My journey through academia has brought about great awareness to essential Acts and legislations pertaining to working with vulnerable young people and adults. Relative Acts and legislations had been covered during my early enrolments in Health & Social care GNVQ, Access to Social Work, particularly when revising modules like Social Policy and Safeguarding and protection. Most recent studies in Psychosocial Studies and Diploma in Education and Training (DET) have both reinforced my knowledge in legislative Acts which are essential for working within the field of education to fulfil teaching standards set out by DfE.
Studying a BA Hons in Psychosocial studies full-time, broadened my perspective of sociological conditions and their ability to influence the human psychology. This course presented both psychology and sociology as inseparable coexisting factors with the idea that they can influence, manipulate and shape the make-up of an individual’s life. Subjects such as individual development, mental health & mental disorder, social dispositions and stereotyping amongst many others were revised throughout this course. Psychosocial Studies delivered core modules such as Introduction to counselling, family studies and ethnicity: psychology and culture. I consider the knowledge of these subjects to be beneficial in understanding and relating to children and adult learners along with parents and carers. Thus, providing the advantage of meeting individual needs to achieve a successful delivery of service possible.
Since completing my bachelors’ BA Hons degree in Psychosocial Studies, I have worked in several educational settings as a learning support assistant and special needs assistant. I have gained thorough experience of working with foundation and key stage 1 children ages 5-7, as well as occasionally working with KS2 children ages 7-11. In addition to this, I have previously worked as a play worker in a mainstream school working with children between the ages of 4-11 years old. The vulnerability and needs of learners have caused me to liaise, share and work in partnership with external statutory and internal stakeholders such as physiotherapist, social workers, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist etc.
Confronted with various challenges has strengthened my ability to lead teams and develop professional relationships with colleagues and partners. I also feel that I have become highly observant in identifying risk whilst recognising the importance of effective team work to rectifying risk factors accordingly. I feel the benefits of sharing skills and expertise with colleagues are essential in enhancing working relations whilst executing team targets effectively thus, increasing the vitality for a happy and successful work environment. Providing a network of support for the development and benefit of learners has allowed me to acknowledge first-hand the importance of my role within a team body. Whilst working in a newly reformed inclusion school, I witnessed the practice of inclusive learning and how this positively impacted the outlook, performance at school and social experience of both pupils and members of staff.
Over the years, I have undergone several training courses and I would be more than willing to participate in many more that would serve to enhance my existing knowledge, professionalism and experience. Whilst furthering my education, I gained an advanced qualification in ICT. This course allowed me to gain a working knowledge of a range of ICT programmes, ICT software and hardware as well as learning a range of word processing skills and techniques. I have a great knowhow of using Capita SIMS registration software and smartboards which have developed in my exposure to teaching. Makaton (sign language) training was provided by The Brook as a way to maximise inclusive learning by means of minimise challenges caused by communication barriers. Since this training, I have found Makaton a great tool and new addition to my communication skills, as a result, I aim to utilise this tool whenever necessary. My understanding of non-verbal communication methods, such as, symbols, flash cards, photo communication etc. have allowed me to recognise how they can be implemented in my teaching practice to enrich the learning and involvement of students.
At my previous employment with Downsell Primary School, I was trained by Ruth Miskin to teach Read, Write Inc. (RWI), At the start of October 2013. My independent experience of behaviour management, time management, lesson planning, curricula and resource design, have all contributed towards my professional development which have all strengthened my confidence, interpersonal and teaching skills. Aside from RWI, I have taught several core lessons whilst covering teachers during planning, preparation and assessment (PPA), meetings, absences etc. I have also had the responsibility of carrying out intervention sessions to boost the learning and progress of pupils across year 2 (SATs) within the subject areas of Maths, English and Reading.
During my enrolment on the Diploma in Education and Training (DET) programme, I have taken an analytical and practical approach in all aspects of planning, delivering and assessing inclusive teaching and learning. I have applied principles and theories in education and training to my teaching practice and have attained detailed understanding of how legislative polices and diversity influence practices throughout the teaching sector. During this course, I was required to complete 100hrs of teaching. This was achieved by teaching English along with Health and Social care to adult learners at the London School of Academics. As mentioned above, I also covered and taught classes at Downsell primary school (Foundation and Key stage 1- 3). Since leaving Downsell Primary School, I have offered daily supply work as a Teacher, Cover Supervisor and on occasion, teaching assisting. These opportunities have further broadened experiences to working within various Secondary education sectors, SEN schools, Pupil Referral Units (PRU) as well as Colleges.
Throughout my experiences, I have and continue to learn a great deal from understanding the challenges individuals face whilst learning with barriers. I strongly believe in the development of inclusive learning where students feel valued, respected and accepted. This I feel would eventually positively impact student’s perspective of their personal and social life, allowing them to feel more optimistic about their future. In my varied teaching experiences, I have employed a range of teaching strategies and approaches to ensure that the learning needs of students are accommodated by applying learning principles such as VARK (visual, audio, reading and writing and kinetics). I believe that to motivate individuals, the curriculum should be active, imaginative and relevant.
My academic experience of meeting essay deadlines, planning revision for exams, presentations (written/oral) and group assignments have developed my time management and organisational skills, whilst giving me the experience of working towards fixed deadlines. I am very self-driven, organised, reliable and dedicated member of staff with excellent people skills. I consider myself to be accountable, energetic, enthusiastic and always approachable.
My transition to Teaching full-time has been inspired by my experience and exposure teaching within the education sector. I find it extremely rewarding and a great privilege to be in the position to help develop and better the quality of an individual’s life by means of education. Growing up in a multicultural and diverse community has increased my confidence in approaching and communicating with people of diverse backgrounds. I believe I have attained qualities throughout my life experiences which complement one another, making me a suitable candidate for teaching and supporting culturally mixed students. Throughout my educational experiences, I have gained the knowledge and insight into the psychological as well as sociological factors of working with vulnerable people; whilst gaining practical experiences throughout my previous and most recent work. All areas of experience interconnect well together which has given me great advantage of applying theory with practice, enabling me to work professionally.