3 The importance of reflection
You may have noted that two of the learning outcomes refer to ‘reflection’. To make the most of your studies, you need to reflect on your learning and plan your development to achieve your career, personal or study goals.
Referring back to the video clip, you saw how Katie has reflected on her role as a teaching assistant. She was able to identify the rewards and challenges of the job and has clearly spent some time thinking about her career development. Katie wants to work with children with special educational needs and disabilities, so Section 4 of the course was of particular interest, but she also referred to other aspects of the course that are relevant to her practice.
Katie found the section, ‘Encouraging reading’, of interest, as she is familiar with teaching by phonics in her primary school. In the video, there was also some discussion about the importance of transition as children move from one school to another, and how teaching assistants can play a key role in making this easier for some children. Katie has worked with Year 1 pupils who have just made the transition from reception, a significant vertical transition in their education journey.
Imagine that you are Katie and you are being asked about your role as a teaching assistant. You don’t have to be working as a teaching assistant – you may have experience of working with children in other ways, perhaps as a parent or a grandparent. Reflect on the different aspects of your role. If you have studied only some sections of the course, you should be able to use this information to reflect on these questions.
- Do you play a part in developing and managing relationships?
- Do you work closely with individual children and do any of them have special educational needs?
- How do you encourage reading and literacy in your setting?
- What aspects of the course have been useful for your own practice?
- What aspects of your practice have not been addressed by this course?
Make a few notes in response to these questions and summarise what you remember from the sections you have read. Use your notes to try to identify areas of your practice or experience that you would like to develop further.