Tag Archives: Curriculum Mentor

First week back.

(It feels strange typing that. For a four day week it certainly has been very full on.)

Monday was a bank holiday. I woke up early and started to organise myself from the weekend and prepare for going back. I did quite a lot of jobs and just about got everything done that I wanted to ready for going back to school.

Tuesday was my first day back at school. It didn’t go too well. I had a couple of challenging classes that I need to get to grips with but I got through it. I wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped but I tried to give myself a break as it was only my first day back.

Wednesday was more free so I hoped that I would manage to be more productive which I did to a point but I was still working till 9 and didn’t manage to get any planning done.

Thursday I stayed behind late to get a load done. I did and managed to shift some lessons around as I realised I had a PSHE day on Tuesday so that’s 4 lessons I don’t have to plan which gave me some relief and meant that Friday could be spent on the remaining 6 lessons for next week.

Friday I had 3 periods free and managed to do some planning but somehow not as much as I thought … Period 5 I had my CM meeting which went well and I got some good targets to work on.

This weekend my brother is coming over again, which makes me very happy. I really hope I get some down time this weekend although I have a class of books to mark, 6 lessons to plan for next week and a 5000 word assignment to start due in a month.

I’ve really struggled this week to get back into the swing of things. I’ve not managed to get as much planning done during the week as I’d hoped and I just don’t know what else I could have done to keep up. It hasn’t helped with the broken printer etc so hopefully if I can get organised this weekend I can avoid it next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

TTFN X

 

 

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Second week at PP2.

First week at PP2

On Monday I felt like I hit the ground running. I observed all my classes and even partially taught year 10 as there was a cover teacher in there.

On Tuesday I did the same and managed to speak to all my teachers about what I’ll be teaching after Easter until June half term. I feel like I now have a clear idea and have got a copy of all the staff resources. I just need to check out the schemes of work now and print them ready for full on planning over the Easter holidays. I also managed to get a big chunk of my planning assignment done so I’m onto the last part. That also has to be done over this weekend.

Wednesday was a fairly free day and hence really productive. During period 1 I was involved with department marking, moderating and input which was fun. It was nice to spend time with the department. I also managed my CMs class during period 2 while she sorted some things from the marking. The rest of the day I got a good chunk of an assignment done which I was pleased about. I was then hopeful that I might even finish it before the weekend leaving that free for planning my 6 lessons.

My first observation was also arranged with my CL&VT for Tuesday but all that’s to come.

Thursday was quite a busy day. I even taught the year 10s a bit while they were calm. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped as the class teacher kind of launched me into them mid lesson but it went ok. I managed to get quite a bit of my assignment done – steady as she goes. I also had my second CM meeting which went well. We agreed it’s all about planning next week.

On Friday I was on a school trip for the majority of the day to Preston Sports arena. I hoped that I would get some work done however this turned out not to be the case. It was a very busy and hectic day and the kids were very excitable. If nothing else it taught me that I can manage behaviour.

The weekend will be spent finishing off my planning assignment and planning lessons for the coming week. I hope I also get chance to spend some time in the sun as the weather forecaste is very promising.

TTFN

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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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The Last week – ‘Outstanding’.

Hi Everyone,

On Monday I managed to get my observed lesson plan started and sent for feedback which my CM and I discussed on Tuesday evening and I started my end of placement report form. In the evening I focused on marking year 10 mini mocks.

Tuesday was a hectic day. I managed to finish marking two sets of books and got half of my EOP form done. That needed to be finished by the end of the evening so I had all on to get that and everything else done ready for the turn around.

Wednesday was another full day but managed to get everything done I wanted to. Still, I arrived home with half a class of books to mark and the hope that I’d get the other half done on Thursday afternoon, after my triangulation meeting.

Thursday was my last day at my placement 1 school. I also had my formal observation and my triangulation meeting and I got 1: Outstanding for both. I am so over the moon! In fact I got ‘Outstanding’ for all the teaching standards apart from 4 – Plan and teach well structured lessons and 5 – Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils. So they are definitely something I need to work on however, I feel like I still need to work on all of them but needless to say I’m still over the moon with that result.

