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Reflective Practice Essay

Professional development I feel is beneficial for both tutor and student. The process of reflecting on your own practices and having the discipline to be constructive about the actions you take to evaluate your own performance will determine the impact it has in the classroom and the teaching and learning experience. Overall this process has encouraged me to reflect on most of my practices which has helped me to understand my role as a teacher. This development has systematically reinforced the actual reason of why we as teachers perform the way we do. This has given me a boost in confidence because I now have a reason behind meaning. I use my own judgment to determine how well a particular teaching experience had benefitted my learners and whether things went good or bad. From this basic analysis I can adapt and enhance particular parts of a session to create and aim for a better learning experience.

This gives me areas to focus on to help develop my skills as a teacher. I have previously focussed on inclusion and worked to move the whole class collectively by supporting them throughout their programme of learning. It is important to have the correct resources and utilise a range of techniques as this is vital in creating an interesting and challenging lesson for the individual. The Knowledge I have gained through developing different areas is becoming very useful and beneficial to my teaching. The increased presence of IT in modern day culture has encouraged the education system to use and follow the trend and integrate more user friendly IT systems into its institutions as well as increase the use of IT in the classroom.

I have attended IT training sessions involving VLE’s, Quizdom, SMART board, online portfolios and other online resources. I have learnt to integrate some of this into the classroom. Efficient use of these resources enhances the learning experience instead of overwhelming it. I found most of my learners often prefer traditional teaching techniques as they benefit more from my personal experiences and knowledge which can often prove difficult to convey through the means of IT. I try to reflect on almost every aspect of my teaching and have often evaluated lessons that have been observed.

This was a theory session on the topic of Health and Safety in the workplace mainly focussing on Personal Protective Equipment. This was with a group of fairly young students so I thought I should make the lesson as exciting as possible. I used a range of resources, mainly different types of PPE which I used to demonstrate how to wear and use correctly in order for each item to be effective. I used the different students to demonstrate various items of PPE which made the lesson fun. The students responded very well and were very keen to have a go at trying things on. I used a power-point presentation to cater for the visual learners. I used some graphic images of various accidents in the workplace for the affective domain.

I had to ensure that no one would feel uncomfortable with the pictures they were only used as a shock tactic to make the younger students realise that Health and Safety is very important in today’s industry. We had discussed the nature of the accidents and the students became very relaxed and willing to discuss their personal experiences and admitted to entering onto an empty building site to ‘muck about’ this made me re-evaluate the dangers that they were susceptible to whilst ‘mucking about’ on the building site, even though the objective of the pictures was to grab the students attention. In conclusion I was initially shocked to find how open the students were but pleased to know that indirectly I had educated them of the potential dangers of entering onto a building site.

The topic of this session was trussed rafter roofs. I thought this subject could easily be put into context and the students would find it very interesting because they could relate to it. We went from simple to complex for example we looked at the reasons why we have roofs to finding out how to make a roof component and then actually put it into practice. I thought this lesson went really well I had put a lot of effort and time into the preparation of the resources I used a range of resources to cater for all the learning styles I used DVD video, white board, A3 paper with drawing boards, and a miniature model of two different types of roofs.

All these resources were extremely useful for me as a teaching aid and for the students as a learning aid. It helped to form closure for the students we discussed aspects of roofs then I was able to use the models as demonstrations. The timing of the lesson was fairly accurate and I kept each topic and activity in small sizeable chunks to make the lesson more exciting for the students. If I was to do the same lesson again I would improve the method of implementing groups and the way I controlled the activities. I received good feedback from the observer and I was graded with a 1 which I was very pleased with

This was another theory lesson where I used a variety of learning aids to enhance the learning experience this included a variety of species of wood and also a microscope with a small selection of wood cell samples. All these resources worked very well and the students could relate to the textbook side easier than if without them. The most effective resource was the microscope the students almost seemed excited to discover what was through the lens. Most of the time the student were in groups working on tasks then group discussions throughout.

I also used a power-point presentation to reinforce the learning. I received some very good feedback which included strengths and weaknesses I think it is very important to enable to work and improve on my teaching skills. If I were to do the same lesson again I would carefully select individual learners for each group because there was a few dominant learners which meant some of the quieter students didn’t get the most out of the session because louder more confident students tended to answer more questions which suited the quieter ones, on reflection I should have asked more direct questions as opposed to open questions.

I think reflective practice is very important because learning gained from one experience can be used and adapted to fit another.

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