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Rachel Paraman S00118748 Critical Reflections 2015

Critical Incident Reflections EDFX310 2015:

Week 1:

Description (100 words)

What happened? What is the event or situation that is being examined? (writing in first person is
acceptable; identify age/class level of students; do not identify school, Supervising Teacher(s),or
individual students)

My first day of placement felt as though it was almost a culture shock as the school is centred
around the Reggio Emilia teaching approach; something I have not experienced before, and
something I have only read literature on. Whilst reading about the philosophy in theory already
made me anxious, experiencing first hand just how different this way of teaching is was somewhat
frightening. I am teaching grade 1 and 2, which I have never taught before and the school allows for
behaviours that my previous placement disallowed. Furthermore, the behaviour management
strategies enacted by the teachers are also very different to what I have used in the past and this will
also require some getting used to.

Interpretation (200 words)

Why is this event or situation critical to you? What is most important / interesting / useful / relevant
about the event/situation? How can it be explained with theory? Why did this event/situation happen
in the way it did? What was impacting on the event/situation? (referencing from textbooks/academic
research and literature is required here)

This event is critical to me because it happened at the very beginning of my placement and requires
me to reflect on everything that I have learnt thus far about being a teacher. The education system
of this school is something that is so different to what I have experienced before, that I feel as
though I am learning about classroom management and behaviour management through a
completely different lens and thus learning from scratch. A critical point about this, as literature
supports is that you must adjust your teaching to suit the needs of the children. Teaching isnt how
how children respond to you, it is about how you respond to the children and the situation you are
faced with. My teaching style that I am comfortable with will not be appropriate with these children;
the school is much more relaxed and I feel that what I have learnt about classroom/ behaviour
management will be too rigid and ineffective for this class. What I have learnt is that I must now look
at everything I have learnt thus far about teaching and adapt/change what I can in order to fully
transform my teaching into a way that compliments the learning and behavioural needs of these
children.

Outcome (100 words)

What have you learned from this? What major insights has this incident brought about for you?
What does this mean for your future as a pre-service teacher? What goal(s) can be set as a way of
developing your professional knowledge, practice, and engagement as a result of your interpretation
of this event/situation?

A major aspect that I have learnt from this is just how different every school is, yet how important it
is to have different schools that accommodate for every childs needs. Many of the children in my
Rachel Paraman S00118748 Critical Reflections 2015

classroom have come from other schools, where they did not fit in and were outcasts and this in turn
isolated the children socially and cognitively from their learning. This school, while very, very distant
from the norm, is so complimentary to these children because it caters for their special needs and
celebrates and embraces their individuality which was isolating them from other schools.

Week 2:

Description (100 words)

What happened? What is the event or situation that is being examined? (writing in first person is
acceptable; identify age/class level of students; do not identify school, Supervising Teacher(s),or
individual students)

The critical incident this week involved the large number of grade 1s and 2s in my class that
constantly exhibit undesirable behaviour. This week on Thursday I burst into tears after the final bell
because I could not manage the behaviour of two students in particular. I followed all of the
behaviour management procedures that my teacher showed me, yet the students just would not
listen and I had to call for my teacher to come in and intervene. This made me feel really sad
because I am trying so hard, yet I felt like I was not getting anywhere with these children and made
me think that I was a bad teacher.

Interpretation (200 words)

Why is this event or situation critical to you? What is most important / interesting / useful / relevant
about the event/situation? How can it be explained with theory? Why did this event/situation happen
in the way it did? What was impacting on the event/situation? (referencing from textbooks/academic
research and literature is required here)

