I am one of ten, so you may see why I would like to work with children. I wasn't always sure as to what profession I would like to join but for the past couple of years it has became apparent that I want to work with children. This was mainly influenced by a new addition to my family, my nephew. For the past year I have helped develop his skills and encouraged him to learn new things. I truly value the sense of achievement gained in teaching new skills to children and I wish to continue to do so, and this is therefore one of the main reasons for wanting to join a teaching course for key stages 1 and 2.
Discovering my love for helping and supporting others I chose to broaden my knowledge of the teaching experience by completing two work experience placements within a primary school environment. For two weeks I shadowed various teaching staff, observing their teaching techniques and the ways in which they support the children. I found each day a new challenge as new faces, new personalities were emerging which brought various obstacles my way as different methods of teaching were needed. The most enjoyable aspect of this work environment is that no day is ever the same. -New lessons, new people. It was exciting to know I had the opportunity to assist in someone's learning, gaining satisfaction from seeing the new skill acquired.
This particular experience, working within a primary school environment, allowed me to acquire a number of skills and also help enhance my weaker ones. I have always acknowledged the fact that I can be a very good listener and a good communicator which is an important quality needed. I found that my communication ability improved as I got to know students which encouraged my confidence to escalate. I am able to work well independently and can also work very well as part as a team, which became obvious to me during my stay at my placement. I have also demonstrated this throughout the majority of my school experience, for example, when playing team sports, such as Netball, Rounders, Badminton, Athletics, etc.
During my school experience I have embarked on a number of activities which exhibit my more positive qualities that I have thoroughly developed within the past few years. Such activities include helping out at events such as Open Days, Parents' Evenings, Welcome Club, etc. In doing so, I have shown I am a polite, mature, organized and committed young adult.
I am currently a School Prefect and buddy, working closely with the years 7, 8 and 9 students. My role is to represent the school in a positive and professional manner. I believe I do this well as I portray an enthusiastic, responsible and reliable image. In order for me to have been considered to be a Prefect or a buddy I needed to have the essential qualities for that particular role. Such qualities needed are congruence, resilience and assertiveness. These specific qualities, I believe, have been made evident to my teaching staff as a result of the community work in school I have taken part in. I have accomplished my British Red Cross basic First Aid certificate which I completed at school. I have also achieved my Food Hygiene, Business Dynamics and Junior Sports Leadership Certificates.
I am very much looking forward to expanding my practical and theoretical knowledge by attending university. In pursuing a degree in teaching, I seek to advance my knowledge of educational studies and improve my personal skills. I ask you to give me the opportunity to further my education as I know I have the commitment, the patience and the persistence to succeed.
In my early education, reading and writing were a challenge, at the age of nine I received a diagnosis of dyslexia bringing with it extra support from the school. This gave me a real determination to overcome my disability. It drove me to study hard, achieve high GCSE and A-level grades and go on to achieve a 2:1 in criminology at the University of England. Although this is not a national curriculum subject, working through and coping with my dyslexia at university helped me nurture my own love of learning. I was able to take more responsibility for my own learning, leading to a deeper understanding of how I and others learn. I developed the ability to work to a deadline under pressure both independently and in groups, something I feel is directly relevant to teaching. Other relevant skills I have gained are data analysis, essay writing, critical analysis and researching.
I began spending one day a week, then two days a week in a primary school which has strengthened my love of learning. I spent time in both Key Stage 1 and 2 classrooms and have so far completed 40 days in a school. I observed lessons such as English, maths, Spanish, science and art, listened to pupils read, and went on to work with small groups. I started to grasp lesson planning and discuss with teachers current educational issues such as the changing curriculum. I was able to observe how different teachers handle classroom and behaviour management, particularly picking up on the importance of maintaining an assertive yet sympathetic style. All of this shapes my classroom practice to become more effective, for example seeing someone moving up a reading band as a result of the extra time I gave to them. Recently I saw a child making good decisions with their behaviour as a result of the plans we made together. I am gaining experience currently with a year three class of 30 children, working with them one to one, in groups and leading the whole class. Learning to think on my feet numerous times a day is challenging but rewarding especially when I receive positive feedback on my lessons. Picking up on some of the skills learned at university I have been able to train a number of staff in the effective and confident use of ICT.
This summer I worked as a camp counsellor in America with a group of nine girls. I shared their cabin and was responsible for all their needs including their physical and emotional wellbeing. I needed many of the skills I had seen in the classroom to be an excellent counsellor and I was able to use my singing skills to set up a choir who performed to the rest of the camp. Resilience, good judgement, enthusiasm, energy, patience, creativity, responsibility, leadership, reliability and stamina were all essential. Looking back I can see my time at 'Camp Wonderful' grew my confidence, leadership and communication skills, which I look forward to bringing back to the classroom.
In my studies, classroom work and at camp I continue to see the rewards of inspiring and teaching primary school children. I chose to specialise in Key Stages 1 and 2 as I feel it is demanding but hugely rewarding to work with children at this vital formative period in their educational development.