Reflecting on the past year of my initial teacher training, and the BA (hons) Primary Education programme as a whole, it has become apparent to me that I have developed an interest in enquiry focused learning experiences. In my opinion, through enquiry based learning, not only are children discovering the learning for themselves, it lends itself towards a more child-focused approach to learning. Naturally, subjects such as science and history focus on developing enquiry skills, and the courses during my training have really emphasised this. Furthermore, my research into the use of iPads to engage children in scientific enquiry has allowed me to develop this area further and analyse the use of iPads to enable child-led enquiry learning.
Following on from my research, I am keen to engage in further training in the use of ICT and enquiry-based learning. In addition, I would like to complete further research in the form of action research in my school after the completion of my NQT year. In discussion with my personal tutor, it has been recommended I keep a field journal to record observations during my NQT year to form the basis of future ICT research.
As a professional, the main achievements over my school placements, has been the improvement in my behaviour management strategies. All three of my placements have presented different challenges with behaviour, and I believe I have developed a range of strategies across Early Years to lower KS2. In particular, two children fascinated me on my second year placement who exhibited signs of emotional and behavioural disorders. Although I only really identified their needs towards the end of the placement, I am keen to further research and develop strategies to help children with more challenging behaviour.
Moving forward, I am aware of my need to focus on my deployment of teaching assistants. While I am confident in developing relationships with other adults in the classroom, too often I take on all jobs myself. This has previously been linked to my desire for perfection in everything I do. However, I’m now very aware that I cannot be perfect as a teacher. I will welcome advice and training opportunities in my induction period to develop effective deployment of teaching assistants, as I am aware of the role they can play in children’s learning and development.
Furthermore, I would like the opportunity to explore using iPads further, continue with my research into iPads within scientific enquiry. In addition, I am keen to begin a MA. However, this won’t be at least until I have been teaching for at least two years. I will also continue with this blog, as I feel it is a great way of connecting with other professionals, and provides me with a great reflective tool.
However, as the impending first day approaches, and the daunting task of preparing my first ever classroom becomes ever present. I can't help but feel helpless and lost. While I have thoroughly enjoyed the past three years of teacher training, and I have learned a great deal about teaching and learning. As an NQT everything becomes real, it's no longer considered a teaching practice in the comfort of another teacher's experience. This time it's real; I'm accountable for every child's learning in the next year. Yes, it is daunting, but truthfully, I'm even more excited and eager to get going. This week I have an induction day and will hopefully meet my class for the first time. I can't wait to meet everyone and really get to be 'Mr Church' and start my career in a job I am increasingly passionate about.