This event was very critical to me because it allowed for deep and meaningful reflection on myself as
a teacher. I could have given up there and then and decided that I couldnt do it anymore. Instead, I
reflected on what happened, asking myself questions such as, Was I clear when I asked/ reminded
them the first time? Was I clear about the consequences that would follow if they did not change
their behaviour? If my associate teacher was in my situation, would they have done the same
thing? The answer to all of my questions was, yes and this was confirmed by my associate
teacher. Many of these students bring to school a lot of emotional baggage from their life outside of
school and this is a huge factor in the behaviour in which they exhibit at school as well as the way in
which they form relationships with teachers. Some of the students who were acting up and testing
the waters with me last week have now settled because I have taken the time to build a relationship
with them and get to know what they are interested in and how they learn. Now I am finding that a
simple reminder with them and lots of positive reinforcement is ample enough to remind them what
the desired behaviour is and keep them on track. The students involved in this incident have been
more challenging to build a relationship with and that is due to their relationships with people at
home and outside of school. I will aim to try and connect more with these children, in order to try
and overcome some of the defiance when correcting their behaviour. These children act up in the
same way with their own teachers and on this particular day, they were doing the exact same thing
with them as they did with me after they had intervened and as a result, the teachers got no further
with them than I did.

Outcome (100 words)

What have you learned from this? What major insights has this incident brought about for you?
Rachel Paraman S00118748 Critical Reflections 2015

What does this mean for your future as a pre-service teacher? What goal(s) can be set as a way of
developing your professional knowledge, practice, and engagement as a result of your interpretation
of this event/situation?

I have learned that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, sometimes you cannot get through to
children and it is not because you are a bad teacher, it is a lot to do with timing and if a child is going
through something greater in their life at the time, you may not actually be able to get through to
them at school. The important thing is that you stay consistent and fair within the classroom, making
all expectations, rewards and consequences clear and accessible to all children within the classroom.
My future goals from this experience is to learn other strategies that can be put in place to support
children who are going through challenging experiences and also learn discipline strategies that are
addressing the bad behaviour in a way that is also being sensitive to the fact that they have a lot
going on.

Week 3:

Description (100 words)

What happened? What is the event or situation that is being examined? (writing in first person is
acceptable; identify age/class level of students; do not identify school, Supervising Teacher(s),or
individual students)

The critical incident this week involved the inappropriate behaviour of a child, which was quite
serious in nature and one that I have not experienced on my placement rounds as yet. This week my
students were playing in the cubby made from Friday afternoon workshops and one student became
very protective over the cubby and started kicking another student repeated amounts of time, while
the other student was laying on the ground crouched over.

Interpretation (200 words)

Why is this event or situation critical to you? What is most important / interesting / useful / relevant
about the event/situation? How can it be explained with theory? Why did this event/situation happen
in the way it did? What was impacting on the event/situation? (referencing from textbooks/academic
research and literature is required here)

This situation was critical to me because I have never had a class that have physically hurt each other
in this nature. I feel as though if I were in my own classroom and this was happening, I actually
wouldnt know what to do and this is why I found this incident so critical and insightful, because I
learnt exactly what needs to happen. Whilst the event of physically hurting someone is completely
unacceptable, us as teachers have a duty of care for all students involved. This means that we need
to tend to the immediate situation, however we also have to look at the life that the child who was
kicking comes from and what is causing them to act this way. The teachers dealt with this situation
by removing the child from the classroom and having both children explain what happened in a
separate place each. The student who was kicking was then sent to the principals office, where they
were later sent home. There was some debate amongst the teachers about sending the child home
and being more lenient on this child due to difficult circumstances at home. Whilst the teachers
were sympathetic about the home life, they dealt with that separately but needed to send the child
home as any other child would be sent home for that behaviour and it is not fair on the other
children.
Rachel Paraman S00118748 Critical Reflections 2015

Outcome (100 words)

What have you learned from this? What major insights has this incident brought about for you?
What does this mean for your future as a pre-service teacher? What goal(s) can be set as a way of
developing your professional knowledge, practice, and engagement as a result of your interpretation
of this event/situation?

I have learned that classroom and behaviour management is not always so clear cut and black and
white. Whilst one child may be hurting another, they too might be hurting in other ways, which is
causing them to act up in the first place. Us as teachers have a duty of care for all students and must
be fair in implementing this for all students.