“Teaching is a lot more than doing something and expecting children to follow, it is about inspiring and empowering the children to build the foundations to succeed in life”. A poignant statement instilled in our household by my late grandmother who was a teacher in her native Pakistan. My passion to teach stems from my grandmother’s inspiring stories about campaigning for gender equality and teaching English to some of the poorest villages in Pakistan,
Studying the podopaediatrics module during my degree and working with children in the community for the last two years has allowed me to consolidate my learning, to treat and coach individuals safely, effectively, and with empathy. Subsequently, I have an excellent understanding of child development, the process and developmental milestones.The sense of fulfilment from seeing children develop, build confidence achieve and progress in life is what motivates me to become a teacher.
My interpersonal skills were integral when dealing with worried parents and children during appointments to calm fears during my degree. These core skills are also utilised daily to engage with parents, children and fellow volunteers to build good rapport and ensure professional relationships are maintained.
I have also recently gained work experience in a primary school where I was tasked with helping children in year five with their Mathematics and Literacy tasks during lessons. The School adopted the Talk for Writing approach based on Pie Corbett ‘s three phases, which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing. I was able to assist the children in adopting this approach to their writing, thus I believe I have a good understanding of the national curriculum and the process involved in an educational environment.
Volunteering allowed me to witness he challenges teachers face from managing different learning styles and educational needs to behaviour management in the class. Every child is unique in their learning style, some can process information quickly whilst some require visual and practical aids to understand and retain information. This was apparent during the shapes lesson where my group found it easier to understand shapes and their properties using physical aids as opposed to theory.
I also observed the different measures teachers employed to reward students and manage bad behaviour. Tools such as awarding Dojos, verbal praise and assembly awards were utilised to motivate children to do well, whislt negative behaviour was managed through time outs from classes and meetings with parents.
The develpmement centre in comparison adopts a goal-setting approach to behaviour management, whereby we encourage communication and motivational strategies to manage bad behaviour. Motivational strategies include presentations from youth workers about street crime, the importance of education and peer pressure. By focusing on sport and encouraging skills progression, we can help children thrive in and out of the community.
i am also aware of legal and organisational requirements regarding security and health and safety when working with children. I understand that as a professional it is my duty to be aware of safeguarding issues and act upon them according to the school safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures. I am also aware that i am not able to make false promises to children regarding concerns and if a child did approach me about concerns, i would make sure the conversation occurred preferably in plain sight of passing colleagues or other children.
This area can be a very sensitive topic for all involved, thus adopting a multidisciplinary approach in conjunction with different organisations whilst adhering to safeguarding policies is vital. Prior experience allows me to remain emotional resilient, professional and non-judgemental during child protection issues.
The education system is a fantastic platform for children to succeed, however more can be done to ensure every child has the provisions available to succeed in life. Therefore, I welcome the current support for the introduction of measures to provide every school with mental health first aid training and mental wellbeing. Continual professional development is needed to implement these changes. I am passionate about continual professional development, the idea of learning new skills to maintain relevance fascinates me.
Besides my academic pursuits, I am a keen sportsman who was captain of my local football team. The responsibility awarded to me further highlights my competence and leadership abilities for the teacher role.