Reflective Practicee Essay
It is important to receive feedback on my practice as much as possible to ensure I am improving and developing within the role. I feel it is important to get feedback from the following people: Teacher: I try my up most to talk to the teacher after the lesson to discuss the progress of pupils whom I’ve been working with. There are times when I have expressed a concern on the seating arrangement within the classroom and other behavioural matters that I have felt need to be addressed, the teacher has often given further direction in where they want me to support in the room. I’m always really keen to receive feedback from the teacher about how they felt I worked with the pupils, how I could improve my role within the lesson, sometimes I have been encouraged to work with groups of pupils, therefore I have gone away and looked into different ways of delivering certain tasks and how certain pupils work better together.
I’m not always given the learning objective ahead, which I feel is really important to receive so I am prepared and feeling confident to discuss the topic amongst the pupils, therefore I often try to discuss the next lesson with the teacher in advance to ensure I have an overview. Line Manager: I have been lucky to have been observed within lessons by my line manager to receive direct feedback on how I can improve my practice within my role. I have received some constructive feedback and some very encouraging positive praise. I have asked about several training courses to develop my understanding in certain areas and started some of my own independent reading in behaviour. My line manager is always very open and approachable; she has given me ideas for specific year groups which have really helped within lessons. I am always asking to be involved in any extracurricular clubs and keen to learn from others whilst at work.
What is meant be reflective practice?
Reflective practice means when we think about what we are doing, how we are
doing it and whether we could change or improve it. A time to reflect on our own development, evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and look into opportunities, ideas to encourage further development and gain confidence in our profession.
What is meant by National Occupational standards?
These are National standards that are based on the roles and responsibilities of support staff in schools. Together with the guidance, they enable staff to manage the different stages of support staff recruitment, development and progression more effectively.
Functions and requirements of your role
Give one example for each of the following areas of the job role, of how personal reflection has impacted on your own practice.
Supporting learning: I have worked with a small group within year 8, the lesson has a mixed of abilities, I aim to get round each pupil to ensure there is an understanding on the task set. On reflection I felt their wasn’t enough time given to each child throughout the lesson, it was with this feeling I spoke to the teacher and suggested groups of four at a table, so they would be able to discuss the exercise as a group and then work independently. This would allow both the teacher and I to talk to the groups at one time and encourage involvement from all throughout the lesson rather than going round individually. This has worked really well, each table works really well together and in reflection to the previous set up it has also developed the pupils social and communication skills.
Promoting positive behaviour
In a year 9 lesson I have been supporting a student with his numeracy; the student is often distracted by other things going on in the classroom and struggles to focus. I felt I was continuously calling him to sit down or to stop talking. In reflection to this reoccurring I decided to challenge him in completing the task under a time limit, I bought in a stop watch and also did the task beside him to see who could complete it first. His reaction was incredible; he completed all the work and expressed a really positive
reaction to these small challenges. In response to this I asked the teacher if I could make a note in his planner to record how well he had done, in addition to this note I made sure I gave the pupil lots of positive praise, he responded to these comments really well and have since continued the small timed challenges.
Developing Positive relationships
Recently a year 7 pupil had left their previous school due to bullying; this was one of the first things she said to me on working with her in a lesson. I noticed she had a lack of confidence in talking to people, firstly being new to the school and secondly probably anxious from her previous school experience. In reflection to this at the end of the lesson I ensured the teacher was aware and suggested pairing her up with another pupil. In response to this each week we did ‘turning tables’ so the person sat on the right would move one space back each week, so the pupils would always be sat with someone different. I also encouraged this pupil alongside others to attend a new after school sports club I have started running. The new student showed up for the club and has been attending since, she has made some great new friends and familiar with other year groups which has in turn increased her confidence and enjoyment at school.
Contribute to planning assessment and feedback
Every morning I spend 15mins with a year 9 pupil who has cerebral palsy. I have worked with his phyiso and parents to assess his needs and put together an exercise plan that I assist him with each day. I have a record sheet of what we do each day and how he did with each exercise, I regularly liaise with the physio on how he is getting on, sometimes the physio will give me additional exercises to include. There have been occasions where the pupil hasn’t felt like doing it. In response to it I sometimes give him the opportunity to challenge himself to walking to different areas within the school, he reacts really well to praise and involvements which is something I include in the feedback I give to his family and physio. I also keep my line manager up to date with the pupils development to ensure other assistants are aware of his level of independence in movement so it can be encouraged within lesson too.
Communication is a major asset in my role at school, I am continuously talking to teachers, IT support, external companies and parents. I have recently been reflecting a lot on my communication around the children out of lesson. I have a lunchtime duty on our playing fields. I have often found myself standing there with another member of staff, listening to one another’s ideas on what works with certain year groups, however in reflection this should be happening in a dedicated time not whilst I have a responsibility as lunchtime. Therefore I have started to make a bigger effort in communicating with the children, encouraging positive behaviour and social skills. Key skills
There are various key skills that I feel I could improve in, sometimes in a lesson I am lacking equipment due to handing it out regularly. Therefor I feel I need to encourage organisation for the pupils to ensure they bring their own equipment. I often reflect on my time keeping, I feel there is a big rush between and end of a lesson and getting to my lunchtime duty before the students. Therefore this may be something I discuss with my line manager about leaving a couple of minutes earlier before lunchtime. I am always reflecting on my job role description to ensure I am fulfing all my responsibilities.
