Tag Archives: DSA

Preparation is over. Now the real journey starts.

Hey everyone,

I now only have one weekend, one solitary weekend, between me and my PGCE. I’ve been a bit all over the place this past week because it’s been looming and I know a change in the routine I’ve built here since moving in is coming. In some ways I can’t wait and in others I am, quite frankly, shit scared.

I feel a lot better this afternoon as I have completely enrolled this morning. I have my student card (complete with obligatory awful picture) and have been given lots of information.On the back of that I’ve also sorted out my work bag and folder, printed out a map etc and I think I’m all ready. Obviously that bag will be checked and double checked and re-packed numerous times before Monday.

I think I’ve also sorted the parking fiasco which is one of the biggest sources of my anxiety around starting uni. It may seem stupid but there you go. I now have … four or else five parking contingency plans ready to go. I have also signed up to the university’s Car Share Programme in the hopes that I might get some help there too but we shall see.

Today I also went to an SpLD meeting in the university library and signed a lot of paperwork so that’s one less thing to worry about once I start.

Since last I wrote I have also had my four hours of Assistive Technology Training. The software I have been given is Audio Notetaker,Inspiration, Read & write gold. The latter two I had during my undergraduate degree but the Audio Notetaker is completely new. I took lots of notes and felt like I got to grips with things really well. I just hope I don’t forget everything.

I have also recently received my timetable for the next week. In summary:

Monday – Welcome Talk & Subject Sessions

Tuesday – Subject Seminars, Learning Services, Students Union, Student Services

Wednesday – Teachers & the Law, Safeguarding & Child Protection

Thursday – Subject Seminars

Friday – Subject Seminars

To be honest in reading I have done very little. Greg and I went away for a long bank holiday weekend to Derbyshire and so I am still only halfway through ‘The Bell Jar’ which has taken it’s darker twist now and I would say is ‘gripping’ rather than ‘enjoyable’. That being said I finished ‘How to be a brilliant Trainee Teacher’ by Trevor Wright in a week and so was planning on starting ‘Getting the Buggers to Behave’ by Sue Cowley but haven’t managed it yet and to be honest, I don’t think I will manage to get it started before I begin on Monday. Once I get into the swing of things next week and I have a bit more of a handle on my workload and what I can expect then I’ll give it a go.

I guess that all that remains for me to do then is ask for you to wish me luck! Thanks so much for sticking with me thus far for my preparation and the move. I guess now the real reason I started writing starts. Hope you enjoy it.

TTFN X

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My Good Luck Flowers ❤

 

 

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Equipment Arrival.

Hey everyone, I’m feeling a bit less enthusiastic this week. I think it’s because it’s dawning on me that I only have two weeks of the summer holidays left and I don’t know how ready I am to go back to work. Then again, it might well be what I’m waiting for – once I get back into routine. I’m also in my secret heart of hearts really looking forward to Autumn: the cosy nights, an excuse to turn the fire on and have fairy lights and candles, cosy jumpers etc but I also don’t want to wish the summer away … better soak it up while it’s here.

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❤ my new laptop cover.

In DSA news since I last wrote everything has arrived! My new laptop with a cover I ordered, my printer, laptop bag, software (Audio Notetaker, Inspiration, Read & write gold) and a recording device. I’ve got everything installed and I’m just awaiting my training which is happening late next week just before I start back.

In reading news I’m halfway through ‘The Bell Jar’ which I’m really enjoying and I finished reading ‘Why are you shouting at us?’ by Beadle & Murphy. I thought it was fantastic: humourous, down to earth, compassionate and easy to read. Of all the books I’ve read this year in preparation for September this is the one I would recommend the most. Perhaps that’s because of my own areas of weakness but still an excellent read.

I started ‘How to be a brilliant Trainee Teacher’ by Trevor Wright yesterday and I’m already a quarter of the way through. Some of it so far hasn’t really been applicable as I’m past the application stage and having worked in a school already for two years I’m aware of some of the things it talks about but if you’re thinking about Teacher Training definitely get this early on. There’s also no harm in reminding myself about some of the elements of working in a school that you come to take for granted after a while. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress.

TTFN X

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A Great Start to the Week!

Hey everyone!

This week, let me just say, I am feeling really good. I hope the feeling lasts.

Since I last wrote I have mainly been painting the hallway: ceilings, walls and gloss is now officially all done and so is the house!

