Category Archives: life changes

The last post. PONG!

So, in all honesty for the last three weeks I have completely forgotten to write anything. Things have been full on. In the first two days at my new school my timetable changed three times and I moved rooms twice. I also found out that I would be teaching Geography … (I don’t even have a GCSE in Geography).

In the second week the police were called to my room to search the girls who had stolen my presenter clicker and the powerpoint remote.

I had some pretty bad classes and bad days. That being said, everyone has told me that this is the worst possible time to come into the school. Three weeks to the end. The kids are tired the staff are tired, I’m tired. Everyone just wants the summer holidays. The kids have had three or four or five members of staff this term so any consistency of behaviour is out the window. I’m getting used to new policies and procedures and a new school and new staff.

Everyone has told me that things will be much better in September when I have my own room. Everyone is rested and we’re all pulling together. The kids will know that I am their teacher. They will be my own books. I really hope things will be much different.

Anyway, I’m all finished for summer now. I’ve made it through. The last Friday I was off work as I graduated. I graduated in the morning and went and got our two new kittens in the afternoon! They’re gorgeous and called Myst and Riven.

My summer currently looks like socialising the kittens and stopping them tearing the house down (really they’re very good and already litter trained which is a bonus) and planning and preparing for next year.

I finally have my timetable (given to me on my last day of term) and it’s looking like I have two year 8 classes and two year 9 classes, full time and a year 10 class and a year 11 class, once a week. Plus I have 3 classes of drama once a week which I’m really pleased about. It’ll keep my hand in and I’ll get to experience other departments.

Our veg is also coming on really well. We grew a massive courgette which was a surprise as I thought they’d all died! I’ve already planned for next year and bought seeds so I’m excited to start afresh.

Surprise Courgette

I don’t think there’s anything left to report except perhaps that I’ve decided that this will be my last post. I’ve completed my PGCE journey which is what I set out to do and now I’m a professional, so I don’t think it’s right to blog about my experiences anymore. No doubt I will still be writing about it, just not in the public sphere. Thank you so much to those of you who’ve gone on this journey with me. To my friends and family who’ve supported me through this time which has undoubtedly been the most difficult yet and for those of you reading who’re thinking of going into teaching, I would say this to you. You must want it. You must have determination and resilience. There’s a reason that the drop out rate is so high – it’s really hard, but then you know that. What I will say is that none of it seems to matter when a kid knocks on your door to ask for your help with a word game he’s stuck on or the feeling you get when in your goodbye card they write ‘Adventure is out there!’ because you’ve taught them a topic on ‘Action Adventure’ or in creative writing when I kid beams at you to tell you he’s discovered a new word – ‘PONG!’ … and with that so ends this blog.

For the last time,

TTFN X

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Last week of uni and preparing for work!

Monday was great. It was strange and lovely to see everyone again. There were just over 20 of us and we started out with just under 40 of us …

Tuesday was raining and I wasn’t looking forward to carting my folders over to university in the rain but it was ok. The conference was kind of useful and my tutorial was a success. All signed off and only have to go in for Friday! Amazing.

Wednesday I wasn’t due in to uni so I had a little lie in, although Greg needed to go to work, and I had booked a haircut. So I got up, showered and went off. It feels so much better to have a fresh cut for work on Monday. I called my new school but information was not very forthcoming. I got quite a lot of admin stuff done and made a start on my massive pile of ironing!

Thursday was also a free day so I spent the majority of it baking lemon drizzle.

I finally heard from the school I’m starting at on Monday and learnt that I have 3 lessons to teach on Monday – two year 7, set 2 and 3 and one bottom set year 9. I’ll be teaching report writing and analysis of Lady Macbeth’s A4 S3 soliloquy (except there isn’t a Lady Macbeth soliloquy in that scene … she said the famous one so I’m assuming it’s Act 1, Scene 5. But who knows really. Apparently I also have a year 8 class who are studying poetry from other cultures and traditions but I don’t have them on Monday. It sounds like I might have my own classroom … but again not sure. She doesn’t think I have a form but she’s going to check and email me …

Friday I was in uni due in a conference all day. It was goodbye and yet I knew I would see everyone again in three weeks. It was a really strange experience but not I’m just focusing on getting myself prepared for work on Monday.

Over this weekend I’m going home to see my dad. I feel like I’ve not seen him for ages and really want to take the dogs for a walk and chill as much as possible and it’ll take my mind off things so that I’m not stressing too much.

I’ve decided to keep this blog running at least until the summer holidays so that those who’re interested can see what my experience of induction is like.

TTFN X

 

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Apologies once more.

I’ve been a bad blogger but sometimes that’s the sacrifice I make for being a good teacher.