4. Identify possible development opportunities available to you. Remember to consider formal and informal opportunities. Give evidence from your own practice.
I am often reflecting on my own development and always keen to progress in my own learning. I made the decision to take this course (Level 2 Supporting teaching and learning in Schools) to increase my knowledge in the position of a Teaching Assistant. I feel I have really benefited from this and it has inspired me to continue on to level 3. I have a strong interest in working with families therefore I may look into a course more directed to this. I have hired out books from our local library to read into behaviour and social skills, this is an area which I have been allocated to at school, which I am really pleased about but I would like to get a bigger understanding so I can plan activities and feel confident in delivering. I have recently been assisting a music intervention group with specific SEND students.
This has been a great 6 week project; I have taken the time to write up a report each week of the activities set and the reactions of each pupil. I received some outstanding feedback from the company and have recently been asked to represent the project in an open evening for them. I would like to look into these small projects more to help the development of children’s learning through creative subjects In school, I feel that it is a great opportunity to be able to talk to other members of staff about techniques/ styles of delivery for specific year groups. Sometimes there are groups of students that I feel unfamiliar with, but since speaking to other members of staff, I feel prepared to enter the lesson with their experience in my mind.
5. Why is CPD important?
It is important to keep up to date with professional development to ensure to u are confident and familiar with the constant changes within education. There are often developments within schools and it is our role to be ready to adapt to these changes and encourage pupils with these variations. Some courses that are available to assist our role open up areas of discussion that you may not get the time for within school. There are areas of my job description that I have strengths and weaknesses in, therefore CPD is important to develop my own skills, knowledge and experience in all fields.
Starting a self-review
6. What aspects of your job/role satisfy you the most?
The biggest satisfaction for me is the rewarding feeling you get from assisting the development of a student’s progress within a subject or to help improve their behaviour etc. I find my role very satisfying by promoting a positive amount of encouragement for the pupils to believe in themselves as individuals, to prepare them with life skills and gradually develop their self-esteem. I feel this is a huge stepping stone to building a successful future. I enjoy having a variety of responsibility within my role; I like working with different year groups and understanding the range of learning styles. I like to learn from others, I feel within the classroom environment there is so much to observe and learn. I love being part of a team but also to work independently and put forward my own ideas to develop the children’s learning.
7. What aspects of your job/role have not been successful as you anticipated? I sometimes feel there isn’t enough time to discuss things with teachers before or after a lesson. I feel this is an important link to feedback on the pupils learning. I would like to focus on this area and seeing if I can build a stronger relationship with the teachers to ensure I get the chance to evaluate after the lesson I am supporting in and to gain a stronger understanding beforehand to ensure I am ready to assist pupils with confidence in the subject. I’ve also been a little disappointed that I haven’t received an official appraisal since I started my role. I have had opportunities to talk to my line manager about various things, but there has never been an allocated time to give me the change to discuss my development which is equally as important to me.
8. Are there any areas of you work you would like to improve? (2.3b) In reflection of my work so far I am really pleased with my development but always feel I could improve. Firstly I feel that I would benefit from a deeper knowledge in some subjects. For example I am frequently in a Spanish lesson, however I never had the option at school to study this language therefore my Spanish skills are minimal! I would like to look into learning Spanish to help my involvement within lessons. I am keen to re take my core subjects or study at a basic level to refresh my understanding of these subjects; it’s been surprising how much I’ve forgotten. I would also like to dedicate more time into talking to the subject teacher before the lesson to feel confident with the learning objective.
At the end of the lesson I would also like to feedback on the pupils participation and understanding of the lesson and discuss how to go forward with any areas of concern. Sometimes I feel it is difficult to keep up with each lesson as my timetable frequently changes and therefore I have limited time to gather information of lessons that I am going to last minute. As a result of the above I would like to improve in planning and organisation to help me progress with other
staff and add to the success of the school at every angle.
9. Describe the main aspects of appraisal (2.5/2.6)
– An appraisal includes a self-assessment before the meeting with your line manager, this is normally a questionnaire that you rate it on a scale of 1- 10 to analyse how strong you think you are in each section, then as a result these point are discussed in a face to face setting with the line manager. It is allocated time to discuss the progress of you work within the school and personal strengths and weaknesses. This is also an opportunity to discuss the prospect of professional development, short and long term goals. An appraisal is professional organised meeting to agree on actions for going forward in areas that could be improved.