Somehow I’ve also managed to also read quite a lot. I finished Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I talked about in my last blog post. I have also attempted to read Virginia Woolfe’s ‘A Room of Ones Own’ and ‘To the Lighthouse’. While I got quite far with ‘A room on One’s own’ I found myself skim reading quite a lot of it to try and get to the point. As a friend of mine said “I have read Virginia Woolfe but as she does have such a strong opinion i often feel railroaded by it. I appreciate her literary prowess, but honestly I find it all very exhausting.” And I think that sums up how I feel about her aswell. I attempted ‘To the Lighthouse’ to see if I had any better luck with that but found it the same and so, I’ve started Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ instead and that I’m really enjoying. In fact I only started if yesterday and I’m already a quarter of the way through it.  I also intend to carry on reading ‘Why are you shouting at us?’ by Beadle & Murphy which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t made much progress on despite being thoroughly impressed with it so far. One of the quotes I came across which really resonated with me and what I hope my teaching ethos will be is:

“It may very well be true, that of all the human virtues kindness is the one of true lasting value. When our descendants are dead and the memories of our existence are merely the microscopic grains of sand around the long-broken statue of Ozymandias or Thatcher, our kindness may leave some atomic reverberation in the universe. It is by the existence (or not) of those acts that we should judge ourselves.”

In addition to reading and contributing greatly to the relaxing aspect of my PGCE prep; I’ve also started going to a Yoga class in the village every Monday which I am really enjoying and I’m surprised how committed I’ve become to it so quickly. I also hope that lasts.

I’ve also continued my meditation. I stopped for a while but really noticed that stopping had a negative impact on my mood so started again. I am going to try and meditate everyday but also I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t manage it when I start the PGCE properly.

Now, the news you’ve all been waiting for! DSA. First – glasses. My lenses arrived on Monday and on Tuesday I went into Specsavers to hand them over for fitting into the frames I’d put aside. To cut a long story short it turns out that the manager of my local Specsavers is Autistic. He was very interested in my lenses as he’d heard about them but never seen any. He held them up and exclaimed about how calm and still they made his world. I sympathised with him and explained that while my lenses might benefit him there were loads of different colours and he would have to seek his own consultation. I agreed to bring him in extra information the following day when I came to pick up my new glasses. In return he asked the sales assistant to ‘do all he could for me’ and I ended up with some very similar frames to those I’d picked out but made by Karren Millen – these for not a penny extra! Needless to say I’m very happy and they look like this:

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My new glasses ❤

I also have news on my equipment. My laptop has been ordered and should arrive at the suppliers on Tuesday. Once I have arranged a delivery day for that, hopefully late this week or early next, I can then go on to arrange a delivery day for the rest of my equipment and then arrange for the software training. Hopefully I can get it all done by the end of the month.

TTFN X

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Finally Finished Grammar.

I have, since I last wrote, finally finished my grammar work. Obviously I haven’t learnt it all but I’ve finished synthesising, making notes and creating flashcards so that my notes are easily accessible. It’s a big relief, especially seeing as this is now my last month off and I think it’s really important that I fully relax now so that I’m re-charged in time for September.

So far relaxing has meant lie-ins and lazy mornings which have been doing me a great deal of good so that I can spend the afternoons finishing off my grammar. Now that that’s over I intend to do a lot of reading for pleasure now. I want to finish off Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto (only 20% left to go according to Goodreads) and Greg has just bought me Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (to be delivered tomorrow) so I should whip through that in no time. I also intend to carry on books recommended by my course. The next on this list is ‘Why are you shouting at us?’ by Beadle & Murphy.

I’ve also started a yoga class with Greg’s mum and exercising at home with Greg which has been … fun and worthwhile, if a little hard work.

No further news on the DSA front or on my glasses … but in other news I used my home grown herbs when I made Mediterranean cod and vegetables last night and I must say I was pleased with the result.

So, from me and my reading nook, TTFN X

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Reading Nook = Happiness

 

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Getting around to some Grammar.

I can’t believe it’s been nearly three weeks since I last wrote!

What have I been up to? Well, the study/spare-room is finally finished and the sofa-bed is in. I’m so relieved and pleased with the result, right down to my  Attkinson Grimshaw on the wall. My brother came to stay for the weekend and he said it was really comfy and homely which makes me happy and it’s such a lovely room to work in too.

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Finally Finished!

Greg and I never got around to painting the hallway ceiling when I said we would but the banister is going in as I type! Greg is going to take some days off sometime over the next few weeks to get the hallway done and then the decoration of the house is finished too!

Since I last wrote, I also went back to Yorkshire to see my family and the animals for a bit and went to The Great Yorkshire Show which was fantastic!

