Tag Archives: course leader

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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Preparing for Placement 2

So, the first week back to uni and the second to last before I finish for my NQT period … that is a scary thought!

On Monday I went into uni during the morning. We handed in our reports from placement 1 and I had a meeting with my course leader to discuss some questions I had about re-submissions of assignments. I then went for a coffee with my friend Heather which was lovely and came home and had quite a productive day. I got lots done including a job application! Hopefully I’ll be sending that off before the end of the week.

On Tuesday I had my third tutorial with my course leader which went really well. I went for another coffee with Heather and we spent a couple of hours putting the world to rights. In the afternoon I worked on my re-submissions with varying success. Sometimes I was really productive, others I wasn’t. I hoped that I’d have more success on Wednesday.

Wednesday was a day off from uni so I had a fairly productive day. I got lots of jobs done around the house ready for my friend to come for tea and cake after uni tomorrow. I also got a bit of applying for jobs done and some work on my assignment.

The best bit of the day was hearing back from my second placement school with arrangements for the first day, what I needed to do, bring and prepare before going. So I got that done too.

Thursday I was back in uni for the launch of our research assignment – it made me panic a bit and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because I’ve got 2 re-submissions, 4 job applications and a research assignment on the go … After uni Heather and Becky came round for tea and cake which was nice. I did a bit of work but was too anxious to make much headway so I didn’t make as much progress as I’d have liked. Hopefully, as we’re only in two days, next week I’ll get a lot done.

On Friday we were again in uni for the full day the morning lecture left a lot to be desired but the afternoon ones were great as usual. I have a lot of work to do but I’m really tired. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I’ll have applied for 1/4 of the jobs I have on the go and be a bit more organised with what I’m doing. Next week I’m only in 2/5 days so hopefully I’ll get more done then too.

Over the weekend my Mum and Step-Dad are coming to visit and we’re going out to the pub for a meal which will be really nice.

I hope you’re all having a lovely, productive week and that you have a restful weekend too.

TTFN X

 

 

 

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A crazy week: rearranging observations, an interview, my first ‘Outstanding’ Lesson.

Hi Everyone, this week has been crazy!

On Monday I managed to finish all my lesson planning and thought I might manage to have an easy week of it and then I found out I had an interview on Thursday! That meant I had to do a load of prep and rearrange my formal observation – nightmare. That one was a late night

On Tuesday my partner drove me to the school where I’m having my interview after I’d spent all day cramming for it. I also had two classess worth of mock marking to do. I spent the evening doing even more prepping

On Wednesday I had my first ‘Outstanding’ lesson in Drama which was really exciting. I also did the last of my prepping for my interview and met with some colleagues to go over what I had planned and receive some feedback.

On Thursday I had my interview. It was very intense – I had a 1:1 with the head followed by a 20 minute lesson, a curriculum interview and an interview with the pupils (which was lovely). After lunch all the PGCE students were let go and 2/5 went on to the final stage of the interview. They were both more experienced teachers – one of 6 years and the other had just finished her NQT year. Never the less, we were all told we could ring for feedback the following day which I did. I was told that the big debate over lunch time was whether or not to keep me on, so that was nice to hear. After my interview I got home at about 2 and did nothing for the first time in weeks. I was absolutely mentally exhausted.

On Friday my course leader wanted a word – she knew how much I had going on and wanted to check up on me. She also told me that the place I’d provisionally been given for my PP2 placement was going to change and wanted to check that it was ok as it is quite far away (40 + minutes) Greg and I are going to drive it over the weekend to see what it’s like.

Over the weekend I need to have a bloody good rest but I also need to pan for my lessons for next week including my observed lesson on Thursday – the last day! I also have several forms to take care of and paperwork for the final week. I’m also going for a meal out with some friends on Saturday so I’m really looking forward to that.

I can’t believe next week is my final week at my placement 1 school. Before Christmas I didn’t think I’d make it to this point and now I feel like I’ve just started to belong. Having said that I think I’m ready to move on to somewhere new – a fresh start, a fresh challenge.

Wish my luck! TTFN x

 

 

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I made it to Christmas! This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

On Monday I got through the day quite fast – telling myself only 4 more days. Even with a two hour CPD it didn’t feel too bad which was a real positive.

On Tuesday I took a form time. The form tutor didn’t quite give me as much leeway as my CM but I did my best. I also had my first formal observation which I think went really well. I’ll get my official feedback from my PM on Thursday but I feel quite positive about it.

