1. Why do you want to teach? Greatly enjoyed the child development and language acquisition modules at university I followed this up with the Student associate scheme, 2 solid weeks in a primary school and continued with one day a week in a local primary school once I decided it was primary I wanted to teach and I had started to work- gave me insight into the career of a teacher. The SAS especially allowed me dive deeper into what goes into be a teacher. Some very inspirational teachers, made the lessons extremely fun, I was amazed by their enthusiasm and the effect it on the children learning. The children had so much respect for the teacher and the teacher constantly had the children’s development, enjoyment and well being at heart. I want to make the learning environment a fun one like she did, I know personally when I revise I retain information much more effectively if I make it fun. I feel I have the creativity and ability to do this, I really enjoy working with children and seeing the scene of achievement they gain from learning new things. I am extremely organised and enthusiastic for the subjects I care about.
2. What experience do you have in schools? What did you gain from doing the Student Associate Scheme/experience in the classroom? What did you learn? Since university I part took in the Student Associate Scheme for 3 weeks in a secondary school, following that 2 weeks solid in a primary school and since then I have been in school one day a week. Had experience in every year group from early years to year 10 All experience- Observed good and bad teaching practise and the effect this has on the children’s learning SAS- Gained a better understanding of teaching and learning in the classroom through the completion of tasks SAS- Allowed me to support learning in the classroom, develop some simple resources and deliver some aspects of a lesson E.g. One task was to observe how teachers gave constructive feedback successfully and then put this into practise- I worked with year 9 children in food tech, I started a pupil lead discussion on how they thought they could level up there final specifications. The teacher then allowed me to complete the feedback sheet for the children I worked with, praising for good work and behaviour and suggesting ideas prompting more breadth.
E.g. I planned 3 lessons and taught one, a year 7 lesson on textiles finial product evaluation and with the help of the teacher taught part of it (SEE RESOURCE)
3. Why do you enjoy working with children? What did you enjoy about your work experience? Extremely rewarding, you are a very important and influential role model Get buzz from knowing you have successfully taught them new knowledge, and even bigger satisfaction when you witness the child using the knowledge you have taught them independently I’m a big kid at heart, I love playing games and watching children enjoy themselves especially when it is through my influence Almost all children are excited and willing to learning, it’s a refreshing environment to be in- being in a child’s world is much more fun then being in a adults world, adults are less enthusiastic and inquisitive 4. What do you enjoy about working in a school? I enjoy the liveliness and enthusiasm, openness and kindness children have- its refreshing I like the chance to inspire and motivate children I enjoy working In a fun and colourful environment 5. Why primary? Why key stage 2? I am lucky enough to have had experience in foundation, primary and secondary schools. Even luckier to have had experience in two very different primary schools, a inner city catholic school in Liverpool and a Cofe school in a well off area in Nottingham Although my first choice for the SAS was primary, I was placed in secondary due to my A level in textiles, this was a blessing in disguise, I showed me I defiantly prefer primary. I prefer: o Teaching across the whole curriculum, a variety of subjects, secondary is just one subject- prefer a variety o Like the fact you get to build a relationship with one particular class for a year- I like to get to know each child properly, I feel this is more beneficial to the children too as I get to learn their abilities in more depth o The children at primary usually have much more enthusiasm to learn the children in secondary, I find it inspiring and refreshing. o I feel more confident working with children in the key stage 2 age range o I prefer planning and implementing acitivies where the children are learning more advanced knowledge e.g. science experiments
o I also like the fact older children are a little more independent and self sufficient then KS1 or foundation- they are more developed in their sense of humour too which I can relate to more o I do find however the whole Primary age range extremely rewarding and fun to work with 6. Describe a situation when have you had to use your initiative. The teacher was called out of the class room in an emergency situation at the end of the day during pack away leaving me in charge of the class with the support of another teacher being next door if I needed her I was thrown into the position of taking control so I split the class into two half’s and started a game of hang man The children responded well as I instated my authority immediately and provided them with a fun activity to direct their attention to.