I’ve also been keeping up with the gardening and we have produce! My tomato plant is fruiting, my herbs are herbing and are in need of thinning out now which I will hopefully do once the banister men are gone today. I have also been talked into having a vegetable patch and potentially chickens! I’m not confident that we’ll have anything this year but the metaphorical and literal seeds have been sewn and we’ll be working on making it a reality over the winter ready for spring next year.

This week however, since the banister men have been here I’ve taken the opportunity to finally get round to some grammar. Yesterday I finished two books and I’m hoping that today I’ll finish a third.

Controversial as it may sound I really didn’t find Lynne Truss’s ‘Eats, shoots and leaves’ very helpful. I found The Usborne Guide to Better English far more useful. Considering I was synthesising three books into my notes I found that The Usborne Guide was very comprehensive and far more clear than the other two. I know I’ll be keeping it around and potentially having it on my desk at school.

I plan to finish off my notes today and then next time I’ll highlight important parts and write them up onto flashcards to learn and be tested on.

I have also found some time to spend on myself reading, cooking and chilling with Greg. I’ve also really got back into meditating again recently and would really recommend you check out Headspace if you’re interested. I find it really helps me to let go of stresses and find some perspective for myself.

 

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What I’ve been up to this week.

So, I’ve been in just over a week and I’ve been busy! After the initial sorting out stage I’ve been spending my time in the garage … sanding!This was my Friday and Monday. I managed two bookcases in two days and I’m pretty pleased with myself.

After that, on Tuesday, I was able to unpack the rest of my boxes, organise all my books and files and put up my ornaments, like a few new pictures from my old work colleagues and my mirror which I also refurbished to match last minute.

It’s starting to all really come together.

All that I’m waiting on now is for the curtains and rail to go up (tonight) and for the sofa bed to arrive (next week) and then my study will be all finished!’ve also bullied Greg into painting the hallway ceiling this weekend so that then all we’re waiting on is for the banister man to come and do his thing before I paint the walls and then gloss. Shouldn’t be such a big deal. I recogn I can do that in a week once I get started and then the house will be done!

In PGCE news I’ve emailed the provider of my DSA support and attempted to get things moving with that and I’ve also booked a new Irlen’s assessment so that I can get new lenses and new frames for starting my PGCE. Other than that I’ve not got a lot planned for the rest of the week. I am starting to feel pretty knackered now and I feel like my body is telling me to slow down.

Next week I’m going back to Yorkshire to visit my Dad and Grandad and I’m going with my Mum to the Great Yorkshire Show, which I’ve always wanted to go to – I’m excited! I’ll be away for maybe five days … but when I get back I’m hoping to really crack on with learning some Grammar and making some improvements on my areas of weakness in preparation for September. But who knows, maybe we’ll be in a position to finish the hallway by then.

Wish me Luck. TTFN.

 

 

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The first time I’m nervous.

So since I last wrote, not a lot has changed with the house. I’ve been busy chipping away at organisational jobs and generally settling in. There are still a lot of boxes.

One thing I have done is had my ID checks made and had my DBS application sent off, as a result of this I received a letter in the post and it was the first time I felt truly nervous. It contained a leaflet called ‘Getting Started’ and contained a lot of important information about things to do before September. It’s not a scared nervous really more an excited nervous but nervous none the less. There were also some web links provided which I thoroughly explored and got Greg to print off for me at work as I haven’t yet had chance to get my equipment needs sorted out yet through the DSA … yet another thing on my ‘to do’ list. Nothing on there was surprising really, just mainly confirming information I already knew and refreshing my memory.

Somethings I found out were … that I’ll have 12 weeks of study on campus and 26 weeks on placement in schools. I found out what my modules are and what they entail

  • Developing Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy in English
  • Planning for Effective Teaching and Learning in English
  • Research and Practice in English
  • Practiced based modules 1a, 1b and 2

The first three weeks I’ll be in University Monday-Friday, then I’ll have a week induction on placement and then I’ll be on placement up until December and be in Uni every Friday  (taking on the placement’s term holidays). After that I’ll have on ‘Research Support Week’ before breaking up for Christmas.

In the new year I’ll be back on placement all week except Fridays until the end of February, when I have two weeks in Uni, but when I return to placement in March I’ll be school based full time. Finally, this time next year (scary!) I’ll have two final weeks in Uni preparing me for NQT.

There were also a further couple of books I found to read. I’ve added these to my amazon wishlist but only bought one as, currently, funds are low and I want to cut down on jobs in the house before I try and tackle some academia again. Right now I still feel like I’m recovering from work and catching up on sleep.

Going to go chill out with my boy now,

TTFN.

 

 

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