During Wednesday I got my Interim Assessment form done and my CM predicted me a 1:Outstanding so I was really pleased with that and I finished both of my MTPs. They’ll have to be tweaked as I go along but otherwise the main body is done. I thought I was going to have to do them over Christmas so it’s such a relief to have them done now.

I also got my timetable for next week’s ‘Research Week’ through and am pleased that I’ll get some time to spend on my assignments.

On Thursday I received my feedback on my observed lesson. My key strengths were:

Engagement was very good in the whole class discussion about homophones. The learning environment was very positive and students were confident in answering questions even if they were unsure of the answers.

Explanation of card sort task was clear and students worked well in pairs to identify the correct homophone to fill the gap. Students were supported in completing this activity by the clear explanation given at the start of the lesson defining how each of the homophones should be used.

Written task linked nicely from the initial activity. The extension activity required students to write a paragraph including a number of sentence types.

Katherine circulated the room and helped those students requiring additional support.

Areas to develop were:

It would have been easier if the extension activity was on a handout so that you didn’t need to keep moving back and forth between the PPT slides

Consider sharing good examples of students’ work more frequently and asking other students to share their work as a way of praising good work and ensuring that all students remain on task.

Be clearer on the timings for tasks ad ensure that students are aware of the minimum expected work to be produced in that time.

Also a visiting tutor came to see me. She seemed pretty pleased although gave contrasting advice to my CM at times – we’ll see what happens.

On Friday I was back in uni and had a good day – really productive and helped everyone out as course rep so we get a bit of breathing time with our assignments and everyone gets time off over Christmas.

Over the weekend we’re having some friends round and on Sunday I’ll do a bit of assignment work. I was hoping to do nothing but I think I’d rather get this assignment out of the way if possible and then onto the next one ASAP.

I just have to say … I made it to Christmas!

There were so many days this term when I genuinely didn’t think I would and without the support of my fabulous course leader, my partner, my family and my friends I wouldn’t have.

I did want this blog to be a reflection of both the positives and the negatives of teacher training but I’ve focused as much as I could on the positives in the end as I want to remain professional but I think in all honesty I can tell you it has been the hardest thing I have ever done, including my MA.

It’s all such a matter of luck – who you have around you, where you’re placed, who your mentors are, how far you have to travel. Anything I say at this point is going to sound cliche and to be fair unless you’re doing it it’s hard to express or understand what goes into this but for those of you that have done it – you have my admiration, for those of you doing it, know that you’re not alone and there is lots of support out there for you and for those of you thinking of doing it if you truly want it enough, go for it!

TTFN X

 

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The Incline to the Holidays.

Last week was a bit of a write off. On Tuesday I had a migraine which put me out of kilter for the rest of the week and culminated in me having a long chat with my CL to get me back on track … the less said about it the better really but needless to say I started this week with a problem solving to do list and that is exactly what I’ve done.

On Monday I took my second full lesson which went reasonably well. The beginning and end of the lesson were good but I kind of lost them in the middle … I managed to pull them back though and after some reflection I know what I need to do to improve next time.

On Tuesday I did an impromptu starter with year 7 which went really well and although their behaviour for my CM is not good, I didn’t have a problem this time. I’ve found the key is really clear instructions and knowledge of the consequences of their actions – which I am confident in carrying out. (In other words having a backup plan in the form of a writing if pupils won’t do as I’ve asked)

During Wednesday I delivered a drama starter which went really well.

On Thursday I also delivered a plenary – unfortunately it was cut short due to the class teacher running over … I wish I’d have ended it properly rather than letting it trail off into nothingness (something I need to work on) but otherwise it went well.

On Friday I was in uni – I had a good day and started to wind down for the weekend by prioritising all my jobs!

As you can see my delivery of lessons has increased this week – this is to give me more control and experience so that I’m ready for taking on Y8 and Y10 full time after Christmas. Something I face with determination but no small amount of trepidation…

Over the weekend my brother has come to stay with us for a week as he’s working near where we live. I’m also on primary placement for that week so it’ll be nice to finish dead on the bell and be able to get home and spend time with him as well as catching up on work I have to do.

After this week I have one more week at placement – where I’ll be observed by my PM and I also need to get my resources sorted for the first week at least. Then I have a ‘research week’ at Uni, which I’m looking forwards to although it’s likely I’ll be given another assignment to do. After that I have a week ‘off’ where I’ll be working my socks off to get everything done so that I can have a proper week off over Christmas. Just 4 weeks to go!

TTFN X

hard-frost

A hard frost in the morning.

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Argy bargy, planning and one week till half term!

