Category Archives: 1.3 Trust & Respect

I know the caterpillar is hungry but do I need to know why?

Another fun filled expedition with my Ruby to delve into the world of science. This time it was another impromptu discussion brought up by the world around us. The location was the cycle path along by Barry Buddon (army base), a lovely contrast of environments: golf and a train track on one side and gunfire on the other with a wildlife rich walk slap bang in the middle. We often walk along here to watch the trains, identifying the company names and cargo we think they might be carrying and to where. Ruby’s keen eye spotted something large and furry as she rode her horse Star (bicycle) along the path. I was welcome of the break as her four wheels move much faster than my two legs.

The following video is of her recalling knowledge, the catalyst for this being the presence of the caterpillar. Ruby appears to be hanging like a cocoon in this video and Ollie the dog is a bit out of puff (it isn’t me). My mini scientist then went on to discuss the different appearance of the cocoon and caterpillar in relation to whether the insect would be a moth or a butterfly. The brighter or greener the outside then it was more likely to be a butterfly. The darker or hairier the outside it was more likely to be a moth. Every day is a school day! Ruby deduced that our fluffy caterpillar would most likely become a moth but we would have to come back to see because it would be unfair to take it home.

As a child I learnt about the butterfly life cycle, read the Hungry Caterpillar, was able to dig and explore outdoors whenever I wanted at home and was amazed by their delicate but intimidating presence on a trip to Butterfly World in primary 1. Considering that was 24 years ago I believe this shows what a profound effect the whole topic and the teacher had on my love of creepy crawlies. Spiders are even included in that. I understood we were much bigger than them, we should care for them and they have very important jobs to do. Within the science benchmarks for early years, SCN1-01a discusses consideration of growth and sorting organisms by features. I find this a tenuous link really, which made me question why the humble butterfly’s life cycle is one regularly taught, what children gain from this and why did this work so much better outside.

Instruction from Education Scotland in the Science Benchmarks is to allow children to develop understanding and skills in a practical manner(Benchmarks, pg2). My memories are vivid due to hands on experience outside of a classroom. But does real life experience in the outdoors engage learners? Currently the Association for Science Education, a UK organisation, champions the need for outdoor education in the field of Science education. In Scotland specifically, Education Scotland have the Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning document, that encourages “planning for spontaneous local visits when weather is favourable.”(pg13) Slightly confusing terms: having to organise something spontaneous and only head outdoors if it is sunny?! We live in Scotland. Furthermore, science education is explicitly mentioned once (pg8) in the outdoor education document and the outdoors are mentioned only once (pg2) in the benchmarks. Consider also that a recent (2016) paper by the University of Edinburgh, Outdoor Learning in Scotland:Issues for Education, identified that not enough was being done beyond policy making to insure children had true engagement in outdoor education. This was due to a lack of training, provision, awareness, facilities and accountability (pg3).

I am just doing as I am encouraged at University and questioning the didactic methods in the hope that this will help me be the teacher I want to be within the Scottish education system. I know, from experience in classrooms that last minute trips do happen whether it is a trip to the playground to read a book or wandering in the local area to discuss homes. I can’t however, help but think that maybe more teachers would feel more confident in utilising the outdoors if they felt wholly encouraged and at times told. Theorists such as Pestalozzi and Froebel championed outdoor education, an area I am passionate about. However more recently and most succinctly, Priest (1986) established outdoor education as a system that was dependent on six factors: it was a method; it utilises the wealth of knowledge from experiential theorists like Dewey and Pestalozzi; it is essential for learning; it provides learning opportunities across cognitive, emotional and physical development; it highlights that our curriculum is naturally cross-curricular and a key component is that many relationships contribute to a child’s education (Watchow, Brown, 2011, pg18). This encourages me to pursue my pedagogical stance whilst teaching science.

How could the butterfly engage children in outdoor learning? How can it not? The butterfly is just so magical! The charity, Butterfly Conservation have an interesting breakdown of the scientific and educational value the butterfly and moth hold within the UK, all under the heading Why Butterflies Matter. This got me thinking of a stimulus for a topic about extinction, migration and adaptation in the natural world. The butterfly is a prime candidate.

The gems are probably the best-preserved fossils of any butterfly  photo credit New Scientist

Imagine the conversations and investigations that could occur from placing this image or even better an imitation of this in a small wooden crate surrounded by shredded paper and handled with white gloves delivered with a stamp from the Scottish Museum? Or bury it in the play ground or shallow trough for children to excavate. Taking the children butterfly spotting in spring, can we find any? Why not? What can we do to bring them here? You could possibly explore life cycle, adaptation, extinction and most importantly conservation. The E&O being SCN2-01a the survival and adaptation of a species. I would be interested as an adult, let alone a child.

