Stephanie: Settling into school
While I can safely say that confidence isn’t always my strongest point, I have always made a great effort to get along with everyone within whatever setting I happen to be in at the time. The immediate welcome I received from both my main school and my second placement really gave me a boost to that confidence which I feel I often lack. From the first day in both schools, I was made to feel a part of the community, respect was shown from staff and children alike, and due to the initial positive relationships I developed within my main school, settling into my second placement was much easier, as communication was a skill I’d built up over the past two terms.
The way in which my two school placements operated were really quite different, and I took some time to understand the systems and protocols each had in place, noting the obvious and subtle variations between them. Due to these differences, I had to adapt my tactics within lessons – especially when I’d transitioned from Year 2 in my main school to Year 5 in my second placement. The jump between the year groups meant that my demeanour had to alter based on the fact that children’s understanding of the world, their behaviour within class, and the subject knowledge they were expected to know were considerably different. This broadened my own understanding of children and how they develop. And I can safely say that – even at this early stage in Term 3, my confidence is much stronger than when I started at my first placement.
The feedback from my mentors has been really encouraging, and upon settling into my second placement, I was given positive critique which I am eager to take away and work on. Any uncertainty I have with anything, whether it’s subject knowledge, how to deliver a lesson, or even extra information regarding a child’s needs, my mentors have been very helpful in filling me in and guiding me within the early days of my placements.
Now in my second week of Term 3, I have no worries about asking questions to anyone who may have the answers, and I genuinely feel a part of the staff when I walk through the front doors each morning. The children have begun to respond to me as if I were their usual teacher, and I am adjusting well to the routines and culture of the school.
While I may still reserve some uncertainty in myself at times, I know that I will take my experience away and bring it back to my first placement, and that my confidence will continue to grow and hopefully show when I return to my main school.