7. What would be your ideal classroom environment? It would be complete learning environment- children walk in and know it is a place for learning and respect I would also want it to be a fun, colourful and enjoyable place to be I would chose a theme per term and plan the curriculum around it, ensure the displays followed the theme, Children’s work would be displayed on the walls along side prompts, reminders and examples of each level Books, globes and computers would be readily available It would not be cramped but spacious with a quite area for reading All the desks would face towards the smartboard to avoid the children getting distracted Ideally there would be a class hamster and plants to teach the children how to look after another living thing
8. What do you look for the first time you enter a school and why? I think the school should be a welcoming place with a strong sense of school community: o Children’s work displayed on the walls o Colourful displays o Photos of all the staff with the class the teach o Year photos of the children o A welcoming reception o A bulletin board displaying news and upcoming events o Posters promoting healthy eating etc
o Signs pointing to different places, teacher and class name on classroom doors eg hall, library (Allows flow of school to continue, won’t disturb classes) Happy children and staff, the sound of fun learning and liveliness- If the children are enjoying themselves whilst learning there would be smiles and the sound of laughter all over the school
9. Can you think of a time you helped a child in the classroom? Why was it memorable? I worked with a year 7 student with social, emotional and behavioural problems in designing a logo for his textiles bag. To make the pupil feel more at ease I engage in conversation about his out of school activities and asked him what he liked and disliked about school. Once I had gained his trust and I could tell he had relaxed I then started to suggest we incorporated the things he enjoyed into his logo. With the one on one attention away from the rest of the class the pupils behaviour was much more calm and the rest of the class proceeded without disruption. It was memorable because the boy seemed quite shocked I had taken the time sit and talk to him about the issues he was experiencing with school, he explained the other teachers just saw him as trouble so he didn’t see the point in behaving- self fulfilling prophecy
10. Why are you applying to this particular teaching course? I chose the PGCE over Scitt or GTP as the balance of lectures and school experience appealed to me. I believe as important as hands on school experience is, so is having a good academic and theory basis. Leicester University is close to my home, ideally I wanted to avoid moving away as I feel being settled in one place will contribute greatly to my success on the course. Leicester uni has a good reputation and is 23 in the Complete university guide rankings
11. What were the qualities of a teacher you admired? One teacher in particular at the school I frequently visited was brilliant, the children loved her and you could tell she cared deeply about the well-being and development of every child in her class. She is very enthusiastic and believes that enjoyment is key to children learning successfully, She had the ability to demand and sustain the attention of the class without shouting even, as in one circumstance, when two classes were combined, In every lesson I observed, where possible, she made a game often using visual, aduial and kinaesthetic methods.
For example in a year 5 English class on how to level up a piece of descriptive writing she assigned points, phrases and hand actions to different features such as describing how, why and punctuation. The class as a whole then competed against each other to remember the features first for points – every child was enthusiastically joining in and motivated to win! The teacher’s theory was that in SATs when the children panic and have a mind block they could recreate the hand actions to remember what features they must include in their writing. None of her classes were boring or disorganised; every lesson had an introduction of aims and recaps, various different creative activities and a summary. She was very understanding and patient- always willing to re-explain something if the children didn’t understand and provide extra help, she was also quick to try a different explanation if a chid was struggling. She expected a high level of ability from every child, constantly providing positive reinforcement never stunting the child by capping the level they could potentially reach, As well as being an excellent teacher she’s an exceptional role model. I was able to observe her punish two children who had been scraping in the playground. She asked each child why it were fighting, explained why their behaviour was unacceptable and then asked them what punishment they thought would be suitable. I admired her method as it made both children think about their actions and the consequences.
12. What qualities made a good teacher: Good time management Good organisation skills Good communication skills Patience Enthusiasm Creativity Commitment Flexibility Having the ability to manage children’s behaviour Good sense of humour The ability to motivate and interest pupils Being a good role model E.g. one teacher I had at school was all of these- she was more then willing to re-explain something as many times as needed in different terms until you understood, she would always stay behind in class if you needed help and she was like a professional friend, somebody you could talk to and trust and always had your best interest at heart
13. What makes a good lesson: Well planned Visual, auditory and kinesthetic properties Inclusion of ICT Creativity Children focused on task Children lead discussion Excitement and enjoyment Cross curricular Clear learning outcomes and success criteria
14. What educational issues have interested you in the news recently, and why?/ What are the most important issues facing schools at the moment? 1.The National Curriculum review 2013 The UK Government is reviewing the National Curriculum with the intention of ‘slimming it down’ and concentrating its content on ‘essential knowledge’ every student should learn. All existing national curriculum subjects should remain statutory, but schools should be left to decide how to teach citizenship, design and technology and ICT. Oral language should be a strong feature of the curriculum. KS2 should be divided in half with new lower and upper stages eg. Lower year 3&4, higher year 5&6 All pupils should understand key elements of a body of knowledge before the move on to the next (this is the ‘ready to progress’ model) NC levels will be scrapped in favour of a new structure that would lay down expectations of what all children should know as they get older year by year- the current structure is not age related, the new structure will lay out what children should know by the time they react a certain age The National Curriculum we will work on will change in 2014 Is it right to downgrade ICT, D&T and Citizenship to become part of the basic curriculum where they won’t be tested? Will there be endless league tabled if the key stage is split? Is it really a national curriculum if free schools and academies opt out?
