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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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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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