On Friday my friend Becky came. It’s the first time she’s visited my house since I moved in with my partner. We gave each other our Christmas presents – she bought me a print from one of my favourite artists Neil Simone – and we had lots of tea and cake and it was such a lovely day. We both really felt like spring is on it’s way.

Over half term I have lots to do such as tidying, filing, reading, job applications, assignment re-submissions, gardening, washing my car, washing, ironing, cooking and getting back in touch with friends – all those things that I haven’t been able to do while working. But first a rest.

This all starts on Monday this weekend I intend to read and relax and reflect and just be myself and do what I want when I want. This morning as a nice start I spotted a buzzard hunting over the fields and being mobbed by other birds. It’s been a while since I spotted anything and it’s made me feel really reassured.

Thank you so much for all of those still sticking with me. I honestly thought at Christmas that I wouldn’t finish this course or this placement but thanks to the support of my wonderful friends and family. I’ve made it this far … half way. Here’s to the next 5 months – wish me luck. No really, wish me luck!

TTFN X

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2 Weeks to go …

Hi Everyone.

Monday was an ok day I taught two lessons and felt fine about it. Then during training in the evening I found out my Grandad died. I had Tuesday off as I was feeling quite delicate but also got loads of work done because I wanted to keep busy but it was comforting to do it with a cup of tea close at hand and in my pjs.

On Wednesday I had a Drama observation first thing which was new for me as I hadn’t actually taught a full drama lesson yet but I was eager to give it a go. Turns out I did really well and it was nearly ‘Outstanding’ I will re-do this lesson next week and make the changes necessary. Hopefully it’ll be outstanding then.

On Thursday I had my three full lessons again and also pretty much finished both schemes of work I was doing – which means I have two weeks worth of lessons to fill. 6 for year 10 and 5 for year 8 but after a meeting with my CM I know what I’m doing and just need to plan them. I also applied for another job – finally.

On Friday I was, of course, at uni and we continued our session on ‘the best lesson I’ve taught so far’ and also some admin on meeting the teachers’ standards. At least I’ve started this but I need to complete it over half term and I also have to make a start on the end of practice form sometime over the next two weeks :/

Over the weekend I need to lesson plan, although I managed to plan 3.5 lesson on Friday leaving only 4 to do.

My formal observation will be next week on Thursday – wish me luck for that.

TTFN

 

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RAF Visit, consecutive lessons and ‘Outstanding’ features!

Hi Everyone,

Hope you’ve all had a lovely week. I think mine has gone quite well.

On Monday I taught two lesson. I think they went ok – not spectacular or anything but still they went on and no-one died. After school we had a really long meeting but I felt good about being involved in the challenges the department faces.

Tuesday was really hectic day. I thought I had everything all planned out and then a spanner was thrown in the works. Somehow I still managed to get everything I wanted to do done – not sure how that happened. My CM was also really supportive, which was nice.

During Wednesday I had a productive day and took the year 11 after school intervention in the evening.

Thursday I taught my first three consecutive lessons. It went really well. Lessons 1 and 3 were good solid lessons but I thought lesson 2/3 had gone quite badly because I got a bit confused with myself part way through – apostrophes for possession to bottom set year 7 – but I pulled it back. Afterwards though my mentor said it was just the last 10 minutes that stopped it being ‘outstanding’ so that’s positive – lots of progress shown

On Friday I got up and went to uni – we had a session on flipped learning. I’ve heard about and seen flipped learning done really fantastically but the session didn’t really do it justice. After that we had out English Seminar and were asked to prepare a presentation on the best lesson we’ve taught so far so I think I’m going to do it on my apostrophes for possession lesson to the year 7 literacy group as, even thought it could have been improved, lots of progress made etc. After that I drove to my placement school and delivered the RAF visit lesson which I had been dreading but it went down really well and the kids seemed to love it.

Over the weekend I have just been working on another job application. I really quite keen for this one so wish me luck. It’s taken me longer than I anticipated but I think I’m where I wanted to be. Just got to get it proofread and hope for the best.

I hope you’ve had a lovely, restful, cosy weekend, whatever you’ve been doing.

TTFN

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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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