2. The introduction of the national phonics screening check Introduction of the national phonics screening check deigned to evaluate a child’s phonic knowledge- which are there to check that the child can decode, the ability to hear, identify and manipulate English phonemes (decode new written words by sounding them out) 40 words and non-words that a child reads aloud to their teacher
Worries it could mean more learning to test and take away from other aspects of reading such as for fun Another concern is the pass mark. If the pass mark remains as high as it was in the pilot, it’s likely that the parents of around 333,000 five and six year olds will be told their child has not reached the ‘expected standard’ The higher standards in year 1 should help children reach the expected level in year 2 Teachers are surprised the test highlighted problems with phonics they did not realize existed International and local results will be published, individual scores will not but teachers must tell parents how their child performed to the set standard Could phonics test lead to teaching to test? Will the emphasis on phonics mean that less time spent teaching other aspects of reading? Is the high pass score too high? Will the high number of marks needed to pass year 1 phonics test demoralize children and put them off children? Only a thrist passed the pilot study 3. Free schools and academies Michael Grove has said academies and free schools should be the first choice of local authorities when they decide to open a new school. Both types of school are free from local authority control- they can set their own pay ad conditions for staff, have more freedom around the delivery of the curriculum and have the ability to change the length of terms and school days Free schools can be set up by parents, charities, teachers or independent organisations on a range of sites - 24 free schools were opened in 2011.These schools have a large amount of independence while still being funded by the state. Academies are publicly funded independent local schools. They are all ability schools set up by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups working with partners from the local community. As of April 2012 there were 1776 academies in England. Why do these teachers and schools want to set up new schools? Because they believe it is possible to deliver higher-quality education and don't want to see another group of children leave school without fulfilling their potential. They want to be allowed to make a difference and are increasingly looking to free schools as a route to deliver the outcomes they want. It is a revolution because parents are asked for the first time, is this the kind of school you want for your child? Academies are able to innovate across all aspects of their work, such as curriculum, discipline, pastoral care, staff development and assessment, to tailor the support they provide and drive up standards for all pupils in the communities they serve.
15. What is Every Child Matters?/Save guarding ECM (green paper) is a UK government initiative for England that was launched in 2003, at least partly in response to the death of Victoria Climbié. In the past it has been argued that children and families have received poorer services because of the failure of professionals to understand each other's roles or to work together effectively in a multi-disciplinary manner. ECM seeks to change this, stressing that it is important that all professionals working with children are aware of the contribution that could be made by their own and each others' service and to plan and deliver their work with children and young people accordingly. The aim-SHEEP- safe, healthy, enjoyment/achieve, economic well being, positive contribution
o o o o o Be healthy (enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle) Stay safe (being protected from harm and neglect) Enjoy and achieve (getting the most out of life and developing skills for adulthood) Make a positive contribution (being involved with the community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour) Achieve economic well-being (not being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their full potential in life)
How?- The green paper sets out to achieve this by: o Creating Sure start children’s centre’s (combine different services) in the 20 most deprived neighborhoods o Full extended school services e.g. breakfast club, school clubs o Creation of a young peoples fun- increasing focus on activities for children through out school o Increasing investment in the children and adolescent mental health services o Improving speech and language therapy o Tackling homelessness o Reforms to the youth justice system Who?- Focusing action on four main areas: o Supporting parents and careers- improve family support through universal services o Early intervention and effective protection- improving information sharing, introducing a lead professional o Accountability and integration- locally, regionally and nationally o Workforce reform- working with children attractive, high status career Safe guarding: o Safe recruitment procedures including checks on everyone working in school including volunteers o Well being/welfare of all children o Protecting from abuse and neglect o Be aware of any signs of the above o Understanding what constitutes abuse or neglect- drug/alcohol abuse, emotional, sexual, physical abuse, domestic violence
o o o o o
Appropriate training Record and disclosures in writing and date Monitor Awareness of safeguarding and safer recruitment document Confidentiality
16. What assessment do you use in order to inform your future planning and children’s abilities? Observation of children working Marking Self/peer assessment Unit tests Discussion with children Mini plenaries Formal assessment
17. How would you deal with a complaint from a parent? Listen to what they have to say Empathies if appropriate Be clear on what you will do and stick to a time line Investigate issues and take any appropriate action Report back to parents Record issue in writing Monitor Keep the head teacher informed
18. What strategies would you use if a colleague let you down or was less enthusiastic? Have a professional dialogue with the colleague Offer support and coaching, advice Attempt to inspire and motivate Remember work/life balance and different agendas Offer to share ideas If the problem is affecting the progress of the children report to the head teacher
19. How would you make sure students had equal opportunities in the classroom/ What methods would I use to make sure EAL pupils felt included in the class?