Since I no longer have to do ‘formal’ lesson plans I’ve had so much more time. I’ve practically got my weekends back but it has meant working quite late during the week. I’ve also been spending a lot of time on my assignment which I finally finished on Friday (just before I got an email saying the deadline had been extended by a fortnight) *facepalm* never mind at least it’s practically done now.

I’ve also been preparing for teaching my new schemes of work after half term and for my external examiner observation next Thursday. I now know what I’m going to do I just have that one final lesson to plan and that’s it for this week.

Perhaps I can finally catch up on some of the other admin I have to do like reading, emails, gardening, ironing, campus pack, PSHE work and forms for my new job – that’s all for during half term though and next week will be all about getting me to the point where I can do that effectively over the half term.

My brother is here this weekend which has been a nice surprise and since we got the garden furniture we’ve had another visitor …

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We think (hope) he’s a stray.

In other news the garden is coming on well and I’ve had lots of homegrown radishes in my saladsIMG_20170512_163351_776

I don’t think there’s much else to inform you of. I hope I can get back into the swing of blogging next week.

TTFN x

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First week at PP2.

On Monday was a full on day with inductions, safeguarding etc and being given lots to read. It really was crazy. I also met some of the English Department who seem lovely and friendly.

On Tuesday I met all my classes and teachers. I have a mixed view I think 2/3 classes will be lovely but I have a really tricky year 10 class … no sight of any drama lessons but I’ll see if I can get involved in an after school club or something.

Wednesday was another busy day. I was roped into a Geography trip for the first two periods which was nice. I got to know some of the kids and staff and then I was shadowing a year 9 pupil who happened to be in my classes – bonus. In the late afternoon I found out I had an interview but didn’t have chance to do anything as we had mindset CPD after school. I really enjoyed it but was interested that everybody else seemed to take it at face value and be open minded. At other schools I’ve been at some teachers have been quite dismissive of it. Once I got home I was so tired I didn’t feel like I could face interview preparation so I chose my poems and did a bit of research and basic planning and vowed to get up early on Thursday. Which I did

Thursday was therefore yet another crazy long day. I got up at 5.45 and into school for 7.30. Setting off 10 minutes early saved me half an hour at the other end. So I planned for an hour in the morning then I had 1 free p5 which gave me another hour. Then I had a break for my first CM meeting and stayed until 6.30 getting the rest all done. I even managed to operate the printer as we were given our official lanyards, key and fob. I can now get anywhere in the school like any other teacher – It really makes me feel like an ‘official’ member of staff and on an even keel with my colleagues – it helps to add to my sense of professionalism.

On Friday I did my interview. I arrived and we were shown into a room. There was only one other candidate who was lovely. We were given an ‘in tray task’ which I’ve never had to do before – turned out it was marking – we got given a mark scheme which I was greatful for – and I felt that that went ok. Then we had a tour of the school which was nice. The pupils seemed lovely and it was only a small school with a real sense of community. Then I taught my lesson. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. I reflected and prepared for the interview questions and tried not to panic. During break we met the rest of the English Department who seemed really friendly and supportive and finally was the interview. I was pleased with how that went. I really got into the swing of it and reflected critically on my lesson. I was then sent home with the promise that I’d be called later with feedback. I got the job! I got the job. I still can’t quite believe it. It’s such a relief to know that I don’t have to do anymore applications and the school is only 15 minutes away from where I live. The job is only 12 months maternity cover but it’ll get me my NQT year and a good reputation in a good school I hope. I’m thrilled.

Over the weekend I’m taking my mum to see the new Beauty and the Beast film with the rest of the family because it’s her birthday and also Mother’s day is coming up. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s our favourite and I hope it lives up to my expectations.

TTFN

 

 

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Half Term.

It’s finally half term and yet I don’t feel like there’s going to be any rest for the wicked. On Monday I spent all day just cracking on with my MTP. I have no idea how long this assignment has taken but I know that if I have to spend the same amount of time on every MTP I do that it will be simply unsustainable however, this is my second assignment and I’m putting in everything I can to it.

I did quite a lot and yet it’s not yet finished. I feel like if I can’t at least get a complete draft done by tomorrow I am going to panic. I have however, promised myself that I’m going to wash my car on Tuesday … There’s lots of other stuff I wanted to get done: a food shop, to call my dad, to make dinner and I still, as yet, haven’t done it … I didn’t have lunch till 3.30 because I’d been working none stop in an attempt to make some headway.

On Tuesday I continued to work on my MTP assignment. I’ve now completed a first draft which I feel really good about. Considering I only found out on Friday about parts of it I’ve now not only written 2000 words, to a good standard, in two day but I’m now also nearly 1000 words over the word count … I plan to cut that down during proof-reading towards the end of this week and next week.