Whilst meeting Es and Os is important and guaranteeing progression enables life long learning I cannot help but feel a prescribed curriculum could occur if sole focus of meeting E&Os is stringently followed. I understand it is discouraged within the Benchmarks and that they are not for assessment but I had to scour the Experiences and Outcomes to shoe-horn the butterfly life cycle in when I know it is covered so frequently and how exciting it can be. There is no doubt that science lends itself to inquiry-based learning, in the outdoors with field work and that is aided by interest, opportunity and passion. Not ticking of boxes.

As Ruby and I discussed her bike may well have ended that caterpillars hurried journey to safety and food. Being outside, being aware of the human role and responsibility in the world of nature is one that is dear to my heart. An area I believe science in the Scottish Primary can really uncover and have lifelong impact upon.


I’m telling on you….

We have been learning about stage theory as part of the Thinking Child inputs with Carrie. Automatically as a mum your mind races to your own child. Ruby is three and has spent nearly all of her life with myself and significant adults; only recently starting at a nursery for 3-5s. I was lucky enough to warm to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development when I studied my HNC, so this unwittingly became part of my parenting style.

The key root being that age old, nature v nurture debate. Vygotsky introduced the concept of becoming ourselves through interaction with others. The basic concepts within the theory resonated with me because they made sense. Of course children will pick up on how to do things from adults and peers around them but they must be given an encouraging environment to practice these themselves, then a knowledgeable adult to guide them onto new challenges. We take for granted how child-led teaching, indeed parenting is today. It was theorists like Vygotsky who highlighted the importance of positive reinforcement and the support system it takes for children to reach potential.

This concept of cultural and interpersonal forces impacting on who we are was clearly seen in a recent documentary on Channel 4, The Secret Life of a 4 Year Old. Baring in mind my own daughter is not 4 till April, I wanted to snoop to get a heads up on what I should expect from my already flamboyant toddler. The fly on the wall style and minimal adult interaction was the perfect situation to breed peer relationships and witness behaviours that adults can somewhat impair. Piagetian Stage Theory, appeared to me, to be contradicted.

The children all being 4 would fit into the pre-operational stage; remaining egocentric and unable to see thing’s from another’s perspective. This was not the case for a few of the children, you could see those who grasped empathy, were shaking the schemas of those who had not quite got there. Unlike how an adult would approach children being negative to their peers, a sense of self governance took over and moral justice had to be served. Creating a ZPD between children and allowing progression through adverse situations often persevering with the quieted children in the group to form budding friendships. From a teacher’s perspective this could well support the concept of peer learning but refute the claims that it is age we should be grouped by?

Well aware of what is right and wrong the young girl Tia told the boy Jake that he shouldn’t be repeatedly shouting that the girls won’t win a race because it will hurt the girls’ feeling’s. Showing a level of empathy for her peers. The group was then given a task to not leave their seats as the adults went to get them presents, if any one moved none of the children would receive their presents. The looming threat did not deter both Tia and Jake who left their seats… then Tia understood she wouldn’t be getting a present (watching the idea dawn on her face was priceless) so tried to bribe her peers into not telling. A healthy debate ensued between Tia and another morally robust little girl named Charlotte. It was fascinating to watch as they brought in the mild threat of not being each other’s friend, then onto “no one will get a present then”, that then escalated to “I’ll tell my mummy, daddy, granny and santa clause”. The girls knew that the idea of an adult backed their argument. Adults are seen as morally just and they will agree with me!

charlie brown

This machiaveillian approach shows a small step into understanding the Theory of Mind. By introducing mild threat then escalating into mild bullying, Tia wasn’t showing empathy she was using her knowledge that adults and deprivation of presents can insight fear. Ipso facto Charlotte will then do as she is told and not tell the adult’s myself and Jack were out of our seats and we will all get presents. It’s this juxtaposition of empathy and apathy that surprised me, arguably one cannot be grasped without the understanding of the other. The understanding of the Theory of Mind was further supported when one of the children queried another child on how to approach the situation; asking advice on how to move forward from a peer opposed to an adult. This shows a distinct understanding that people act differently, therefore they think differently and their way of thinking might work best for me here.