To ensure all children in my class had an equal opportunity to learn and reach their potential I would ensure each individual child felt included and catered for o I would plan appropriate tasks for each childs ability choosing easier tasks for those with a lower ability and chose more challenging task with more breadth for those with a higher ability o Create equality of learning opportunity through different teaching methods e.g VAK o I would use a variety of assessment methods as some children perform better in formal testing situations while others perform better in informal classroom work o I would set individual targets for each child’s learning e.g one teacher set class targets and individual targets to ensure every child was included During the SAS I had the opportunity to work with a polish boy who was struggling with the task of creating a food specification for an English dish. To make him feel more included I invited a few students to join a group pupil lead discussion on their favourite foreign foods, I encouraged the EAL student to describe his favourite dish to the rest of the group and then encouraged him to incorporate those properties into his work. He responded well to the group discussion and he other children’s interest in his culture. For SEN pupils I would: o Provide extra classroom support where possible for pupils who need extra help with communicating and language o Plan the lesson accordingly taking into account the childs ability, planning tasks that involve all available senses o Help the child to manage their behaviour to take part in learning more effectively and safely For disabled pupils I would: o Plan appropriate amounts of time to allow for the satisfactory completion of tasks o Identify aspects of programs of study that may present specific difficulties for individuals and adapt the tasks For EAL pupils I would: o Develop their spoken and written English o Ensure they have support and help accessing the curriculum and assessment
20. What do you think about placing children with Special Educational Needs in mainstream schools? I think it greatly depends on the childs circumstances and the severity of there special needs Pros: o The special ed child experiences a ‘normal’ school life having the ability to socialise in a ‘typical’ class, o Cons:
o If the special needs resources for the school are poor or if the school does not have the funds to provided the means needed then the child’s development will suffer I believe in doing what will be most beneficial to the individual child to provide them with the best support for their development and learning, If the child has severe behavioral and special needs then a more specialized school with more resourced and specialist teachers may be appropriate. If the child has less severe needs and the school they attend can accommodate and provide the extra support the child needs I see no reason for the pupil to attend a special ed school.
21. How would I approach teaching a mixed ability class? /What would you do to help less able children? One method I have observed which seems to work well is to group the class into tables of ability. The different ability groups can then be given worksheets, tasks and resources that are suitable for that ability with easier tasks for the lower ability groups and more challenging tasks for the higher ability groups, If a TA or parent support is available I would defiantly utalise this extra help by placing them with the lower ability groups for extra aid When marking work I would write what the child has done well, what they can now do to level up the work presenting specific example and give them targets to work towards, I would teach the class using visual, auditory and kinesthetic methods where appropriate Where appropriate I would Include ICT
22. What would you do if a pupil refuses to participate and why?/ A ‘high achiever’ in the class has not been working to his/her potential over the last two weeks or so. What would you do? It really depends upon what the child is like E.g. constantly refuses to join in with anything may need different handling to a child who is normally happy and willing to join in. Both scenarios: take the child aside and ask them privately why it is they don’t want to join in If the behaviour doesn’t improve for a child that consistently refuses to join In I would talk to their parents/career so that together we could develop a plan for when the child refuses to join in. This would create a opportunity for me to find out if there are any problems at home
I think getting to the root cause of the problem behaviour is the best cause of action If the child is not joining in because the work is too difficult, lower level work should be set If the child is not joining in on purpose then appropriate punishment according to the schools policies would be used During a year 2 p.e. Lesson one boy consistently refused to do what the supply teacher asked, I took the time to talk to him privately, he revealed that he did not like the supply teacher as he thought that she made fun of him in front of his friends. In this particular situation I reassured the child and stayed with him for the whole lesson, working with him as a pair. After the lesson I told the usual class teacher what the boy had told me as I felt I was not in a position as an unqualified voluntary supply TA to tell the supply teacher.
