Unit 4 – Engage in Personal Development in Young People’s setting. 1. What is meant by the term ‘reflective practice’, and why is it important in helping to improve the quality of the service provided? The term ‘reflective practice’ means thinking and evaluating your actions so that you are able to improve yours and the schools practices. By reflecting on your actions with the children or other work within the school you can see what worked well and what needs improving with the activity.
You should have the opportunities to discuss your thoughts with other teachers and compare and share ideas. You can also benefit from observations, peer assessments and feedback from your assessor. Reflective practice should help you become more confident in doing tasks as you can find better ways of completing a task. It will also help you clearly see where you need extra support or training therefore making you becomes more competent.
It helps to promote a better level of understanding and acceptance of people who are different from us, taking on board opinions, cultures and attitudes of others. By discussions with others it helps form change so that the changes are beneficial all and promotes a better way to learn. Also by discussions with others you may discover things about yourself that you hadn’t realised in your own reflections. By reflecting on what others have told you and from your own experiences it makes you proactive in your own training and improvement helping to increase your confidence in your abilities.
2. Give an example from your own experiences of reflective practice and show how it has improved your way of working. When I first volunteered in school I did one to one support with reading to junior children. To begin with I would only ask the children to tell me the title of the book, read the passage on the back cover and make their mind up if it was a story or factual. While reading I would encourage them to sound the words out themselves. When one of the pupils had finished his book I asked him what had happened and he couldn’t give me a clear answer. When looking back at how I had helped him read the book I realised that I was only helping him to read the words nut not understand the individual words, paragraph or chapter. I realised that although he could read he wasn’t taking any of what he was saying in which would hinder his enjoyment and ability of reading.
Since then I will stop a child to ask what has just happened in a paragraph and what do they think could happen next. I find they want to read more when they have their own ideas on what happens next because they are keen to see if they were right. When they read a word that they Seem confused about or unsure then I will either ask them to check the glossary at the back or explain the word to them. I also encourage them to pay attention to how they are saying something i.e. if it says someone shouted I ask them to use a louder voice. I feel looking back on how I was reading with the pupils gave me a better understanding of what was needed of me to do to help, encourage and motivate the pupils reading. 3. Explain how are values, beliefs systems and experiences may affect you work practice.
All children are different and so are their parents. When doing an activity you may notice that a child isn’t responding to it as well as the others. Look back at this activity? Why is this student different from the others? Do they have different beliefs? Have they done similar activities badly and are less confident? Some of the differences you may know about prior to the activity but may have not realised that it would cause a problem.
The parent’s values, parenting styles etc. can also affect your actions. Every year our infants go a school trip to the same theme park, the trip follows a similar routine every year but it has been modified a couple of times to keep certain parents happy and comfortable with the trip. A child’s religious beliefs will also play a part in your work practice. Although your beliefs may be different you need to take into consideration the other beliefs held by the children. The activity must be planned in a way that doesn’t disrespect the other religions or make a child less comfortable when attempting the activity.
If you see a child struggling with a task and you hadn’t foreseen it being a problem for them it will help to ask the child why they are struggling. You may have to consider the child’s home life. If the child’s family are going through difficult times then it will affect the child. 4. Give an example of how you have used feedback to evaluate your performance and inform your development. As I volunteer on a Wednesday when the new school year started I had less knowledge of the new pupils in reception than the teacher and other assistants. When trying to communicate with one child I found that she lost interest very quickly or just completely ignored what I just told her. During the first break the teacher was able to me about the new class.
When discussing the girl I was told that my usual approach to the children will not be affective with her and that I should take a sterner approach towards her. I usually try to ease new pupils into school while still letting them know the boundaries and rules that I expect them to follow. After the feedback I received on the class, in particular the girl and my teaching approach I was able to assess the information and decide how best to approach the girl. I began to always talk to her in a louder and more authoritive voice, I also gave her fewer activities to choose from making her decision easier to make.
The difference in her response to me was almost immediate just by changing the tone of her voice. This also help rein enforce my knowledge that all children are different. 5. Discuss how learning activities can affect your practice. Learning activities are a doorway to knowledge. They can come in many forms such as courses, events, legislation or talking to peers. Depending on what they focus on will determine how they may affect you practice. . Classroom management
You will be able to gather and assess information concerning classroom management from several outlets. It may just come from your own experiences of what worked best. It could be courses that you have attended or even by observing other teaching assistants and teachers. . Meetings
Meetings or one-one discussions can be a great source of new ideas or knowledge on activities you are involved in. . INSET/Training
INSET days are used to train teaching staff, discuss new pupils, evaluate issues that have arisen, SEN support organised etc. This is a way for the teaching staff to prepare and improve their working practices. . New legislation
When legislation is brought in there will be training offered to you so that you fully understand it and how it will affect you. It could mean changing your day to day practice or it may just be a small change. . Informal conversations with others
Sometimes just having informal conversation with another member of staff can be very insightful. They may discuss something that had just worked or went
well in class or even that they had found a better way to connect to a certain child. . Working with children with special needs
Working with SEN children can help you learn many things that can improve your practices. It may just be learning more about certain types of SEN or how to connect with children better. You should keep notes and ideas so you can refer to them when needed. 6. How would you record your progress in regulation to personal; development? It is important to save and record paperwork and achievements.
Create a file or word document where you can record courses, qualifications and targets of personal development plans. When making a list of courses you’ve attended also include a date, whether a qualifications was acquired, credit attached to the course. Keep hand-outs, other paperwork, and certificates such as attendance. Keeping these details will help when applying for work or education. It helps show your qualification and also how you’ve developed.
If you are unsure of any details ask you school to help find them. It is also important to keep any paperwork from you targets and personal development targets so you can refer to them when needed, these can come from professional appraisals or from courses you attended. When attending courses you should make clear notes. This way you can use to refresh yourself about the topic and to show others that you have a clear understanding of the subject matter. Also any notes that you made about SEN children so you can refresh your knowledge of certain problems or disabilities and how you dealt with any problems that arose. These records will also help with applying for work as it shows you have knowledge and experience SEN children and are able you reflect and improve your abilities as a teaching assistant.