My own daughter is quick to correct the wrong doing’s of others when they impact upon her or those she deems close. She has such extreme moral views that she is confident enough to question and correct adults. If a child doesn’t want to play with her friend at nursery she can easily tell me how that must have upset her friend and that she told the teacher but she will easily dismiss a friend if they don’t “fit in” to her game.

Just to clarify the video above is an example of what I see as wrong in today’s classrooms and early years settings. Children’s feelings should never be quashed or deemed unimportant.

This must be seen so often in classrooms, especially in early years. I believe that instead of imposing ourselves as the governing official and keeper of all knowledge we should attempt to impart morals and then allow the children to reach their own outcomes; settling any disequilibrium with their peers. Showcasing ourselves as morally just and honest. Quite like Piaget advocating children being active in their learning, not passive. As a teacher I hope to be able to give quarrels or disputes the credit they deserve as an invaluable learning opportunity. When a child comes to me with a problem I want to be able to engage in meaningful dialogue to explore why? how? what? and where do we go from here? Being able to introduce children to the theory of mind would open doors for the whole curriculum.


Children come to teachers, on average, at 5 years old. This is just after a big growth spurt, just as they have learnt the right word for that odd looking fruit in tesco, just as they have established that first ‘best friend forever’, just as they can kick that football as far as the park gate. The trepidation they must feel walking into the classroom full of somewhat unfamiliar faces, a crisp white shirt on and some itchy trousers. Then the added assumption that these 5 year old’s are walking into that classroom with what is deemed a “normal” family and a secure attachment .

Now imagine you’re that 5 year old, who for no fault of your own, have had a far from “normal” childhood. Walking into yet another unfamiliar space, another adult they have to listen to and another environment where they lack control. Many theorists believe healthy, predominantly maternal, attachments create a balanced adult: Bowlby, Ainsworth and Harlow. But what happens to those children who have lacked this prior to primary school? Do they become insecure, vulnerable children who we can’t help?

The psychoanalyst Francoise Dolto went through a difficult childhood herself and created a theory based on a lack of adult understanding and sought to help children release and discover their individual inclinations. She believed the adult should be a role model and example opposed to imparting methods. This approach resonated with me, children today will experience and be savvy to much more than even my generation would have known. Dolto believed the educator’s role was to teach children how to lead themselves. Amazingly a nursery was opened in Paris in the late 20th century that was based on Dolto’s theories. The Maison Verte was a nursery setting for the child and their parent, to help create a stepping stone into the education system and reduce separation anxiety. These settings are still around today. Indeed it is a setting I would love to experience myself. I believe it is best to facilitate a child’s own interests, engage in their positive aspirations alongside them.

There are other psychologists who advocate multiple attachments. Bruno Bettelheim helped give insight into childcare systems, he studied children living communally in what was called a kibbutz in Israel. The children all lived away from the family home in special houses. This may have developed less one to one attachments but they thrived socially and built meaningful friendships. Contrary to his presumption that the children would become mediocre adults they, on the whole, thrived and became successful individuals. So peer relationships can help form meaningful attachments.

If a child’s attachment isn’t insecure but is enough to cause occasional ambivalent behaviours what challenges do educators face? There is little chance that in the 35 hours teachers have a child each week they can reverse or overshadow the home environment. It is therefore crucial school can be a place of trust and understanding, where a child can be a child. Encouraging play in the classroom as much as possible, engaging with the outdoors and allowing education to occur as naturally as possible. Indeed psychologist Michael Rutter, who refuted Bowlbys claim of a single secure attachment to the mother, voiced that family discord was the source of antisocial behaviours, not maternal deprivation. I have to side in favour of Rutter, a child may have always lacked a steady, loving mother. In no means does that label the child as unloved and lacking attachment.

Virginia Satir also highlighted the importance of the family unit on attachments. Her study delved into the role a person plays and adapts at times within the family and the seed this plants for adulthood. She voiced the importance of positive emotional connections in order to stay true to ones authentic self. This, to me, shows the compensatory role some children adopt when they feel unsure of an attachment. They want to feel included, loved and their needs attended to. So if a mother lacks the drive to provide all of these the wider family can. Families come in all shapes and sizes, even foster families. I have been witness to the wonder of a good foster setting, the turn around in that child within a short space of time was so encouraging.

