It was an incredibly steep learning curve for me and my practicum partner Liz. I think I probably learned as much about how I don't want to practice as teacher as how I do, it was certainly a wake up call as to how much the sector can vary. There were some amazing people working there though who were incredibly supportive and made me feel like part of the team which helped balance out those who made me feel invisible.
As part of our practicums we're supposed to reflect on our own beliefs and values regarding early childhood education for our portfolios. Addressing why we think the way we do, what has influenced that - be it our upbringing, schooling, cultural background, personal parenting experience etc etc. It was one of those things where the more you thought about it the more you came up with, it seemed endless at times and if I wrote reflections on all the things I came up with I'd have a very fat portfolio and no time to write my assignments!
My associate teacher commented on how I must've done reflective writing before - well, I guess 18yrs of journalling and/or blogging has mostly been reflective writing! I think being a Quaker encourages a lot of reflection on my beliefs and values, and then there's 18mths of counselling, 7yrs of writing incident reports in a Steiner setting (where every last detail was deemed important) oh and English Literature & Language O & A levels where my poor teachers dragged descriptive writing out of me on a weekly basis... yup I guess it's fair to say I've done reflective writing before!