Category Archives: 3.4 Prof. Reflection & Commitment

Reflecting on Discovering Maths

When beginning the module, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from it. In fact, when picking it at the end of first year I expected I’d be going into another maths class like at school – which filled me with excitement. I have to say I was a little disappointed when I found out this wasn’t the case.
However, the module has allowed me to explore so many areas of maths that I didn’t think of before. Who would have thought maths was necessary when riding a motorbike?
At the beginning of the module Liping Ma and her Profound Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics confused me terribly. I just couldn’t get my head around the meanings and explanations of the 4 principles she used to describe what a PUFM was. When reading her book, I was submerged into this and found out how important it really is. When looking back onto my first placement I’ve realised even more how necessary this is. One of my first maths lessons didn’t exactly go to plan and I ended up getting myself mixed up and confused by the questions the pupils were doing. The lesson was on area – straightforward to someone who has done Higher Maths – but when the pupils were coming to me confused about one particular question, I was beginning to get flustered when my explanations weren’t helping them to understand. I have now realised how important it is to have PUFM as it allows you, as the teacher, to explain much more to the pupils in depth and breadth. With this deep understanding, you are less likely to get confused yourself, which is vital when trying to instil confidence and understanding in the pupils.
Throughout the different inputs I found it fascinating to unpick all the different areas where maths is used. My favourite input was the one on Logistics and Supply Chains, which included information about food miles and how much it costs to fly or ship things to us, how things are packaged to maximise space when shipping and retailers having to choose what to stock in their stores. We then did a role play exercise and game to see how demand planning in stores worked. We had to work in pairs to choose what 5 items and how many of each item we would buy per quarter of the year, without going over budget, to see who could make the biggest profit. This allowed us to see how effective stores have to be when choosing what to stock, as if they buy too much of something and it goes off or people don’t buy enough of it, this will all be money wasted. They have to be able to budget their money efficiently and buy what will sell most. A tricky process even in a make-believe game.
Overall, I think the module was very effective at providing me with more maths knowledge and helping me to see how important it is that I do have a good maths knowledge for going out into schools. I need to be able to give the pupils in my class the best opportunity to learn maths in a fun and challenging environment that pushes them to the best of their ability. I believe the interaction in this module has helped me realise how important that is.

Reflection TDT

After recently receiving our grades for our Values module I have been able to look back and reflect on the lack of work I did for this module and realise that I need to be much more proactive and dedicated when it comes to extra work and reading at home. My grade being worse than expected has really opened my eyes to the amount of work and effort you need to put in on your own in order to be successful.

At school, especially in 6th year I usually got by quite well without having to do an excess of revision and extra work as I did most of my stuff in class or in free periods. Also having two easy subjects and one Advanced Higher in 6th year, which I really enjoyed and engaged with, I found it very simple to manage my work load in school and not have to do a lot of extra work at home. This got me in a bad habit when it came to starting university as I wasn’t motivated or prepared for the amount of work I was going to have to do. This really came over in my mark for my Values essay and definitely emphasised how much work I will need to do to improve.

By reflecting and looking back I have realised that I will need to put in a lot more work this semester if I want to keep up the high standard of work I produced in school and will need to really engage with extra reading and tutor directed tasks to stay focused and up to date. I think this grade has really shocked me and allowed me to see that university will not be as simple as I thought it would be.

I think reflection is a really big part of learning as it allows you to easily look back and evaluate how well or how badly something went and can let you make improvements. It’s a really good way to let you look at what you did really well and why it went well, and also what didn’t go so well and what you can do to make that better. In order to progress you need to be able to realise when you make mistakes or when something doesn’t go to plan, but you also need to have the tools to be able to improve these things or change the way you do something so as to move forward and develop.

Why teaching?

When writing my personal statement to apply to university I was told many times not to state that teaching was my passion as it would be seen as cliché and cheesy but how else do you describe something that you’re so enthusiastic about?

The main reason I chose to study teaching was because of my love for working and interacting with children and seeing how your efforts allow them to improve and grow. Witnessing children progress with something they find tricky or doing well in a situation which they would usually feel uncomfortable because you have encouraged and helped them, is definitely worth the sometimes hard or difficult times you can have during university or work.

I enjoy being in a role of responsibility and being someone that people feel they can turn to for advice in tough times. Both of which are qualities that a teacher require as you need to be able to nurture your pupils enough so that they feel comfortable in your classroom environment. I think I can incorporate empathy and dependability into my teaching style so that pupils can put their trust in me in order to improve their school experience.

I am looking forward to be able to work with different year groups and different kids during university placement and gain the skills that will allow me to help children in the best way I can as that is why I haven chosen to study teaching.