Having taken time to consider what reflection means to me I have come to the conclusion that I think reflection means to look back on a past experience. We should use reflection to learn, develop and improve on something we’ve already done. By doing this we can improve the quality of our future experience. Reflection is all about positively criticising past actions and thinking about what was done well and what we can do to improve. It is also about thinking clearly about what we felt during certain points and what we can do to enhance these feelings positively. Reflection is key to further our learning and without it we deprive ourselves of the chance to grow, build on what we have and continue in a positive direction. We are thereby taking control of our own learning and are being open minded to learning and adapting – skills that are so important for teachers to possess. I hope by reflecting I will be able to continuously improve all aspects of my work.

Safety Online-TDT

As an a educator, you are a role model. A role model sets examples and through the correct use of social media there is no greater opportunity to for these examples to be set.

Online technology is brilliant for adding another dimension to the classroom experience but great caution has to be taken in regards to what is used and how we use it. Utilising technology to communicate with children outside the classroom is also a very beneficial tool. However, when having that interaction with the pupils it can only be done on official channels of communication: using a formal and courteous tone so that the pupils don’t push the boundaries when they are back in the classroom.

To me, I feel that it is extremely important and very much a necessity to show pupils how to be safe online and the importance of doing so. Highlighting the need to be safe isn’t a way to try and hamper their fun and learning online, it is to try and protect them from the dangers that the internet sadly possesses. Moreover, as a teacher you have a duty of care to those children so if any issues are brought to your attention that suggest a child’s online safety is being compromised, you must inform your line manager immediately.

When online and using social media there are certain precautions that need to be put in place. Firstly, never accept a friend request from a pupil on a personal social media profile. If you are going to use approved social media to correspond with pupils it is highly recommended to make one account for personal use and a separate one for your professional use. Any personal accounts should ideally be made private and prevent anyone being able to tag you in pictures/posts without permission. When it comes to what you are posting it is very important that before hitting that ‘share’ button you consider whether or not it would compromise your professional and personal integrity. In addition, never discuss pupils or criticise the school you’re at or employer. It is highly unprofessional and could cost you dearly.

The internet is a fantastic way to enhance learning and taking that little bit of time to ensure your safety and the safety of your pupils when using it makes for a much more enjoyable experience.

‘Study Skills’ TDT

Having read pages 236 – 280 of the ‘Study Skills book’, it has been brought to my attention that there are certain aspects of my English I can make an improvement on. Reading the recommended pages I soon realised that some of the information I was reading I had actually considered to be just basic knowledge. However, on reflection I now realise that this ‘basic knowledge’ I just assumed I knew, isn’t quite as sharp as I would prefer.

The book really highlighted to me the importance of using punctuation correctly and the necessity of precise spelling. I was already aware of how important these both were but now that I am at University I have to be writing pieces that are clear and concise. This means that the expression and spelling all have to be completely accurate. From reading about this I’m going to be more conscious of what and how I’m writing and be sure to double, if not triple check my work before submitting.

The most interesting piece of advice I discovered during my reading was a completely new way of laying out a paragraph. ‘Study Skills’ suggested that a paragraph should be laid out as such:

  • Topic sentence
  • Developer Sentence
  • Modulator Sentence
  • Terminator Sentence.

I feel that this plan for a paragraph is very useful and will make essay writing that little bit easier and hopefully enhance the quality of my work.

This book is bursting at the seams with advice and suggestions and I hope to take on board this valuable information to further develop my writing skills.


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.

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.

The eportfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can pull in a Flickr page

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

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.