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Last week of placement 2. Last week of uni to come.

Monday was incredible. I had my triangulation meeting and will be graduating next month as an ‘Outstanding Teacher of English’ in every standard. Incredible. I couldn’t have done any better. I also got all of my reading done so there is very little left for me to do … we’ll see how I manage to fill my time.

Tuesday was also good. I taught my last lesson with year 8. It was ok but not great but I let it go. Mrs H got me some flowers and a card from the kids. They were nice in the end. Next time I definitely need to take the hard behaviour line with a class like that.

Wednesday was good too. Just supervised for two hours and the rest of the time did job preparation. On Thursday I read all day too and on Friday I taught my last lesson and said goodbye. It was a real wrench leaving. I really enjoyed my time there and would definitely go back if I could.

Over this weekend I’m not sure what I’ll do. I’ve done everything. Just prepare for university really and try and get Greg to take me out somewhere.

I feel really sad that this is coming to an end now. I only have one week left of University and then I start my new job for three weeks before summer … I’m really going to miss the support and the friends that I’ve made. I think I’m still processing things to be honest.

Looking forward to our University reunion tomorrow.

TTFN X

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Finally! A proper post and half term.

Monday was a good day. I taught my lessons and all went well. There has been some problems with Thursday as there is year 11 intervention on which means my year 8s can’t do their assessments then so they will have to do them on Wednesday. But I think that’ll be ok.

Other than that I left early to go to uni for an external examiners forum that went well and everyone had good things to say about the course.

Tuesday was a hard day at work but I got lots done and organised once I got home (early) it’s been nice to sit out on the garden furniture and lesson plan in the sun and I’m excited to start my new schemes of work next term. It’ll be a fresh start for a couple of weeks before we finish.

Wednesday was spent putting the finishing touches to my lesson plan for my external examiner observed lesson and Thursday I had my external examiner’s visit. I spent the morning preparing and it went well. I got a 2+ and only missed out on a 1 by a hair’s breadth – I needed to demonstrate the learning that took place through ‘show what you know’ and getting pupils to read out their work. I’m kicking myself but there you are. Finally the rest of the day was spent recovering.

Friday was my light day as usual. It has been so hot over the last few days that I took my laptop on and sunglasses and sat outside with two of the other trainees doing my planning.

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This is how to plan at work!

It was a really nice relaxing day and the year 9s and I read chapter 2 of ‘Lord of the Flies’ in the sweltering heat. I managed to get all my printing done for the first week back too which is a good feeling knowing all that’s done and in the evening Greg and I went out to the pub for steak and wine which was lovely.

If I’m honest, I don’t really feel like I’m gagging for it this time around. I think I feel so at home in the department – they’re so lovely and supportive that I don’t want to leave

Over the weekend I intend to have rest and down time, then next week I want to catch up on all the jobs I have to do such as:

  • Proofreading my assignment
  • Marking three classes worth of summative assessments
  • Campus pack
  • PSHE qualification
  • Sort my contract for next year
  • Wash my car
  • The large pile of Ironing that has been accumulating
  • Work out
  • Do some gardening

I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

In other news we have more crops – this time spring onions.

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Spring Onions!

TTFN X

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Last week before PP2.

One more week till placement 2 and I still had lots to get through at the start of the week. Monday, therefore, was a very hectic day. I did all the washing and seeing as it was such a lovely day dried a lot of it outside! Then I did a job application and lots of admin. I even found time to organise my potting station. During the day I got a phone call inviting me to an ‘informal chat’ with the head of department of the school I applied for last week so I’ll be going to that on Wednesday and I have an inkling that the interview might be on Friday.

On Tuesday I was in uni. First I went to the library and got a load of books out for my upcoming assessments so that was successful. I then went to my lecture on A Level and we finished around lunch time. When I got home I cracked on with my second submission of my critical reflection which went really well and I think I’ve finished. I’ve just got to proofread at a later date. Afterwards I got everything ready for my busy day on Wednesday.

On Wednesday I had a bit of a nightmare. Our shopping was late so that threw me off right from the get go. Then I was nervous all day and couldn’t get things done. I went to the dentist and got a clean bill of health for my teeth but forgot my purse! After that I ate some lunch and got ready for my ‘informal chat’. I went and had a hot drive there. It only took half an hour to wonder round but I forgot to ask any questions. I didn’t think I’d done very well but now I have an interview on Friday! So in the evening I briefly planned my lesson and planned for Thursday to be taken over by lesson planning and interview preparation.

On Thursday I took stock of everything and realised that hopefully I might not have that much left to do by the end of the week, which felt really good. I got on with my interview preparation and tried to be calm about it all.