23. How do children learn? Different children learn in very different ways, no child learns in one set way The most common forms of how children learn is through o Play, o Exploration and discovery for them self’s, o Watching other people, repetition and experimenting Visual, Auditory and kinesthetic I found that using all three VAK helped children with learning and understanding the most. E.g. during French lessons, when children learn new vocab it is a popular method to use photos, hand actions and use different pitch In the voice when recalling words and sentences.
24. Who is your favourite children's author and why? Roald Dahl without a doubt, I grew up with his books, I have the whole collection- the Twits is my favourite I love his sense of humor and imagination, children of all generations can enjoy his stories, he seemed to understand children’s need for humour and a magical escape from the real world to enjoy a book. Even when I read his books now as an adult I still get the same rush of excitement and magic I got as a child. As a author I also think he is brilliant at engaging boys especially in reading which is often a hard task, his descriptions and gore in the cases of the Twits and witches engages them in a way so many other books can’t do. He seems to be able to create a whole fictional world all children and adults can relate to. J.K Rowling off course too, I am a big Potter fan
25. What interests have you got that could help the school and how (e.g. music, sport)?/ What do you do in your leisure time?/ Do you think that extra-curricular activities are important? I think extra curricular activities are extremely important to a child’s development, they often teach them to work in a team and socialise with other children in a productive way – they gain skills that can be continued through out the school life and further. The primary school I work in currently has an assembly every Friday which opens with a child displacing their out of school achievements be it a dance or music. The head teacher then continues with calling out the names of all the children who have achieved something in an extra curricular activity for example swimming or foootball. As a child I was lucky enough to be involved in a lot of out of school activities, horse riding, dancing and music which provided me with life long skills and friends in some cases. For the children from less well off areas in school extra curriculum activities are extremely beneficial as with out them out of school activities may not be a possibility. I am a keen dancer, I attend a range of dance classes from hiphop to ballet when ever I can- I could incorporate this into PE lessons, I particularly think the boys would enjoy the hiphop side I enjoy reading as a relaxing leisure activity especially murder or mystery series, I am currently reading the lying game series by Sara Shepard- I think children respond well to mystery books, the magic key in key stage 1 demonstrates this, as it keeps them engaged and egger to keep reading. A close friend of mine has just finished writing a children’s book so I am excited to read it to the children to gain their feedback I greatly enjoy traveling, I have just returned from Australia- This would directly relate to geography, I have lots of photos and souvenirs I could incorporate to teach about different cultures, I have recently just started to grow my own vegetables and sunflowers; my first crop of chillis has just sprouted! I would be keen to encourage the class to plant and grow their own vegetables at school, this could also work well in a biology lesson and harvest festival, teaching the properties a living plant needs to grow. It would also be quite nice for the children who not have a garden or the opportunity at home to grow there own crops.
26. Which subjects would you least enjoy teaching? That’s a difficult one, I would enjoy teaching all subjects, even If I didn’t have much subject knowledge I would enjoy preparing for the lesson and learning the subject myself. If I had to pick one I would say RE as I have the least subject knowledge on it but like I said I would enjoy preparing by learning the subject myself
27. What did you most enjoy about your degree and why? I enjoyed the whole of my degree however if I had to pick a certain thing it would be the child development and cognitive evolution modules. I find it fascinating and amazing how children develop and learn and what effects their development. As an adult I know how hard it is to learn a new subject or activity where as children are just like sponges, you can present them with any information of situation and they pick it up almost immediately! I enjoyed cognitive evolution, as I am also fascinated in the different in how humans learn and how animals learn. Ever since I can remember I have always enjoyed science and loved learning how things worked and why they happened
28. How do you handle criticism? As long as it is constructive criticism I handle it well, I welcome any suggestions that will better my performance in every task, There is always more to learn and to strive for- often 2 heads are better then one, As a dancer I am used to constructive criticism to improve a performance
29. What would you find difficult about teaching? Class room management: One key challenge would be pupils disruptive and challenging behaviour I had first hand experience of this on the SAS, I found it much more challenging to manage older children’s behaviour then primary school ages children E.g. the teachers in the primary school I work in had to attend a course on how to restrain a child safely. One boy in year 2 had violet tendency and throw a chair at a teacher hitting her on the head, luckily the head teacher was need by to deal with the situation swiftly- but the avoid similar situations the teachers were sent on this course. Although that is an extreme example I am aware of how quickly a child’s behaviour can become problematic if it is not resolved quickly. There is not one fits all behaviour technique for all children and new strategies or managing behaviour have to developed and this sometime can be a difficult task I think another challenge will be transferring what I have learnt into practise into the classroom at first, although this will come with time and practise. There is no perfect class or child and as working with any age of people shows situations are quite often unpredictable. I think a certain level of adaptability and compromise is needed.
