Category Archives: My educational philosophy

Why this way ?

Having been asked to design a classroom for a class of 28 pupils- 22 boys and 6 girls, my initial reaction was excitement. I then developed a sense of nerves- how will I set up a classroom with that amount of boys? What if this was the case in reality? How can I make it an appealing place to learn? I thought about my design for a long period of time wondering how I should set out the tables and what I felt was essential to have within the classroom setting. I came to the conclusion that a horseshoe design would be appropriate because no child has their back to the teacher at any point. Having a horseshoe design also allows the teacher to wander around the front of the children’s desks and present work from the board without people not being able to see. I feel that the way I have designed my classroom is practical because it promotes a positive environment for class talk and allows all children to be part of discussions. I struggled with how I was going to seat the children due to the amount of boys within the class. However, I believe the way in which I have seated the children would be effective because the girls are split equally around the room therefore creating a fair environment for everyone. Within the horseshoe design I have incorporated two resource tables, I would use these for storage of pencils, rulers and rubbers enough for one for each child.

I have incorporated four windows into my classroom design because I believe that sunlight is extremely important for children as it boosts their energy levels and increases mood. I also strongly believe that using daylight is more efficient as the lighting can sometimes create problems for children. Having a table with plants gives the children a form of responsibility and a sense of taking care of something as a class so that they all understand they are part of a network that is there to support and care for them.IMG_0524

I have designed the classroom to have interactive wall displays this is to encourage the children to complete tasks on what they have learnt which is reinforcing their learning making it more achievable to retain information. As a teacher I would change these wall displays and the interactions on a regular basis to ensure that the children did not become disengaged with the idea.

Having a bookcase in a classroom is an essential part of learning because this promotes the children to read and share their ideas and views on books. As a teacher I would ensure that it was not just novels that were available because having magazines, picture books or comics shows the children that reading in various forms is acceptable and is something we should enjoy doing. I also believe that this area of the classroom should be comfortable because this gives the children of feeling relaxed.



Responding to Technology

Having recently had an ICT input on searching, researching and presenting we had a discussion about how crucial it is to teach children about internet safety. Technology has grown drastically over the years. I remember as a teenager my brother and I would argue about who had been on the internet for the longest or would complain when someone phoned on the house phone as it cut the internet off. It’s incredible to think that children will not experience these things anymore and everyone can be on the internet at the same time. Bearing this in mind many parents may not always know what their children are getting up to online, which can be scary. This is why it is essential as a teacher to know the ins and outs of internet safety to ensure this is passed on to the future generations. I used the website to create a short video about internet safety. I found it extremely easy to navigate my way around animoto and believe I could use this as a resource in the classroom to allow children to present work.

Throughout the ICT input I learned a lot about searching the internet and how to make my searches more relevant. I am the type of person who just types in the search bar and relies on the top hits, I believe many people are. However, reflecting on this I am going to change my habits and dig deeper into finding the information I need to know. I find it fascinating that people can make websites that are completely untrue however, still make them look real and official. This gave me insight into how my habits need to change and I need to pay more attention into what I am reading. Looking through some of these websites I think it is beneficial for my career choice to show children these websites and allow them to analyse whether or not the information is true.

Here are a few examples of untrue websites:

What are the Scottish Government doing to close the attainment gap?

Attainment levels in Scotland are a major issue, there are many issues which affect attainment levels such as social class, gender and ethnicity. Reading performance has decreased from 2012 to 2014. However, the Scottish Government are trying to close the attainment gap using different techniques.

  • The Scottish Attainment Challenge which has been set up to aide the learning of children and young people in the most deprived areas of Scotland. The Scottish Attainment challenge consists of two sections, attainment Scotland fund and universal support. Attainment Scotland fund is a new £100 million initiative which focuses on supporting children from extremely deprived areas, focussing mainly on literacy, numeracy and health and well-being in primary schools. Universal support is improving upon previous initiatives to try and close the attainment gap. These initiatives include raising attainment for all programme and early years collaborative, P1-3 read, write, count campaign and access to education fund.
  • The Education (Scotland) Bill which was passed in March 2015, the bill has a strong focus on improving attainment level. The Bill enhances children’s rights and requires councils and Scottish ministers to report about progress within attainment. The Bill works alongside the Scottish Governments existing efforts to improve attainment levels and education standards.



Oxford Dictionaries definitions (no date) states integrity means:

“The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”

I believe a teacher must show integrity as they are trusted by many parents/carers to not only teach their child but also to look after and care for their child during school hours. A teacher with strong morals is likely to pass these on to children who look up to them and see them as a role model (which they may not have at home). I believe if a teacher is not honest with themselves or others around them then this makes them unprofessional and untrustworthy.