I also went to get my nails done for the first time ever! I figured I deserved it and it might make me feel more confident for my interview and first placement.

On Friday it was interview day! I didn’t get it. It was a really strange interview. There were meant to be 6 of us but one candidate didn’t show, so there were 5 of us. We pretty much went straight into the 25 minute lesson. It wasn’t a great lesson, but it wasn’t awful. I had about 25 minutes while the other group of candidates taught so I made some quick reflection notes to talk about and went over some of the questions I thought they might ask. After that, they took two of us into another room and told us we hadn’t been successful … so I didn’t even get the chance to interview and the head (I presume it was the head) didn’t even introduce herself or shake my hand … I also know there were three positions available – one permanent and two maternity cover so they made their decision based on the 25 minute lesson alone … I do feel a bit put out that I never got the chance to talk to them really but there you go. On to the next one. I’m still going to ring up on Monday during my lunch break and try to get some feedback and I applied for another on Friday night.

Over the weekend I wanted a really good rest before starting the last stage of my PGCE – PP2. I don’t intend to do much work so that’ll be nice and something to look forward to.

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Sweetpeas

 

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Starting to feel like a proper Teacher.

On Monday I had a nice day. A good lesson and a poor lesson, but I learnt a lot from it. I also got some lesson planning and admin done.

Tuesday was a bit of a muddled day. I felt really unorganised but for no reason really and my lesson didn’t go as well as I hoped. I now need to re-build my class’ confidence in me and make sure I’m on the top of my game with my lesson plans.

During Wednesday I had my first ‘formal observation’. I tried not to sweat it too much and to view it just as any other lesson and I felt it went ok. Somehow had a really busy day today although I’m not sure what I did over and above the usual. Maybe it’s catching up with me.

On Thursday I had my second ‘formal observations’ and received a solid ‘good’ for each of them. I also attended my first year 7 parents evening which was interesting. I’ve wanted to do lesson planning all week but I’m just too tired.

On Friday we had behaviour management session and a session on job applications which was really useful.

Over the weekend we’re having a quiet one again so that I can finish off my assignment. The word count, although under, is satisfactory and just needs proof reading. Other than that I hope I can get up to speed on lesson planning and some other admin before school next week.

It’s worth saying that I feel much better after my return from Christmas. Taking control of my own classes has really helped and I finally feel like a proper teacher and a proper trainee. Long may it continue.

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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 week before half term.

On Monday year 8 were doing their assessment so I managed to get quite a lot of my year 10 MTP done. It’s taking longer than I expected but I think I’m getting there … it’s just quite faffy and I have to cross reference everything. This evening we also had a two hour meeting so I didn’t do anymore work on it once I got home – self preservation and all that.

On Tuesday I felt very much at a loose end I had two frees followed by a professional mentor meeting which was cut short … my curriculum mentor then came in and asked me which lessons I’d been in, so I told her the truth …  later in the day I also had my meeting with my curriculum mentor and I finally feel like we’re coming to the same sort of thoughts on things. I am to come back after half term with some starters and plenaries planned for y7 literacy in particular and y7 drama, I may even look at some for my y8s and y10s too and see if I can come up with any. She also increased my observations which is fine by me at the moment and I will opt out as soon as I need more time for planning and things.

During Wednesday I felt a bit more busy I had lots on but in my frees I didn’t manage to get a lot done, or it felt like I didn’t but I did get one section done so it can’t have been that bad

Thursday was a bit of a non-day as most of the day was spent doing assessments, which are to be marked over half term. I did however have a good y8 lesson where I got stuck in with some feedback and dot marking.

On Friday I went to uni. We did Behaviour II which was fantastic, poundland pedagogy which I’ve done before and finally poetry I which I loved. I found out that my MTP is not nearly finished at all which was a massive blow but this weekend we’re seeing some friends and I really want to dedicate a day to spending time with Greg as I feel like we haven’t seen each other properly for ages. I know I’ll have the days during half term to do what I need to do so it only seems fair. I’m trying to avoid freaking out.

I have a lot to do over half term. I want to: Finish my y10 medium term plan fully, including my assessment. I want to have starters/plenaries for all year groups that I’m teaching. I want to have my y7 literacy lesson planned and practiced and I want to make a start on my y8 MTP … not to mention catch up on jobs around the house, find time for reading, relaxing and sleeping and to spend some quality time with Greg … I’m not sure I’m going to manage it all but the most important thing I think is the sleep, the relaxation and spending time with Greg … if I sacrifice those things during term time I must catch up on them during the holiday otherwise I know I’ll just burn out. I have to be strict with myself though and not work too hard.

TTFN X

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