Reflective Practice

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A short essay reflecting upon and analysing aspects of the graduate skills required by the participant’s current workplace and for future personal development.

This essay will be looking at the four graduate skills, which are required to support University study. The four graduate skills that Canterbury Christ Church University have identified are: Managing own learning, Working with others, Communication and Academic Skills. By developing my skills and focusing on the above areas, I will become more confident and be able to act effectively in a variety of situations, within my personal and professional role. During this module, I was asked to complete a self audit sheet on the graduate skills, I was able to identify my strengths and weakness, and by writing SMART (simple, measurable, achievable, realistic targets) action plans with small steps I will begin to change these weaknesses into strengths. During this essay I will be looking at ways in which the graduate skills support my role within my workplace. It will also become clear within the essay that the four graduate skills are closely linked to each other.

The first graduate skill that I will be looking at is Working with Others. I believe that in a school environment, it is essential to have a good relationship with other adults. This is especially true if you are working with a Teaching Assistant. This is because they have an important role within the teaching team. With their knowledge and experience, they contribute to planning, support, observations and reflection. When I am covering a class for PPA I have to do my own planning for Physical Education and I always ensure that I have planned effectively for the Teaching Assistant, and myself. The lesson plan is emailed the week before, in order for the them to have a look over it. It will always inform them of who I would like them to support, and give clear instructions on what they need to do to support those children. Sometimes during the lesson the teaching assistant will be asked to observe a focus group, if this is the case, I will supply them with a list of children, and ask them to make notes on skills observed, based on the learning intentions and success criteria from the lesson. By asking them if the children had been able to meet the success criteria related to their group, I am involving them in Assessment for Learning AFL. At the end of the lesson, we spend time together reflecting on the session. I believe that this is very important, as it also enables me to reflect on my own practice as part of next steps for learning, after all if children cannot learn the way we teach then we should teach the way they learn.

For my personal development, I believe that being observed while teaching is one of the best ways to help my personal development. The purpose of observations in my school is to assess how my teaching is progressing; I am always observed by two members of the senior leadership team, and I have always felt that the feedback, I receive from them is both positive and supportive. (This was also identified as a strength of mine when I completed the self audit, where it showed that I use feedback as positive and helpful, rather than critical and negative). Having the observation feedback enables me to reflect on the session and make the necessary changes in order for it to be better next time around, also if I have any areas of improvement that need to be addresses, I would invite the senior leadership team back, at a later time, to see whether the improvements I had made where suitable. This is the same theory as Kolb’s experimental cycle (1984), he draws attention to the fact that, when we want to learn from something that has already happened to us, we need to recall our observations of the event and then reflect on those observations in the same way.

Communication at any level and in any relationship is essential, as it allows us to respond directly with others. However, there...
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