Tag Archives: Get into Teaching

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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Last full week in Uni for a while.

Thankfully this week didn’t go as quickly as the last one however, it is now over and that means on Monday I start my first placement.

It’s strange, it was only on Monday that I found out where my placement’s to be. A ‘good’, according to OFSTED school in Warrington. I was very distracted all day, the sessions were on assessment, as I just wanted to get home and start researching and planning my journey.

The journey should take half an hour and they want me to be in by 8.20 for morning briefing so of cause I plan to arrive by 8 and will be leaving an hour for the trip (traffic) that means setting off at 7 and getting up at 6 but I’ll reduce this when I get more confident with the journey.

On Tuesday we pretty much had a day off which I was thankful for (gosh that seems weeks ago now). We talked about everything and my audit and they checked my filing system etc and where I was with my assignments. I made a good start on the one on Teachers and the Law and have been chipping away at it ever since. Although I’ve been finding it difficult to know how much and what else to write, especially on the 10 mark case studies.

Wednesday we had a lecture on reading & planning a reading lesson which was interesting.

On Thursday there was an overview of the Course assignments. If I’m honest I was pretty distracted that day too as I was building up to a migraine. I now have everything I need but I’m struggling to get everything into line to see the big picture. Right now all I know is that I start my placement on Monday, I have a plan for the first three days (more on that later) and my aim for the first week is to find my feet as quickly as possible and settle in. I think that’s all I can realistically expect.

I really want to get everything together and have some kind of bigger plan – where I know what I need to do and when I need to do it but at the moment everything is in piles and unorganised.

On Friday we were told about what the universities and more specifically the English Department’s expectations of us were which was reassuring if nothing else.

This weekend we are puppy sitting! Lottie, Greg’s sister’s dog is coming to stay and we’re also going to Ormskirk food and drink festival which we went to last year and was fantastic. On Sunday I’m doing a dry run to the school I’m at, just so that I’ve at least done it once before Monday. I’ll have the satnav but just to calm my nerves I think it’s for the best. I also need to iron my shirt again as it’s got a bit rucked in the wardrobe and things like that just – get prepared.

I think you can tell that I’m feeling pretty nervous but the real nerves have only really hit today. The fact that things have happened quite quickly means that I haven’t really had time to get nervous until I’m in the jaws of it, as it were … I think that’s a good thing.

So, the plan for next week thus far is: Monday – admin and observing the English Department, Tuesday – shadowing a year 7 in a variety of subjects and Wednesday – shadowing a year 10, again in a variety of subjects. Thursday and Friday I think will then be planned in conjunction with my Curriculum Mentor. Normally I would be in uni on a Friday but not this week so as to give us the chance to properly settle in. I’m going to miss it.

Wish me Luck.

 

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The Second Week.

Overall this week has been a lot better. Ever since I was told I was doing to much and to chill out I have done. I’ve been getting a lot done on an evening but feeling no pressure which is really good.

On Monday we finally covered the theory of planning. It was tough but a relief to finally get it started. This is what so much of this year is going to be about and I’m impatient to practice and get good at it.

On Tuesday we had a session on starters and plenaries and was shown lots of resources such as Heather’s AnimationsClasstoolsTeachit and Wordclouds. We were also given the EAT task of creating a presentation showcasing 3-5 technology resources to make learning exciting and fun so that was what I spent my evening doing. I also created my first independent lesson plan. I didn’t have to, just thought it would be good practice and a way to justify my choices.

During Wednesday we had a teachers and the law session which included child protection, relationship with parents, home-school agreement e safety and finally, mental health, I finished my book review assignment that I started at the weekend. It only had to be a page and all in all I think I finished it in two days so I feel really good for that. I’m starting my second one (first assessed) this weekend (the teachers and the law one) and I’m hoping to get it done by next Thursday as that’s when the next assignment is given to us. I recon so long as I can stay ahead of the game like this assignment wise I should be ok. I also even managed to do some gardening.

On Thursday Becky and I presented our EAT task. We spend the morning in our groups putting the finishing touches to our presentations and in the end it went well, if a little rushed.

On Friday it was Shakespeare day! I went dressed as the bard himself and we were introduced to the technique of WOOSHes which I think are really fantastic we also talked and thought about ways to teach Shakespeare to children, ways that work, ways that don’t and challenges we might face.

This weekend is a cleaning weekend. What with August Bank Holiday and starting uni things have got to a dire state so that is being rectified. Once that’s done I’m going to finish off my part of the gardening and force Greg to mow the lawn before Autumn really sets in. I’m also hoping that we’ll get time to go to Tesco and I can buy a few work outfits and maybe some Autumn candles! We had steak last night (our Friday night treat) and tonight Greg wants to make homemade pizzas so we need to get some bits for that. Tomorrow I’m going to make a start on my teachers and the law assignment and see how far I get.