30. What have you got to offer as a teacher?/ What makes you think you would be a good teacher?/ why should we chose you? I feel that all my experiences in school has prepared me and given me a good sound basis for teacher training. I feel that I have many of the qualities needed for teaching: 1. I am extremely organised- I like planning ahead to ensure I have an appropriate amount of time for activities and the correct resources at hand. I like my whole life to be organised, within my friendship group I am the one who plans trips and organises fun activities, providing the relevant travel information. My walls at university were covered in revision plans. 2. Enthusiasm- I believe this is an extremely important quality for a teacher to have, if a teacher cannot be bother with a lesson then how can she expect the children to be bothered? Young children are very influential and tend to mimic the behaviour of their role models. I feel that I throw myself into everything whole-heartedly, not just teaching but also anything I am passionate about. If a person is enthusiastic and not afraid to make them self look silly sometimes it captivates the audience and makes them enthusiastic too. For every subject I was to teach, I would ensure I had taught myself properly first, enthusiastic children ask questions, which is no good if the teacher does not know the answer! 3. Commitment, I never go into a task half hearted, if a child needs extra help with their work I frequently stay with them during breaks or after school to help if they ask me to. I have danced since the age of 5 and 13 years later I am still taking dance lessons, I feel this shows a great deal of commitment and good time management as I kept it up through out my degree with being part of the cheerleading team. I feel very strongly about commitment and feel that when you have started a job it is important you finish it to the best of your ability, even if sometimes this means taking a step back, having a break and asking for help 4. I have good communication skills- through my job in a call centre and as a carer I have developed good professional communication skills balanced with a sense of informality 5. Patience- I have a lot of patience when it comes to learning, if a child is struggling with a certain concept I will try a different approach 6. Flexibility
7. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I like to leave a task knowing I could have done better I also feel like I have a professional yet friendly relationship with the children, many of the year 6 children last year felt they could come discuss their SAT results with me I think that I am easy to approach, kind and friendly
31. What is the relevance of your degree to the National Curriculum? Several of my degree modules and aspects link directly to the National Curriculum, which has provided me with a firm basis to teach children the statutory lessons. o Research Methods and Statistics links to Maths and science, it enabled me to problem solve, analyse results and write up reports in a scientific manner o I have developed areas of ICT through completing assessments using computers and using the internet as my main resource o As Psychology requires reading of a lot of papers and other peoples work and was mainly essay based my literacy skills have developed accordingly o Biological Psychology and Appetite and Obesity gave me firm basis for Science and Social and Health Education, o Studying A-Level textiles provided me the skills and knowledge for Art and Design, and Design and Technology lessons. Apart from these links with the primary curriculum, my degree has included many modules that have been exceptionally relevant to child development o Learning Difficulties provided me with a insight into the different learning difficulties children can posses and the obstacles they can cause in learning o Developmental Psychology provided me with a understanding of how children develop in all aspects of their life o Child Language Acquisition provided me with an understanding of the development and learning of language in children After my degree I completed the Student Associate Scheme, which gave me a taste of what to expect in the role of a teacher and during teacher training. It involved many tasks such as observing teaching methods and creating a plan and teaching part of a lesson. I feel I learnt a lot about the national curriculum, learning and teaching in the classroom.
32. How would you go about trying to include different methods of teaching for a very uninteresting subject?/ How would you make a lesson creative?/ what is creativity?