Being exposed to attachment theory and all it’s complexities it’s hard not to notice obvious lack of meaningful attachments. When we hear the horror stories from Romanian orphanages or see grave images of children systematically left to fend for themselves on the streets of other countries we are shocked and appalled. This stark need for care and love may not be as apparent in a small council school in Dundee but it may still be there. 1 in 5 Scottish children are living in poverty, in Dundee that becomes 1 in 4 and in the worst affected areas within Dundee that becomes 1 in 3. Half of these children are from “working families”, the effect this can have on family dynamics and the level of stress and anxiety within the home is cause for concern. Away from the home the teacher can adopt the Social Learning Theory advocated by theorists like Bandura, where positive interaction can lead to healthy attachments.

It is hard to disconnect our own experiences and childhoods from those children we come into contact with. Expecting their lives to mirror our own, in some strangely ingrained manner. Not all children will have a mother at home. Not all children will have a sole attachment. That doesn’t discredit the attachments they do have and the ones they deem beneficial and important.


Aspects of a Professional


A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified activity. This could mean having a professional manner to their work or being part of what society deems a profession. Not to get into debate or start my assignment early, I am going to reflect upon 5 key aspects that help construct the teacher as a professional.


To be able to show concern for the misfortunes of others is such a meaningful attribute to have in the teaching profession. As a teacher you work and come into contact with people from all walks of life; relating to them in a compassionate manner puts yourself in a more favourable light. There is a wariness to not become condescending but this is learnt with time and I believe it is better for a teacher to show compassion than indifference. Hopefully if a child is shown compassion they are more likely to mimic and display this in their own lives and the wider community.


This is a harder characteristic to reflect upon but an incredibly important one. A teacher must first and foremost be honest with themselves, true reflection is needed to be a better teacher. To be honest with pupils and families is to give meaningful input and constructive criticism but never to pass judgement. The community needs to see a professional manner and to be brutally honest may become detrimental.

Moral Courage

This leads on well from honesty as morals can be so varied between the teacher, her class and indeed colleagues. When it comes to a child’s safety, moral courage is paramount. Being able to justifiably protect the children in our care is so important. Even if the outcome isn’t of great benefit personally, there should be no doubt when it comes to doing the right thing. Corresponding closely with the GTCS Standards for Registration and beyond.


Teachers should give respect but also hope to be treated with respect. When the teacher is treated disrespectfully it is within their power to act in a manner becoming of the profession and our regulatory body. No respect can be given if it is not deserved: it is the regards for the rights, abilities and qualities of others. Gaining respect as a teacher must be so valuable in their job and the wider community. Respected professionals are listened to, confided in, needed and trusted by those around them. It must be a very rewarding feeling.


Justice (fairness in the way people are treated), namely Social Justice (distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within society) should mean so much to today’s teacher because the world is increasingly interdependent. The GTCS standard put Social Justice at the core of Professional Values and Personal Commitment (GTCS 1.1.1). It is my hope that I can help create a Just Society; help to create an informed and Socially Just generation, so atrocities are not repeated. Teachers have to predominantly teach in a Socially Just fashion; fact independent from opinion and that is what they are entrusted to provide. As a teacher it is vital to help children act in a Just manner, therefore they must educate children with various theories and a holistic approach. The Curriculum for Excellence relates to this with the idea of a global citizen but the concept of justice resonates in the four capacities; Successful Learners (openness to new ideas), Confident Individuals (secure values and beliefs), Responsible Citizens (respect for others) and Effective Contributors (enterprising attitude). Providing a Socially Just education in a Just manner.

Teachers on professionalism

What makes a teacher who makes a difference?

The following values are taken from the GTCS Standards;

Professional Commitment

  • Engaging with all aspects of professional practice and working collegiately with all members of our educational communities with enthusiasm, adaptability and constructive criticality.
  • Committing to lifelong enquiry, learning, professional development and leadership as core aspects of professionalism and collaborative practice

It is stated how important commitment is to being a teacher, in Video 1 the similarities between doctors and teachers are highlighted. I understand the viewpoint but must disagree on the severity of life and death used. There are many successful, functioning human beings who lacked a professional teacher in their lives. There are not as many individuals alive and well after being at the hands of an unprofessional doctor. The teacher makes a difference when their is accountability and commitment but more so if the child, family and community are behind the teacher. The teacher must adapt to her surroundings and meet the needs of her students and their families. It is this hark back to the respected teacher that is highlighted in the video.  These teachers only know they are making a difference because the feedback from communities and the impact they have on the entire education system. Going above and beyond is an understatement, the willingness to actively engage, challenge and develop the system as well as themselves. This commitment to the profession is about knowing your place within it is subject to change. You are responsible and accountable for the education you provide. So to be a teacher who makes a difference you must want to first BE that difference.