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Organised Chaos

During Wednesday I spent the day researching starters and plenaries for year 7 literacy. I also made time to wash my car. I didn’t do a very good job though because Greg had forgotten to take the hoover out for me and also it started raining. As Mr A.Mole would say “Just my luck!” Still, perhaps tomorrow I’ll get chance to finish it off and give it a polish.

Thursday I did all house jobs. I caught up on what felt like a month of ironing, finished washing my car, hoed the garden beds and that took up all of the day but I feel really good about it. My jobs list is diminishing slowly but I’ve only got three days left. I was thinking about having a day off tomorrow but I think I’m going to try and get all the jobs that I haven’t yet done yet done tomorrow and then aim to have the weekend completely free.

On Friday I got around to finding some starter and plenary ideas. I didn’t plan them too in depth because I want to see where they’ll fit in with my CM’s plans. Later I want to plan everything for Monday so I don’t have to do it later.

I’ve done everything I wanted to do this half term so I’m pretty pleased about that but I’m still so tired. I need to make it through till Christmas now and I’m really nervous.

On Monday it’ll be 43 days till I finish at my placement for Christmas and then 49 until I finish at the placement completely … I hope I can make it through.

I feel like I have so many morals and that the actual teaching will be fine but I’m struggling with the lack of time and the lack of organisation and transparency … I don’t have time to breathe. I get up at 6.15, leave at 7, arrive at school for 7.30 ish, start school at 8.30 … leave school at 4 (sometimes 5), arrive home at 4.45 (sometimes later) and finally stop for dinner at 7 … I’m in school for 9.5 hours and work for 11 … and I’ve only been on placement four weeks.

At least this assignment is virtually over but now I have to concentrate on planning activities day to day. The next step is planning the first few weeks of lessons for after Christmas and then working together a MTP for all classes after Christmas … Wish me luck!

This weekend Greg and I went to Speke hall and had some quality time together. I’ve enjoyed really resting up and getting myself together for the next 6 weeks. I hope it’s enough.

TTFN X

 

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Last full week in Uni for a while.

Thankfully this week didn’t go as quickly as the last one however, it is now over and that means on Monday I start my first placement.

It’s strange, it was only on Monday that I found out where my placement’s to be. A ‘good’, according to OFSTED school in Warrington. I was very distracted all day, the sessions were on assessment, as I just wanted to get home and start researching and planning my journey.

The journey should take half an hour and they want me to be in by 8.20 for morning briefing so of cause I plan to arrive by 8 and will be leaving an hour for the trip (traffic) that means setting off at 7 and getting up at 6 but I’ll reduce this when I get more confident with the journey.

On Tuesday we pretty much had a day off which I was thankful for (gosh that seems weeks ago now). We talked about everything and my audit and they checked my filing system etc and where I was with my assignments. I made a good start on the one on Teachers and the Law and have been chipping away at it ever since. Although I’ve been finding it difficult to know how much and what else to write, especially on the 10 mark case studies.

Wednesday we had a lecture on reading & planning a reading lesson which was interesting.

On Thursday there was an overview of the Course assignments. If I’m honest I was pretty distracted that day too as I was building up to a migraine. I now have everything I need but I’m struggling to get everything into line to see the big picture. Right now all I know is that I start my placement on Monday, I have a plan for the first three days (more on that later) and my aim for the first week is to find my feet as quickly as possible and settle in. I think that’s all I can realistically expect.

I really want to get everything together and have some kind of bigger plan – where I know what I need to do and when I need to do it but at the moment everything is in piles and unorganised.

On Friday we were told about what the universities and more specifically the English Department’s expectations of us were which was reassuring if nothing else.

This weekend we are puppy sitting! Lottie, Greg’s sister’s dog is coming to stay and we’re also going to Ormskirk food and drink festival which we went to last year and was fantastic. On Sunday I’m doing a dry run to the school I’m at, just so that I’ve at least done it once before Monday. I’ll have the satnav but just to calm my nerves I think it’s for the best. I also need to iron my shirt again as it’s got a bit rucked in the wardrobe and things like that just – get prepared.

I think you can tell that I’m feeling pretty nervous but the real nerves have only really hit today. The fact that things have happened quite quickly means that I haven’t really had time to get nervous until I’m in the jaws of it, as it were … I think that’s a good thing.

So, the plan for next week thus far is: Monday – admin and observing the English Department, Tuesday – shadowing a year 7 in a variety of subjects and Wednesday – shadowing a year 10, again in a variety of subjects. Thursday and Friday I think will then be planned in conjunction with my Curriculum Mentor. Normally I would be in uni on a Friday but not this week so as to give us the chance to properly settle in. I’m going to miss it.

