The final week of my placement and the final week of my three year degree has drawn to a close. Overall this past placement has been an enjoyable and successful experience but I am still so pleased to be finished and be able to prepare for my very own class next year. This placement has taught me many things and challenged my philosophy of teaching further. When considering the seventh Graduating Teacher Standard my goal for this placement was to further my philosophy, therefore have a solid foundation for when I begin teaching my own class. Even though there has been a number of differences in teaching style between my AT and myself, this placement has definitely sharpened my philosophy.
One of the biggest differences I experienced in this class/school from my past placements was the lack of technology. Throughout the past few weeks I was able to implement a couple of digital aspects into the class which I felt went really well and brought about engaged rich learning. During this placement I did not want to just rule out any positive aspects of being in a non-digital class but rather reflect on the matter with a balanced view. Over the weeks I think I have been able to do this but as I did preconceive my view for digital technology in class has only become stronger. A couple major positives which I observed in this non-digital classroom is the lack of distractions and the richness of hands-on activities. Everyday we completed hands-on activities which could be done in a digital classroom but would sometimes not be. Not necessarily because they could be completed digitally but rather because digital devices offer so many more different teaching/learning opportunities. And this is where I think a key understanding needs to be established. Digital learning most often will offer more ways to teach a concept quicker than older standard ways. But, sometimes I think the older practical ways need to be used even though they might be slower because they teach other key concepts at the same time. Whilst saying this there are many areas which I observed during this placement that would be completely transformed if digital technologies were implemented. For example Mathematics is a subject that I observed as being sometimes more about writing ability and often either ahead or behind of an individuals learning pathway. And this is where I think digital technology can and should transform learning. Learning should be efficient, engaging and give students opportunity to learn at their own personal level rather than being restricted by others around them.
In conclusion this placement has given me an understanding of what a well managed classroom can operate like while also challenging me to further refine my own teaching style. I am excited for the opportunity I will have next year where I will get to teach in a 1:1 device class and continually seek to transform learning with the aid of digital devices. But at the same time I want to remember this placement and continue to question my digital teaching and compare the learning to that which I have experienced here over the past six weeks.