I am a third year Education Studies and Special Educational Needs Disability and Inclusion student. In October and November, I had the privilege of going to a primary school to complete my Education Studies independent study (dissertation) and going on a school trip with the class. I was placed with year two, which means I was in a classroom with 6-7 year olds. The primary school had lots of individuals with English as a second language and some who moved to Lincoln from Nigeria. With this as a primary focus, the idea of inclusivity was high on the school’s priority, and it showed. Class teachers tried to welcome every student in the mornings, and if the parents had a query, they would speak to them. This was lovely because the relationship between teacher and home life is essential.
In my first week I was getting to know the school timetable, the policies, and the classroom I was in. As this first week continued, I got into a nice rhythm within the class. In my second week, I took a more TA role in the classroom. This meant getting resources ready, marking books, helping small groups of students. The classroom teacher would brief me beforehand on what she would like me to do, and she ensured I was confident before letting me go off by myself. Leading these small groups has helped me to gain the confidence to teach and have the responsibility of helping these students with furthering their understanding with exchanging in maths and writing a story using expanded noun phrases in English.
Not only did I build relationships with the students but also the staff. I saw how important it was to work as a team; everyone has responsibilities. For that month, I was with them. My responsibilities helped the TA with her workload since she had too much to get done within one day. This included sticking in the homework for the week and marking past week’s homework, doing daily readers, getting the morning work on the table ready for the beginning of the day. I also helped with getting the outside area ready for the students, including getting the water table filled, putting the reading corner out, any notebooks and pencils, and suitable toys related to that week's lessons.
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Overall, this was my favourite placement in the three years of my course. Not only was I able to take on a teaching role I also had the opportunity to have a admin role. Being a part of a team highlighted what I needed to work on personally and what I could do to make the days run smoother. I am hoping to return to the school and see the class before the end of the year to see how they have progressed.