On Monday I had a fairly normal day but didn’t manage to have a meeting with my CM after school as a progress leader (year 9 form) meeting was sprung on me.

On Tuesday I had my PM meeting which was good and I got the opportunity to chat with my fellow trainees although they all seem to have been told different things about what their course leaders expect which is confusing. I also started work on my ‘noticing booklet’ which one of the other girls on my course gave me and which is really useful.

During Wednesday I managed to find my year 10 SOW and started re-planning my MTPs for after Christmas as there has been some argy bargy between my CL and CM as to when exactly I should start teaching and what my focus should be.

The drama class I attended was the same lesson as last week but I can see how it’s evolved now. The teacher has kept what went well and evolved it to be even better which was nice to see. It also gave me some interesting perspectives in terms of differences from English.

In year 10 English it was nice to see my CM deviate from her original lesson plan to give pupils information about the mock exam they’ll set next week – adhering to their needs.

In the afternoon I met with the SENCO of the school and discussed some pupils and what can be done in terms of differentiation but, all in all, they’re a very able cohort.

On Thursday I practically completed a MTP for Year 7 literacy however this may not be where my focus should be. It’s hard to be being pulled in two directions at once and I’m finding it hard to be strong in what’s best for me.

On Friday it was nice to be back at uni. We covered behaviour management and the psychological and hormonal reasons why teenagers may be poorly behaved. We also covered meaningful marking.

This weekend I am at my Mum’s for a family friends 60th birthday. It’s nice to be home with all my family and to be with my cat. He’s not been very well but I think he’s a bit better now he’s on a different diet. I’m soaking up all my time with him.

Here’s to one more week until half term, when hopefully I can get caught up with everything!

TTFN

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Medium Term Planning, Open Evening, Drama and Back to Uni!

On Monday I went to my first form time. They seem like a nice form for the most part but unfortunately the form tutor was off ill. I successfully got my laptop hooked up to the school network and found some schemes of work and began to get my head around them. I started going into the classes I will be with too with a view to getting to know names and needs.

I also had an interesting conversation with my curriculum mentor during our meeting. Turns out and I was beginning to get this impression before hand, that behaviour is not an issue but entitlement, privilege, apathy and attitude is. Which in some ways is harder to manage. Engagement will be key with my classes.

On Tuesday I went to my first year group meeting and then form time. My period 3 was cancelled and my year 7 literacy class does not start until after half term when the year group has been setted so I spent all day doing medium term planning until period 5. I managed to get the majority of my year 7 literacy medium term plan done and an outline for my year 8 writing skills and my year 10 19th C Fiction done (Jekyll and Hyde). Period 5 I observed year 11 poetry – To Autumn.

I also figured out a plan of what I want to achieve each week from now up until half term:

Week 1 – Observing, getting to know the school

Week 2 – Observing classes, getting to know the classes & complete MTPs

Week 3 – Observing classes, getting to know the classes & complete LPs (at least for November)

Week 4 – Observing, getting to know classes & prep resources (at least for November)

Half Term – LP continued & creation of slides

After Half Term – Teaching, evaluating lessons, tweaking LPs/MTPs and prepping for up to and after Christmas.

During Wednesday I went to my first form assembly which was quite enjoyable. All about the year 9s starting to think about their options for GCSE. I also found out that soon it’s the year 8s that will be doing their options as the school is extending its GCSE to three years.

I then went to Drama which was really fun. The year 7 scheme of work is about ‘Lightning Larry’. I then had 2 planning periods and really got to grips with my Jekyll & Hyde MTP. I then had year 10 followed by another year 7 drama class which I’ve decided I won’t be going into (I had to chose between P1 and P5 so as not to go over my hours) and I think I’m better in the morning.

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On Thursday I observed two lessons and carried on with my MTPing. It was also open evening. I was in work 8-8.30 … I got home by 9 and collapsed into bed straight away.

On Friday I was back at university. It was great to be back. We had a lecture on how children learn and then an English seminar on Writing and I handed in two of my assignments. I also stayed behind to have a chat with my course tutor … turns out I shouldn’t be starting to teach after half term but after Christmas … I now have to break this news to my curriculum mentor and all the work I’ve done on my MTPs and planning etc (apart from being good practice) is useless. After Christmas I have a 7 week half term to teach before moving on to my next placement.

My new plan is to get started on my MTP for after Christmas ASAP.

This weekend I slept. I slept in a lot. I needed it. Then I got up and tried to catch up on jobs that needed doing. I’ve run out of time but there you are. I have a feeling this will be a running trend.

Hope you are all having a restful and relaxing weekend.

TTFN X

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