Wish me Luck.

 

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The first week.

I can’t quite believe we’re here already. What has happened this week I certainly wasn’t expecting. I’ll get straight into it.

Monday – I was expecting to wake up at the crack of dawn but actually, given how well the drive on Monday had gone, I was fairly relaxed. I think that part of me was in such a state of shock that I was actually doing this that it forgot to feel nervous. I woke up just before 7 and got ready without a hitch to leave at 8. I was at uni by 8.15. Enough time to walk down to the Education building for 8.30 and meet with my course tutor. I got everything out and took everything in as people arrived over the next half an hour and then we got started.

We had an introduction talk by our tutor for half an hour where we were given lots of handbooks and then we had our first ‘Reflective Professional Practice’ session with the course leader until lunch time. We then had a two hour lunch, which gave us time to sit and talk with some of our colleagues and one girl, Becky and I went to the library to geek it up. Then housekeeping for the rest of the day. Nice and relaxed.

I arrived home early, hot and … invigorated. I had lots to read, file and organise but felt really confident in the abilities of my tutors and the course. I managed to do quite a lot of, what initially felt like, an unreasonable amount of admin for the first day but not as much as I had wanted as a couple of friends of ours had got engaged and wanted us to go out for a drink or two.

Tuesday – Was much the same although I set off 5 minutes later and did notice a small difference with the amount of tail back on the way. God knows what it will be like after next week when all the other students arrive back. Thank goodness I have somewhere else to park *fingers crossed*.

The morning session was ‘What is English’ followed by ‘Introduction to Learning Services’ in the afternoon. This is when I began to feel a bit overwhelmed by how much I have to read as we were handed curriculums and frameworks and lecturers kept dropping in, just read this, document and that policy and do this admin … Once I got home I had to push back myself imposed stop time form 8 to 9 but I know I definitely do need that hour before bed to decompress.

Wednesday – Was the ‘RPP Conference’ covering legal issues and safeguarding. All day. I’ll be honest I was dreading this one. It could have been really dry in a very hot hall but the lecturer kept up a good pace which made it accessible. By the end of it I also felt quite good about my level of pre-existing knowledge, having read the Prevent Strategy, Fundamental British Values and other safeguarding things at my previous school but once again (you guessed it) there was a lot to read!

Thursday – I was really looking forward to. The sessions were ‘Reading should be fun’ in the morning and ‘Introduction to SMART technology’ in the afternoon. SMART technology was really very useful and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to practise. The session also ended early which I was really grateful for as it meant I could do some serious catching up on reading.

I did have a small breakdown in the evening though and ended up emailing my tutor for some guidance. In the end I got lots done, in no small part due to the fact that one of our friends came round to make us dinner. He also insisted I have a glass of wine with the meatballs which helped and then I went back up stairs while the boys went to the pub. After that I had a small break through! (Perhaps it was the wine.) I found a text for our first assignment which I’m now really excited to write.

Friday – The sessions were ‘Grammar: Back to Basics’ which I was looking forward to as it’s one of my areas of weakness. I talked to my tutor about feeling overwhelmed and she pretty much said “Chill out!”, that all the reading I was given I didn’t have to do now – they were for reference later and that I was probably well ahead of the game. I know that’s logical but it did make me feel so much better. I really want to be the best that I can be and not to disappoint her or myself.

After uni on Friday I pretty much packed up all my stuff and Greg and I traveled to my mum’s house where I’m spending the weekend and where I am now. I’m sat on their sofa with my laptop and my cat is snoring next to me. It’s nice.

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Magic ❤

One thing that Pete said to us on Friday is try to have at least one day a weekend where you do nothing – that is sacred and I’m going to stick to that. I think that day for me will be tomorrow as my brother is coming to join us for a games day. I’m really looking forward to being all together and being looked after so that I’m really ready to really hit it next week. God knows where I’ll be by the end of it!

I just want to say that while some could say that this blog is a waste of my time – considering how much I have to do and I’m sure at times I’ll agree with them, but I love writing and in particular I love writing this blog. It gives me a chance to consolidate what’s happened over the past week and how far I’ve come and progressed and what I can do better next week. It is one of those vital times when I can do what I want for me which must become sacred over this period.

I am so grateful for my friends who have offered those ‘unwelcome’ interruptions this week. They’ve forced me to pause and come out of myself for an hour which I think has been so beneficial and something that I’ve never had before. In particular Anton, thank you for bringing meatballs to me ❤ Forever grateful.

TTFN X

 

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