TTFN X

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The first week.

I can’t quite believe we’re here already. What has happened this week I certainly wasn’t expecting. I’ll get straight into it.

Monday – I was expecting to wake up at the crack of dawn but actually, given how well the drive on Monday had gone, I was fairly relaxed. I think that part of me was in such a state of shock that I was actually doing this that it forgot to feel nervous. I woke up just before 7 and got ready without a hitch to leave at 8. I was at uni by 8.15. Enough time to walk down to the Education building for 8.30 and meet with my course tutor. I got everything out and took everything in as people arrived over the next half an hour and then we got started.

We had an introduction talk by our tutor for half an hour where we were given lots of handbooks and then we had our first ‘Reflective Professional Practice’ session with the course leader until lunch time. We then had a two hour lunch, which gave us time to sit and talk with some of our colleagues and one girl, Becky and I went to the library to geek it up. Then housekeeping for the rest of the day. Nice and relaxed.

I arrived home early, hot and … invigorated. I had lots to read, file and organise but felt really confident in the abilities of my tutors and the course. I managed to do quite a lot of, what initially felt like, an unreasonable amount of admin for the first day but not as much as I had wanted as a couple of friends of ours had got engaged and wanted us to go out for a drink or two.

Tuesday – Was much the same although I set off 5 minutes later and did notice a small difference with the amount of tail back on the way. God knows what it will be like after next week when all the other students arrive back. Thank goodness I have somewhere else to park *fingers crossed*.

The morning session was ‘What is English’ followed by ‘Introduction to Learning Services’ in the afternoon. This is when I began to feel a bit overwhelmed by how much I have to read as we were handed curriculums and frameworks and lecturers kept dropping in, just read this, document and that policy and do this admin … Once I got home I had to push back myself imposed stop time form 8 to 9 but I know I definitely do need that hour before bed to decompress.

Wednesday – Was the ‘RPP Conference’ covering legal issues and safeguarding. All day. I’ll be honest I was dreading this one. It could have been really dry in a very hot hall but the lecturer kept up a good pace which made it accessible. By the end of it I also felt quite good about my level of pre-existing knowledge, having read the Prevent Strategy, Fundamental British Values and other safeguarding things at my previous school but once again (you guessed it) there was a lot to read!

Thursday – I was really looking forward to. The sessions were ‘Reading should be fun’ in the morning and ‘Introduction to SMART technology’ in the afternoon. SMART technology was really very useful and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to practise. The session also ended early which I was really grateful for as it meant I could do some serious catching up on reading.

I did have a small breakdown in the evening though and ended up emailing my tutor for some guidance. In the end I got lots done, in no small part due to the fact that one of our friends came round to make us dinner. He also insisted I have a glass of wine with the meatballs which helped and then I went back up stairs while the boys went to the pub. After that I had a small break through! (Perhaps it was the wine.) I found a text for our first assignment which I’m now really excited to write.

Friday – The sessions were ‘Grammar: Back to Basics’ which I was looking forward to as it’s one of my areas of weakness. I talked to my tutor about feeling overwhelmed and she pretty much said “Chill out!”, that all the reading I was given I didn’t have to do now – they were for reference later and that I was probably well ahead of the game. I know that’s logical but it did make me feel so much better. I really want to be the best that I can be and not to disappoint her or myself.

After uni on Friday I pretty much packed up all my stuff and Greg and I traveled to my mum’s house where I’m spending the weekend and where I am now. I’m sat on their sofa with my laptop and my cat is snoring next to me. It’s nice.

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Magic ❤

One thing that Pete said to us on Friday is try to have at least one day a weekend where you do nothing – that is sacred and I’m going to stick to that. I think that day for me will be tomorrow as my brother is coming to join us for a games day. I’m really looking forward to being all together and being looked after so that I’m really ready to really hit it next week. God knows where I’ll be by the end of it!

I just want to say that while some could say that this blog is a waste of my time – considering how much I have to do and I’m sure at times I’ll agree with them, but I love writing and in particular I love writing this blog. It gives me a chance to consolidate what’s happened over the past week and how far I’ve come and progressed and what I can do better next week. It is one of those vital times when I can do what I want for me which must become sacred over this period.

I am so grateful for my friends who have offered those ‘unwelcome’ interruptions this week. They’ve forced me to pause and come out of myself for an hour which I think has been so beneficial and something that I’ve never had before. In particular Anton, thank you for bringing meatballs to me ❤ Forever grateful.

TTFN X

 

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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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