Second year here at the University of Dundee is exciting because our placement is that little bit different than others. We do a placement called Learning from Life where we can go anywhere we want to for 6 weeks and can document the whole journey however we want to! So when considering the possibilities I really struggled. I decided the best thing to do (and the fact we have to do it anyway to pass the module) would to be to create an audit of what skills I have, what knowledge I already have and my personal attributes.
What skills do I have?
- Confident at working with early years, brownies and guides
- Good at working in groups, talking to adults and being put in new situations
- Creative, flexible, good self discipline and good computing skills (especially blogging!)
What knowledge do I already have?
- I am a peer educator so have a lot of knowledge about health and wellbeing/activities surrounding these also
- Knowledge from my last professional placement – behaviour strategies, planning techniques and confidence in taking whole classes
- I have a background of knowledge about the Scottish Curriculum
What are my personal attributes
- I have a passion for teaching and working with children
- I enjoy history, reading, crafts and a willingness to reflect (otherwise known as a love of blogging)
- I am really organised, in fact I’m probably so organised you could say it’s a negative…
So when I had done all of that I had to think about what I wanted to take out of this placement, what goals was I striving to achieve during my 6 weeks? Well, that was relatively easy.
- I want to work with a different curriculum (preferably the English curriculum but I’m not fussy)
- I want to learn about private boarding schools and government run schools and the difference between them (if there is one). It’s something I have always been interested in and this seems the perfect opportunity to find out!
- I want to learn about schools from all aspects from the kitchen to the classroom
I really enjoyed my placement last year, I was in a small school with just over a hundred children and it was open plan which was a whole new experience for me! I was so worried at first because I’m a little on the petite side and thought me in an open plan room with a load of children and other teachers would never work. Lets just say I found my voice (foghorn) during those weeks and I’m ever so glad I did. Although, I was only there for 6 weeks I went back to go on a school trip with my class to the discovery which the children all really enjoyed. I had never been to the discovery and found myself actually learning with the children which was a good learning opportunity for myself. I realised that teachers have to do some research before topics so they know what they are teaching is correct and I’d never really considered this before. I also went along to a couple of after school clubs to see what impact these have on the children in that school. They loved them and the opportunities they got through it. Especially “code club” which involved coding for games and was a perfect mix between learning and fun. The only time that I didn’t enjoy anything was my last day and having to leave – so that must show just how positive the experience really was for me.
Taking into account my previous placement and what I wanted to get out of the next one lead me down the private school route. I’d already taught the scottish curriculum in a state school and knew that my goals included looking into private education. So I’m very excited to be attending a private preparatory school for boys on the banks of the river thames in Oxfordshire. They board their pupils from Year 5 and up and run loads of activities during the week for the boarders they have. I am so lucky to be given the chance to go on my placement and honestly can’t wait to start! I’ll be blogging the whole way through – so keep up to date with my placement on here.