Teachers on professionalism

In the second video Miss Long highlighted the introduction of benchmarking, the across board way to see if a teacher is succeeding. I can see the stress this may cause but it is mainly a benefit. Children deserve equal opportunities and the access to efficient teachers. Mrs Chemmi discussed the importance of a professional personality. Children imitating the actions and words of the teacher. This made perfect sense but local dialogue or a relatable accent can be of benefit when talking with parents. Adaptability is key, children should have a positive, polite and professional constant with their teachers and the teacher herself should be professional enough to adapt to that. It was Mrs Walsh and Mrs Smith I related most too. Speaking to children in a manner that won’t offend their home life is something I have first hand experience with. It takes a great level of professional conduct to approach an incident of profanity in a nursery setting! The child should never feel ashamed of their background, if it is difficult it is to build upon, if it is entitled there is scope for diversifying. I have always been intrigued with early years language acquisition and the little importance based on professional manner in private nurseries. It is a pot luck. Professionalism is about the teacher embracing the profound influence they have on the children they teach and also encompass the impact the have in the child’s wider world. With teachers now being a child’s likely Named Person, as part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, the teacher’s influence is solidified both inside and out-with the classroom.

Worker or Professional?

As this a purely personal reflection on the message this video sent to me I feel I can be honest. From Mr. Christie I saw an idealised view of a teacher, the message that teachers should be appreciated and should be carried on our shoulders. They were all wishes, not reality. This mollycoddling perception, publicly voiced to reiterate the notion of the teacher as a valued member of society: but only when they do a “great job”. It is unjust to assume all teachers do a great job, as in all professions it is hard to equate. It is then easy to brand them all the same and in knowing not all are great, the pay can stay the same. Why pay more when not all teachers deserve to be carried on shoulders.

Karen Lewis saying she was an “educational worker” upset me. I am aware that too many teachers don’t just punch a clock and do a job. They have passion and commitment to their profession. The career itself demands extra hours, further study, planning and continuous development. A union is important and I am unsure as to whether Karen was pretending to be obtuse, as that is how she feels she is treated; or whether she genuinely thinks teaching isn’t a profession. No matter how she felt she is clearly a teacher currently within the system and if her morale regarding her chosen “profession” is so low it leads to many questions. This quote resonated with me and relates well to Karen and the message I took from her speech.

“The system which makes no great demands upon originality, upon invention… works automatically to put and to keep the more incompetent teachers in the school. Where their time and energy are likely to be..occupied with details of external conformity”

J.Dewey 1941

Me, Me, Me

Completing a questionnaire about learning styles seems borderline irrelevant when we are geared towards creating holistic individuals, however, I was keen to find out what type of learner they thought I was. I have been reading more and more about how learning styles are detrimental. One of the reasons being, you are catering to a child’s strength not improving upon a weakness. I can see how this can be a hindrance but I found it beneficial to highlight what areas I need to work on.

There are many learning style theorists; Gunn and Gunn, VAK learning styles, Gregorc’s mind styles and Kolb. The questionnaire I took was the Honey and Mumford Learning Styles Questionnaire, influenced by Kolb’s experiential learning styles. The questionnaire has 4 basic experiential learning style outcomes; Activist, Reflector, Theorist and Pragmatist. Out of 80 questions I related to 34 and these are my results

Activist = 14              Reflector = 4           Theorist = 8               Pragmatist = 8

These show that I have, according to Honey and Mumford an Activist learning style. I am in short, a do-er. My criticism’s towards this sort of questionnaire were that I found the questions very non specific and they were hard to give a definite answer to. There was only one question I answered with a whole hearted YES and that was “I prefer to respond to events on a spontaneous, flexible basis rather than plan things out in advance.” Now I know very well that I cannot and do not approach my university work like this… I’d say I utilise aspects of the 4 and want everything as perfect as I can make it.  If I had answered these questions in my youth or prior to having my daughter I know my answers would be very different.  So it is correct in the sense that we all have different ways we think, regarding our overall learning style, but it is not definitive of who I am or the only way I learn. If I reflect, so far, on my time at University I know I have come into contact with at least 4 different teaching styles/methods/approaches. If I didn’t have the skills to decipher those “styles” with my learning style I would be in a pickle.

Children should be seen as individuals and exposure to varying approaches and involvement within their community will hopefully shape them to be all types of learners. They will develop, change and expand their learning the more “styles” they use in their enquiries and as they grow. If a child is solely taught in one teaching style you are not creating the opportunity for praxis and collaboration of ideas. It is imparting on the children a sense of how to do things in the wider world. Take an onus for their holistic learning, not “training” them to seek out chances to use a specific style.

