My role varies in the class room; everyday brings a new learning opportunity. I am currently working three full days a week with year six. A class made up of twenty three very bright, talented nine to ten year old boys and girls and there very inspiring and motivated teacher. Although I say I work three days but more often then not it turns into a full week. (The children have that affect on you!) On a normal day (term used loosely) I help set up the class room before the children come in and any photocopying or printing that needs to be done , I will try and have complete before or during registration. Morning would usually consist of numeracy work followed on by literacy. I like to listen and take notes on what the children will be learning, even though the class teacher emails me the exercises a day before. But I strongly believe that it’s very important to have subject knowledge to be able to support the children. After the main teaching in the morning the children are in set groups according there ability. I usually work with the lower ability or middle groups. Depending on how many teaching assistance we have in the class room. I take a group away and discuss what we have learned and then support the children through the questions. The children respond well to this for e.g. A pupil (9 year old girl) I was working with didn’t understand the lesson. She was too shy to put her hand up in the class and say that she didn’t understand. When we worked on a one to one basis outside of the class room, I was able to go over the lesson with the pupil and in turn she was able to confidently ask any questions without the pressure of having to talk in front of the whole class.
It is very important to relay information back to the class teacher and other support staff. Especially when working with children outside the class room. In the school I work for, every class has an assessment feedback book, which is filled out by all the support staff and the teachers. We write any concerns or praises in the book. The reason for this is so that we are all made aware of any extra attention a child might need where they could be struggling or if a child has excelled themselves, the class teacher then knows to maybe set more challenging exercises for them. I listen to the children read and also prompt questions using the APP (assessing pupil’s progress) guide. This consists of seven levels and they vary from child to child. E.g. I asked a pupil (10 year old boy) to read an extract from a book called “what was left behind” the pupil read well, with good expression and fluency. I then asked him if he could tell me if the author of this book has expressed an opinion on what he has written about or does he think that it is only filled with facts. That was a question from the level 7 of the app guide and then I asked him if he could demonstrate an understanding of how the illustrator has worked with the author to effectively get there information across. The pupil was able to answer competently and I was able to mark his level in his record book. I also mark and assess the children’s reading journals, In which they have to insure that they have read 6 books every term from different genres and they have a number of questions they must answer on there chosen books. For E.g. if they would recommend it to others? and there reasons for this. All the time I am doing this with the children, I constantly give verbal and written feedback to the class teacher. During the afternoon, the children work on there comprehension. The class rotates on a carousel based
workshop, so that each child has the opportunity complete all the activities during the course of the week. I work with a different group everyday, and we read through an extract for e.g we are reading a extract from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens at the moment. And I find the children can struggle with the use of language in this extract. We discuss what the meaning could be behind the different sentences and we often come across words that the children have not seen before. So I help them research what the meaning could be. We use dictionaries, thesauruses and the internet. By doing so, I believe the children will gain confidence in there reading, writing and investigation skills. During the course of the year, the school often has a few school trip planned. I will, when asked, go and risk asses the location with my work colleagues. We then bring feedback to the school so that the trip can be planned and also it can be established what the children need to bring for the trip. And following from that I would then often go on the school trip; having my own group of children to look after and account for. I personally find this activity very stressful as you are away from your comfort zone and having to have eyes at the back of your head! However it does develop my skills to be able to manage and risk asses the children. On occasions like Parents evening, I will sit with the class teacher to talk to parents about there children. My class teacher believed that this would benefit the pupils as they do spend a lot of time with me and I can answer parents questions, especially in reference to there comprehension and reading. In turn the parent can get a very detailed account of there child’s time at school. This helps the teacher, who doesn’t have to convey my findings to the parent and also helps the parent to have a more in depth review of there child. A long time ago I worked for an oil company. We were based in Avonmouth. My job role was assistant distributor. I would buy
oil for the company and then sell it to the customers, hopefully at a profit. The job entailed a lot of quick decision making which I feel I am doing on a daily basis now. The decisions could be something very small like a pupil asking if they can go toilet or on the other hand a pupil wanting to go home if they are feeling unwell. I also worked for a bank previously to the oil company as a team leader. Our product was insurance and it was a call centre environment. Subsequently I felt I had to do a lot team building and morale building exercises to keep spirits up in my team. I didn’t mind going back on the phones when we were short staffed and definitely didn’t mind going on team lunches to connect and engage with my team. I believe the skill I picked up from that role helps me today. I get on well with the other staff members of the school and do not shy away when help is needed. For e.g beginning of this half term , as I walked into school, I was told that the year five teacher has gone home very ill. And if it would be possible to cover her class. I obliged, and was even grateful for the opportunity, as it provided me with invaluable training. Unfortunately the teacher was very ill and must have taken home the work she wanted the class to complete. I asked the year six teacher for guidance and she pointed me to some resources I could use and I got on with delivering a maths lesson without causing any fuss or problems to any one else. I believe this helped the teacher who went home ill, for her class would not fall behind and also helped the pupils from feeling any disruption. The teacher was then off for three whole days and I did fill in. (even on my day off) for I believe it is very important to help each other in a work environment. During the summer holidays, this year; I decided to teach my two girls, aged four and five all about recycling and the environment. We made our own compost bin for the garden and then made a diagram/poster illustrating the process of recycling. This gave me incentive to find out what recycling the
school is involved with. I spoke with the deputy head and she expressed her concerns that, its an issue which has been on her mind and she loved the idea of having a compost bin in the school. She advised that it is a project that would benefit the school as a whole and the learning opportunities from this project are endless. I got in contact with the local council who were able to deliver the compost bins, free of charge and also provide the school with a demonstration on how best to use the bins and the benefits of recycling. I believe this project, helps the school , the curriculum, the teachers, the pupils and also the parents. As I would hope the children would be able implement what they learned into there homes. I endeavour to always attend the meetings set by the school head. I realise that these provide valuable training in itself. For we are always trying to update our methods of support and by attending these meetings, we also get to share our ideas and take on board any new methods that have been tried and tested by other staff members. I really enjoy the time I spend with the children in school. I have learned and changed so much as a person ever since the first day I stepped into that class room. I have no doubt in my mind, that this is what I want to do for the rest of my working days. I am well aware that I need further training and my future aspirations are to one day qualify as a primary school teacher. On a more short term basis I would like some training on how to support and develop those children, who lack confidence. The reason I feel strongly about this subject is because my oldest daughter has confidence issues. And I can see how that holds her back with her learning. The class I support at the moment has one such pupil. And although I help support her as much as possible, I feel like maybe there’s a more constructive way to go about this.