is hoping to see you develop. Firstly, self development, to show that you can then stand up with confidence in front of people, take risks and show a great understanding of people skills. Moreover, being able to get the life balance between socialising and studying. Secondly, communication – written, visual and verbal – all extremely important in a profession to ensure that you can cooperatively work with people, whether that’s part of a team a leadership role. Being interactive with people requires you to be able to communicate clearly and easily with others.

Why Teaching?

To me, your childhood is possibly the most important phase of your life. The experiences you remember, challenges you face, the knowledge you gain and the fun you have are what make you the person you grow up to be. As a teacher you are there to provide children with these experiences, help with the challenges, gift them the knowledge and join in the fun. You are there to watch these young people grow and develop into successful individuals. I was lucky enough to have had great experiences at school, with fond memories I will never forget. Now I feel that I want to repay the favour of being provided with such a great education. Having been in schools to help out with classes I quickly realised that there really is nothing better than seeing a child finally understand something they’ve struggled with. Whether it be them learning to spell their name or grasp how to do some tricky sums! I feel that being there to see a child progress and develop because of what you’ve be able to teach them is a privilege.

You are the person that a child sees five days a week so for me, I want to be a teacher that has a friendly face that young people can feel they can approach. It is important that the children feel comfortable around me and that I give them the support they need. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask me for help or advice. A teacher isn’t just there to stand in front of a class and teach children how to read and write. A teacher is there to guide and support children in their journey to being the best they can be. To help them build their social skills as well as academic. School should be fun and learning should be interesting so as a teacher it’s your responsibility to have a real love and passion for your profession. A love and passion that I hope to show as I work towards becoming a teacher.