This appears to be a bash at learning styles, maybe my inner Activist took hold. Joking aside, compartmentalising a child is a restriction. That restriction may also apply to the teacher if learning styles are focussed on too heavily. Understanding of learning styles should be used as a primitive base for teachers to comprehend the vast responsibility that is: teaching. We are aiming for inspirational stimulation in the classroom and I believe that concentrated focus and labelling of learning styles detracts from this.



A Messy Divorce

The GTCS code regarding social media and its use is clear in conveying the importance of conscientious contribution to the world of Social Media. For all the perks of the profession and the reward, it is also in the GTCS’ best interests that the teachers of Scotland conduct themselves in a manner that instils trust within the pupils, parents and society.

In my opinion I feel teachers would be perceived as out of touch and reluctant to be forward thinkers themselves if they didn’t embrace Social Media in some-way or another. Social Media should be seen as an extension of the classroom and if the teacher is willing to marry their private life to that professional space, they are doing so against guidance. Social Media as an entity is judgemental and self-involved. Understanding the intense pressure there is to be involved in Social Media is the first step. It is everywhere! Instead of adopting a “retreat!” attitude, as teachers, we should be innovating ways to make it benefit the pupils. If you want your private life to stay as such, insure you have the correct settings. I know myself that I have a private Facebook and Instagram account, however my Pintrest is public. I find Pintrest a positive space, devoid of too many trolls or negative comments and enjoy searching recipes, fashion design and rainy day projects. Social Media has the power to portray the teacher as holistic, human, relatable and approachable. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram cannot help but become personal, the line is blurred before the first post is even created. It is all about how you feel and what you think, the temptation to blurt a rant on Facebook is all too easy. Emotions are at the core, “liking”, “reposting”, “#selfie”. Marrying the private and professional aspects exposes the teacher to scrutiny and to befriend a pupil or parent goes against the guidance laid out for us as part of our regulatory body.

So, if I feel Facebook and twitter are too personal and places like glow are too professional or not inclusive of parents then what space do I use? If Social Media is to be a positive experience for all involved, what can I do to get it incorporated?

Pinterest and YouTube are easily accessible, BoB is useful for keeping track of educational programmes. I think many of these social media platforms bring the real world to the classroom. Live connections that can change the setting instantly; evoke instant emotion and discussion. Insuring first and foremost that you are well versed in the lingo, savvy about safety and aware of the omnipresence that Social Media has become. If use of social media is approached in the same manner a teacher would approach a book or a project; well planned, concise and relevant, then there is no detriment to the pupils.

We are now part of a culture that sees children exposed too young, to so many inappropriate images. The need for them to relate and conform to society is a growing pressure and instead of teachers shying away from the subject of social media they need to be seen as a guide. In saying that they also have to guide parents. Why can’t social media be used positively to bridge the gap between home and school? Indeed, between personal life and school?

I looked into this and within a few searches I found a site called Edmodo, a space for pupils, teachers and parents alike. It claims to keep parents in the loop about upcoming assignments, eases use of on the go learning and makes class comprehension something you can analyse mid lesson. For teachers it has all the benefits of social media in a professional context. This appears to be catered to the English curriculum but it’s very interesting how sleek and appealing it looks. Could it be the Facebook for teachers?

As a parent my-self the horror stories regarding misuse of Social Media seem to be splayed everywhere. This doesn’t deter me from encouraging Social Media use in the classroom but it does highlight the need for dialogue. Attitudes will not change if the horror stories are continuously repeated and then documented, ironically, on news sites and Social Media. We teach children how to cross the road, how to construct a sentence but when it comes to Social Media it appears to be them teaching us. Children are all too aware of the independence they can feel on the “big bad internet” and it is our job to show them how to handle that independence and use it to a positive end.

Children have created the frame, catapulting social media into the classroom and we must help them keep within age appropriate boundaries but make the content engaging and beneficial. They will see massive changes in their lifetime. When I was 5 I never imagined I’d be using the internet to converse with people all over the world instantaneously. Actually, when I was 5, there was no internet! If I can’t resist using Social Media in my personal life then surely I can utilise it in my professional life? By following the Professional Guidance on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media as guidelines we can help shape the positive use of Social Media in the classroom. There is opportunity to bypass media hegemony and use Social Media to mould a more Just society