I would plan the lesson to be as fun and creative as possible- For me being creative means being original and stimulating the children’s senses through imagination, thought and hands on learning At school the best lessons were usually the practical lessons, even resulting in the whole class cheering! I would want this kind of reaction from my class My favourite teacher at the school I work at uses a theme per semester. For example the current theme is Willie Wonker, she decorated the whole classroom in this theme and planed all lessons and activities around it. For a formal writing lesson I helped in, the children were writing formal emails to Mr Wonker applying for the job as a Umpa Lumpa. They had to sell themselves whilst writing in a formal professional manner. During the lunch break the teacher created a hotmail account for Mr. Wonker and wrote back to the children- All the children were highly engaged and amazing that Mr. Wonker himself had sent them a email! Integrating ICT also seems to get the children enthusiastic about the lesson, using the Internet to research and educational programs to play. When a lesson has a theme I think it is easier to plan for different abilities
33. Would you be able to manage/discipline a group of 35 pupils? Yes I think I could, although I am aware it would become easier with time I am a great believer in expecting a high level of respect and obedience from children from the word go- The presence and self confidence a teacher radiates is key at first. Being consistent and concise with rules is also important, the children need to know where the line is and what is acceptable and unacceptable, as soon as the lines begin to merge children become confused at how to behave. E.g. a teacher in the secondary school would stand outside the class room every lesson without fail and correct the students uniforms, the students quickly learnt that for that lesson the teacher would not accept a untidy uniform so began to smarten up before they reached the classroom From observation the teachers that shout a lot are the ones who struggle to control the class as they have nowhere to progress to once they have shouted. Although it is important to follow the schools reward and sanction policies I believe extending on those to make them fit your style of teaching is a good idea E.g a year 5 teacher extended on the schools 3 strikes and your out policies by making WARNING! Cards. While teaching if a child was misbehaving he would simply walk over and place a card in front of them without stopping the lesson, the children knew if they had 3 card they would receive a red card which meant a letter home to their parents I would defiantly adopt this method as it meant not constantly stopping the lesson to manage behaviour
I also observed teachers using rewards as a form of behaviour management; music would be played quietly in the background, as soon as the class noise rose above the music it was turned off to the dismay of students. Using lots of positive reinforcement for good behaviour is just as important if not more then punishing bad behaviour, the children then strive to impress you and automatically behave in a appropriate manner
34. Can you cope with a very intensive course?/ Why will you be able to handle the pressures? I understand there is a lot of pressure on primary teachers coming from all directionsthe school, parents, pupils, the government and planning etc I understand it is not your standard 9-5 job, it is more of a life style choice then just a job I have seen first hand the stress and pressure teachers are placed under and the long hours they must work Saying that I think that with my skills of good time management, exceptional organisation, being flexible and cheerful, upbeat and optimistic in times of stress I will be able to cope I understand that for every one of my actions there is an effect on the children I teach which is why I strongly believe in being as prepared as possible for all events. I have first hand experience of burning the midnight oil, I have always considered my self to be a hard working for example holding down two jobs and volunteering one day a week at school My main job is shift work for which I often work 15-hour shifts. I care for a quadriplegic man which means I must maintain a professional and happy exterior at all time at work, caring for his health and administrating medication where there is no room for mistakes He also has a 4 year old daughter who we frequently care for meaning from my point of view I must have my eyes in the back of my head, constantly being vigilant for her well being and Stephens. This job has rather a lot of pressure but I cope well 35. Testing in schools - is this good or bad? I personally think testing in primary schools is a good assessment of the progress a child is making and a good indication for secondary schools of the child’s ability, but only when it is paired with regular observations, marking of class work and discussions with the child. Formal assessments can be stressful and prevent the chid from showing their full ability which is why other forms of informal assessment must also be taken into account
E.g in one year 5 Maths lesson the class was performing a mock mental maths test. One student got her self so worked up she started to cry, the teacher had to take her to one side to calm her down and reassure her that the world end was not going to end if her score was lower then last time. I think to ease the pressure children should be informed more often that their work through out the whole year is taken into consideration when grading them There is however the other side of the argument that tests like the SATs causes a teaching to test culture and proves rising standards where as in reality these results are severely skewed. Research has found most of year 7 pupils levels is not consistent with their key stage 2 SAT results and in reality most pupils ability is lower. Formal testing should be used as a snapshot of what the child has learnt, teacher are now finding themselves compelled to narrow the curriculum to only what will appear on the SAT test rather then teaching a well rounded curriculum.
36. Have you any questions? A. Could you tell me the ratio of number of placed on the course to the number of interviewees? B. How are the practical and academic assessments weighted on the course? C. I live in Nottingham, how are teaching placements chosen and is there an opportunity for a placement in a Nottingham school? D. What do you look for in a potential teacher?