The term patience means:

“The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” (Oxford Dictionaries definitions, no date)

Being in the teaching profession it is essential that you have patience, children will not always follow your instruction however, being a professional you must remain calm and handle the situation. Parents/carers may also test a teacher’s patience it is crucial that you remain professional and explain situations to parents without seeming aggressive.

Oxford Dictionaries definitions (no date) states tolerance means:

“The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.”

Tolerance for a teacher is a significant part of their role, teachers must tolerate children’s behaviours (even when they are challenging) and understand that each child may not come from a stable home environment. Teachers have to be tolerant in regards to parents/carers as they may disagree with your choices and challenge you upon this, teachers must remain professional and defend their decision in a professional format.

The term fairness means:

“Impartial and just treatment or behaviour without favouritism or discrimination.” (Oxford Dictionaries definitions, no date)

It is essential that teachers are fair in all decisions they make, teachers must not stereotype the children or classify them in regards to gender, ethnicity or class. Teachers must avoid having favourites and treat all children the same regardless of their abilities or background.

Oxford Dictionaries definitions (no date) states empathy means:

“The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

Teachers must have empathy in regards to understanding that children all come from different home lives. Teachers must be approachable and allow children to express their feeling freely without judgement. Teachers should let the children know that if they have concerns that this information must be passed on however if not it will be kept confidential.



Oxford Dictionaries definitions (English) (no date) in Oxford Dictionary. Available at : (Accessed 13 October 2015).



Most Important Skills/Qualities/Attributes for Successful Academic Study.

Personally I believe there are several skills, qualities and attributes to become successful within academic study such as organisation, time keeping, self-reflection, forward planning, self-discipline and balancing academic and social life.

In my opinion having self-discipline is a major skill for academic studies as this allows you to set time aside where you can study or do assignments. I also feel that having self-discipline this will go on to help in my future career.

I believe that time keeping is an essential skill to have to become academically successful, Having good time keeping skills will allows you suitable time for completion of assignments before due dates and will ensure that all assignments are handed in on time. I also believe that good time keeping for lectures/workshops is essential as this shows professionalism and understanding of the job we will be entering.

Gender Effects in my Childhood

Throughout my childhood my parents did not make any differences between my brother and myself, if I wanted to play with cars I could and if my brother wanted to play with dolls again he could. We would often play together with football being our favourite. Throughout my extended family I was the only girl amongst 5 boys so we would often climb trees and go bug hunting, however we would also dress up and pretend to be our favourite pop stars.

At primary school I don’t ever remember being separated from the boys unless it was time to get changed for gym (in the upper years). At high school again the only time boys and girls were separated was during PE, everyone was made to do the same lessons (rugby, football, gymnastics, swimming) but boys were known as being too rough especially at contact sports. Everyone at our school had to participate in cooking, sewing and woodwork. When choosing subjects boys tended to choose physics and girls tended to choose biology. Looking back I never thought why this could be, however physics is more masculine and biology more feminine in respects to society.

Personally I do not feel I was drastically effected by my gender throughout my childhood. My personal opinion is that parents have a role to play in regards to gender as there is no reason as to why boys cannot play with dolls or toy kitchens and that girls cannot play with army trucks or lego.


Inspiration to Become a Teacher.

Throughout my childhood I always had aspirations to become a teacher, I would sit with my friends playing a game we called ‘schools’ most often than not I would play the role of the teacher. I would give my ‘class’ spelling tests and maths tests to complete and correct them. During my primary education I had various teachers I had strong connections with and remember tasks we completed that inspired me that I would become a teacher like them, they were fun and friendly which appealed to me as a young child. Throughout my years at high school I went from wanting to become a teacher, to wanting to become a child psychologist and then a children’s nurse my decision was always based around children and helping them in some form. When leaving school I applied to study nursing on which I became accepted however, after serious consideration I rejected my offers and decided to take up a full time job. At this time I did not fully understand which career path I wanted to take and felt I needed to have a break from education and let myself mature and explore the world.

In 2012 we made a decision as a family for my parents to become foster carers so we could support and help children to the best of our ability. Throughout the journey of fostering we have had several placements from birth-16 years which helped me to make the decision that teaching was the career path for me. Seeing each of the children grow and learn new things on a daily basis made me so proud and gave me a goal to work towards and that was to follow my childhood dream of becoming a teacher. I enjoy helping the children with their homework or teaching them new tasks such as baking or simple things like brushing their teeth. With my parents being foster carers this is truly inspirational and has given me insight into how children develop and how rewarding it is to see them grow.

When I become a teacher I would like to be a fun and approachable teacher who understands the needs of the children. I would want to make the children feel motivated about learning and show various styles of learning. I would like active learning to be a main part of my teaching as I believe children learn more by doing, rather than sitting with pencil and paper for a full school day.

Jade Lumsden.