10. What should a school consider when agreeing development plans? In agreeing a development plan, a school needs to consider the amount of funding available for their staff development. The school need to consider the cost of equipment, training and resources, which will support staff to develop and carry out their role to their full potential. As a result of development plans moving forward with staff, there may need to be an agreement in that the staff will need to have their job role updated to reflect their responsibilities. If it was agreed that I was going to attend an external training programme during school hours, this would need to be considered in how the school can cover this absence. In turn the agreement would be looking at how my development could benefit the school in helping in other areas and using the skills learnt within school going forward.
11. When setting and agreeing targets, what is meant by SMART? S – Specific – Making sure that your target states exactly what is needed. M- Measurable – To make sure that you can measure whether the target has been reached A – Achievable – The target needs to be accessible and not too hard to achieve. R- Realistic – It is important to make sure the relevant resources and equipment are available to reach the target set T- Time Bound – There should always be a time set for reaching the target. This is to prevent putting it off to a later date
12. Identify ways in which your own knowledge, understanding and skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT impact on practice. There are times within a lesson where students will ask me to read out a question or to explain a question they don’t understand, it is important that I have the confidence to read it out and deliver an answer accurately. A lot of lessons involve using computers to write up work on or to use specific programmes linked to the subject. I am often asked by the pupils for help in saving their work, spellings and understanding of certain programmes. Fortunately I have worked with computers in previous work therefore I am at a level where I can encourage their ICT knowledge which will be helpful for them in the future.
During maths lessons, students are not always allowed to use a calculator and therefore they need to practice other methods. I have learnt several teaching methods from being in these maths lessons to pass on to other year groups, but I am still refreshing my own mind with numeracy. Sometimes it’s a positive that I don’t know the answer as I get the teacher to go through it with me and the pupil to highlight that they are not alone in not knowing it and it makes the teacher aware that pupils require further information on certain tasks.
What opportunities are available to you to improve own knowledge, understanding and skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT (unit 210-6.2)
Sometimes during inset days our department runs workshops that cover the core subjects to update us with the syllabus of work that the children will be aiming for. The levels are constantly changing and each student is aiming for specific target grades. Therefore we receive a copy of the levels to understand what level the students are at. I have recently asked for a username to the maths programme the pupils use within school and for set homework – this cover all areas of numeracy and is a great resource to keep on top of the work. 14. – Table = To be completed?
Understand the work of the team
15. Why is team work important in schools?
It is important to support others within school because as a result of developing good working relationships it makes our role more effective. Team work allows us to share and discuss your own ideas and listen to others. It’s an opportunity to develop in all areas listening to others strengths and suggestions that could strengthen the team as a whole not just individually. Team work is also important in that within school it is important that the staffs are using the same guidelines and rules to ensure that the children are receiving the same response from all staff. Offering advice to the pupils should be the same as the next member of staff asked. Team work in schools is so important to keep the pupils feeling safe and confident in their learning environment. Positive working relationships will be witnessed by the pupils and therefore encourage them to mirror this within their lessons.
What is the purpose and objective of the team in which you work? Our objective is to identify the needs of students and works to the best of our ability to support them. Our team is in place to support individual students, groups of pupils and general support within class groups. Our team is in place to offer social, emotional, intellectual, physical support to every pupil. Some pupils have individual programmes and difficulties that require one to one support, however everyone is treated equally. Our purpose is to encourage the development of each pupil throughout this stage of their life within secondary school and to motivate them for a positive future.
What is your role and responsibilities and those of others in the team? My role and for others in my team includes a variety of duties and responsibilities within the school. On a daily basis we are to ensure we are aware of the needs of the children we are directly supporting and other pupils within a lesson, break and lunchtimes within school. During a lesson we need to be confident in supporting the teacher with each task set and encourage good behaviour and positive learning within the room. It is my responsibility to keep the students on track with their work and not to complete it for them. It is important at the beginning of the lesson to ensure the children have their equipment, books and planners out on the desk and bags under the table to be ready for the teacher to deliver the lesson. It our responsibility as a team to support the teacher in each exercise set for the pupils, liaising throughout the lesson with the progress or concernswithin the class.
I also ensure I speak with the teacher about rewarding the students if they have responded well in completing the task or improved a skill that they have been struggling with. During break and lunch times each person within our team has an allocated area to supervise. We are responsible for ensuring that the pupils are behaving and engaging positively with others. If there is a problem within a break time we are linked up to the rest of our team and a support team to have immediate support in a situation. I am responsible for supporting individual programmes of physical stretching exercises which are in place by the statutory statement of Educational Need and consultation with parents and the physiotherapy team. I have a responsibility to complete an evaluation form each day which is a written up overview to record the support given in each lesson. I continuously liaise with the team and my management to ensure I am moving forward and progressing with the school in the right direction.
Why is it important to respect the skills and expertise of other practitioners? It is important to respect the skills and expertise of other staff as different staff bring different skills to the team. I would always seek advice from others when needed in order that the students are getting the best that the school can offer them. This can also help me develop in my role. Other people may have different skills, training and experience thatmay be able to help me on matters I am unsure about