Total Days : 25 days
8 days: Frederick Bird Primary School Workshops and Preparation
9 days: East Surrey College and Preparation
1 day: Frederick Bird Primary School Year 5 day
1 day: Digital Flow
1 day: Steve Trewhella
2days: Model Client work
1 day: Pet Portrait Client work
2 days: Picbod Exhibition Venue Team
When I first started this module my future aspirations where to run my own workshops, however, this module has made me reassess and realise that I perhaps don’t have the required business head. I have now reached a new conclusion; I plan to become a Primary school teacher. Read my reflection below for how I reached this decision.
The majoriy of this module was Workshops and teaching, And this is where I see my career going. However I learnt a lot in my Picbod experience where I got to plan the Venue for our class’ final exhibition. I have realized from this, that I can deal with being in stressful situations. Another area I was interested in was Client work, however I’ve realized that the unpredictability doesn’t suit me. I also assisted Steve Trewhella an environmentalist photographer. I valued the experience but realized that it isn’t the career path I want to take. However my views on the way we treat the world (as humans) have changed. I shall keep this in mind for future projects and perhaps could touch on these subjects again. The skills I have developed are transferable to other careers, such as teamwork, problem solving, and organisation.
Due to my workshop aspirations I applied to a position at Frederick Bird Primary school to help with the Childrens University photography group. I found this highly rewarding as I have seen the children’s photography, creativity and confidence grow.
I have learnt many new teaching techniques; such as there is a positive response at the mention of a friendly competition, and how to give praise and constructive criticism. Some of the children didn’t speak much English so I had to learn to explain with hand gestures and physical demonstrations as well as verbal explanations. This allowed me practice first hand the roles and responsibilities of a teacher.
I feel that because of my past experience as a play worker with primary school children I have developed an understanding of how they like to learn, their attention span and the activities that they enjoy. I feel I am constantly improving as a teacher with the practice I am gaining; this improves one of my areas for development on my SWAT analysis, which was the need for more experience.
I feel proud to be a part of this, as I have always wanted to pass on my knowledge, as mentioned in my evidence modeling prior to starting this module. Perhaps I could set up my own workshops and offer schools and kids clubs the opportunity of visiting photography workshops. I plan to apply for a summer job as an activity leader on a summer camp; my recent experience will be advantageous to have on my application. This summer job will look great on my CV for future, as I am leaning towards studying a PGCE and becoming a teacher.
I also completed professional practice at East Surrey College. I started planning this placement well in advance. I had visited an East Surrey College Art and Design Exhibition in June 2013 and realised that I was interested in the work and felt I could add my personal skills to the teaching. I managed to speak to a couple of the photography lecturers and discussed the idea of having a placement here.
On my first day I was quite surprised at how relaxed the college teaching was; I guess I was used to hectic primary school teaching. However, this was a calmer atmosphere where control methods weren’t so important as the students were more mature and self motivated. This meant my work style had to change and it was more about listening to their ideas and making suggestions of possible photographers that may inspire them.
I have picked up on a few skills for college level teaching; for example, to access the information from shy students, coxing them with questions can help, until they have gained confidence to talk about their knowledge freely and more comfortably.
I had the opportunity to speak to Dom about a past student of his from a few years back who has successfully trained as a teacher and got herself a job in a private school. Originally teaching reception and now teaching photography. This is something that she introduced into the school. This sounds exciting, maybe something I will want to think about.
I spent some time going through the marking schemes. I found this particularly beneficial, as I will have to develop my marking skills if I want to become a teacher in the future. One key point that I picked up about marking is that it is important to illustrate to the student that you have in fact read their work in detail. It is one thing to say that they have got a certain mark, however it is more beneficial to the student to tell them where was good and where they can improve, as they can then develop on these points in their following projects. Dom Williams mentioned that he trusts me to advise the students on their work and development; this was great to hear. After talking to Dom I feel that teaching at this level would defiantly be a potential career plan for me.
I have been able to experience first hand how teaching methods alter for different ages groups. I will now be able to evaluate and think about which level I would like to teach at and what teaching style suits me. Further experience in each age group will be beneficial for this decision. This is why I took up Frederick Bird Primary School on their offer to come back for a usual school day in year 5.
I realise that teaching is stressful, however, the more practice I get the more knowledge I will gain on how to deal with this effectively. Enthusiasm is extremely important for teaching; I have experienced this first hand and can see how this engages the children.
I have decided to study a Primary PGCE as I am thoroughly enjoying teaching at this level. I realise that I will have to revise my primary school knowledge so that I am at the level where I can teach confidently. However, I expect that with experience and gaining a PGCE qualification, I shall be of an appropriate level of educational knowledge. I have updated my personal skills audit, with the experience and confidence I have gained through this module. Having completed my professional practice module I have developed my portfolio, gained experience and furthered my professional network.
I have updated my CV in light of my new work experience. See below for relevant screenshots…
Personal profile and work experience updated along with a new referee…
Today (01.05.14) I was helping out in a Primary School for the day. Having completed the photography workshops for Frederick Bird School I was invited back to see what a usual day in a primary school was like. This will be extremely helpful as I thinking about doing a PGCE after I graduate. The experiences and opportunities that I take up in teaching will help me decide which age group I would like to teach in the future.
During the day I got to experience how a normal day in a year 5 class runs. I realise that teaching is stressful, however, the more practice I get the more knowledge I will gain on how to deal with this effectively. I got a sense of the range of student’s abilities and how to deal with this. Groups of children split into abilities can work effectively, however I am sure there are many other techniques I shall learn with experience. I have also picked up on a few more classroom control techniques, such as the teacher placing their hand in the air and waiting for silence (surprisingly this works), instead of shouting over the top of the children. Enthusiasm is an extremely important skill to have for teaching; I have experienced this first hand and can see how this engages the children.
I realise that I will have to revise my primary school knowledge so that I am at the level where I can teach confidently. However, I expect that with experience and gaining a PGCE qualification, I shall be of an appropriate level of educational knowledge.
During February and March I was on the Venue Team for our Picbod Exhibition. This meant that I got the opportunity to help plan and organise an exhibition. The skills I learnt and developed on will be useful in future. I have now gained an understanding of how to organise an exhibition and will be able to help with future exhibition setups.
I visited multiple venues, asking question on availability, taking photographs for the rest of the Exhibition team, and generally checking out venue suitability. Being on the Venue team was a high stress job as many people were waiting on us to sort a venue before they could start some of their jobs, such as marketing and finance. I have developed on my organisational and time management skills; these will prove extremely helpful in future projects. I practiced my communication skills by emailing, calling and discussing with possible venues. We collaborated with the curating team as the venue had to be suitable for everyone’s needs. The high stress situation was good practice for future group work; this will be a great experience to mention to future employers as it shows I can work effectively in a team, even in a stressful situation.
As well as finding and finalizing the venue, we helped setup. Each person involved in the exhibition put up their own work, however I was also there to help and advise them on suitable ways of attaching their work to the different types of wall (which I had been briefed on previously by the venue owner). On opening night I was handing out voting cards so that each visitor had the chance to vote for their favourite piece of work.
Overall I feel this has been a great opportunity and one I shall mention as a past experience in the future, to help me with my professional career. Having gained the knowledge and practice of setting up an exhibition from start to finish I do not think this will be a part of my main career. However, the skills I have developed are transferable to other careers, such as teamwork, high stress situations, problem solving, time management and organisation.