Tag Archives: interview

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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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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A crazy week: rearranging observations, an interview, my first ‘Outstanding’ Lesson.

Hi Everyone, this week has been crazy!

On Monday I managed to finish all my lesson planning and thought I might manage to have an easy week of it and then I found out I had an interview on Thursday! That meant I had to do a load of prep and rearrange my formal observation – nightmare. That one was a late night

On Tuesday my partner drove me to the school where I’m having my interview after I’d spent all day cramming for it. I also had two classess worth of mock marking to do. I spent the evening doing even more prepping

On Wednesday I had my first ‘Outstanding’ lesson in Drama which was really exciting. I also did the last of my prepping for my interview and met with some colleagues to go over what I had planned and receive some feedback.

On Thursday I had my interview. It was very intense – I had a 1:1 with the head followed by a 20 minute lesson, a curriculum interview and an interview with the pupils (which was lovely). After lunch all the PGCE students were let go and 2/5 went on to the final stage of the interview. They were both more experienced teachers – one of 6 years and the other had just finished her NQT year. Never the less, we were all told we could ring for feedback the following day which I did. I was told that the big debate over lunch time was whether or not to keep me on, so that was nice to hear. After my interview I got home at about 2 and did nothing for the first time in weeks. I was absolutely mentally exhausted.

On Friday my course leader wanted a word – she knew how much I had going on and wanted to check up on me. She also told me that the place I’d provisionally been given for my PP2 placement was going to change and wanted to check that it was ok as it is quite far away (40 + minutes) Greg and I are going to drive it over the weekend to see what it’s like.

Over the weekend I need to have a bloody good rest but I also need to pan for my lessons for next week including my observed lesson on Thursday – the last day! I also have several forms to take care of and paperwork for the final week. I’m also going for a meal out with some friends on Saturday so I’m really looking forward to that.

I can’t believe next week is my final week at my placement 1 school. Before Christmas I didn’t think I’d make it to this point and now I feel like I’ve just started to belong. Having said that I think I’m ready to move on to somewhere new – a fresh start, a fresh challenge.

Wish my luck! TTFN x

 

 

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A pretty regular week and a promise.

Monday was an ok day – nothing spectacular. I enjoyed marking and didn’t get round to applying for a job I wanted.

Tuesday was stressful. I had a drs appointment so that made me late to start work when I got home and I had two extra lessons to plan for that I hadn’t anticipated for the next day … I hate it when work sneaks up on me like that.

Wednesday was a good day I managed to get all my lesson planning done and some of the application form. I could have cracked on but I really want to start it fresh if I can. I decided to do it this weekend instead.

On Thursday I taught my three lessons back to back again but in the evening I got quite a lot done, even if I was too tired to work on my application again!

On Friday we had a session on ‘the best lesson I’ve taught so far’ I did mine about my year 7 apostrophe lesson and it was quite nice. In the evening we had Chinese and I fell asleep.

Over the weekend I finished my application for a job (finally) and have sent it off for proofreading. I also managed to get this weeks planning done more or less which leaves me with an afternoon free to catch up on ironing, the food shop and all that other delightful stuff.

I promise that more exciting things are coming up for instance I’m hoping I might get an interview soon, I should find out where my next placement is going to be (just waiting on confirmation) and the results of some of my assignments. Thank you for bearing with me while I tread water for a while.

TTFN x

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Once a teacher …

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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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Interview #1

So yesterday I had my first interview. I was feeling as well as can be expected but at least prepared as I could be. I had sent an email earlier in the week to check which time I should arrive as I had been sent two conflicting two – 11.30am and 1pm. I turned up for 10 with a view for being there for 11.30 as stipulated in the response. I got a coffee and went over my notes. No problem.

I went to the reception desk in good time and was sent down to the Faculty of Education. When I arrived the receptionist informed me that the interview wasn’t until 1pm after all. Ok … I went and had a sit and met some other candidates which was fine except one woman insisted on going over all her experiences and what might and might not come up – exactly what I didn’t want! After an hour of this I was feeling decidedly on edge but finally 1pm did arrive!

We were met by the course tutor and given a brief overview of the course and her career background. We were then given the written task and the running order for interview. I was third which I thought was pretty good. It gave me time to plan my answers, find quotes and make a start before I was called.

During the interview itself I cannot remember what I said. Hardly anything at all and yet it can’t have been that bad because in the corridor on the walk back to where the written task was taking place the course tutor said to me

I know how horrible it can be having to wait for a response, Katherine, so I’ll tell you now that as long as your written task is up to standard I’ll be offering you a place.

I can tell you that that knocked the stuffing out of me! Don’t get me wrong it was nice to know I was doing well but I also knew that now the writing task was all that stood between me and a place on a great teaching course! Suddenly the task which I was quite confident about became my nemesis!

I suddenly realised that I hadn’t had anything to eat since 8am and it was now getting on for 3pm! I felt dizzy and sick and my dyslexia accosted me with a vengeance. The words swam on the paper and my mouth was dry. I felt dreadful. I also realised that the question which I had been asked about ‘Pullman’s opinion on what children look for in stories’ was very difficult to find as the article was all about ‘Pullman’s opinion on what adults think are the benefits of reading to children’ and not from the perspective of children at all. I managed to find some allusions and tie in my opinions to teaching and its relevance but in the end I had no idea whether I had answered the question. I proofread it over (I was allowed a dictionary) but there were crossings out and double letters and added phrases and paragraphs moved around as I am now so used to using a word processor! It looked quite a mess but by now it was 4pm and the words were swimming, I knew I couldn’t do anymore and I still had the drive home to contend with. I handed it in. On the drive back to Greg’s I was convinced that I’d screwed it up. I called my parents and had a good cry.

Today I was sat with a cup of tea, checking my emails, still thinking of how badly it had gone when up popped

I am very pleased to inform you that your application has been successful – congratulations.

For the second time in as many days I was gobsmacked and had a good cry. I now have 10 working days in which to receive the official letter and to make arrangements. I have still yet to receive information from my other applications so unless I hear anything from them before then I will be accepting.

The conditions of the offer at that I pass the skills test (standard) and work to improve the language and in particular grammar side of my knowledge base (a fair comment) which I am already working towards …

Things are happening so fast and now they’re beginning to really happen. So long as I meet those conditions, in nine months I will start training to become a teacher!

 

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Skills Support, New Interviews, Planning & Preparation.

This weekend has been a bit of a blur. I left work on Friday and it took two and a half hours to get to my boyfriend’s house. We were sleeping in the spare room as his room was packed ready for the move on Saturday so I didn’t bother unpacking. We had a lovely ‘Sunday roast’ with his parents and I went upstairs to chill out for a little while.

I was checking my emails when I saw two more emails saying that I’d been invited to interview. Unfortunately the UCAS track page was down for maintenance so I’ve been unable to confirm or find out any more information about it. But I think one is on the same day as the one I already have, so that’ll need rearranging … Something to be done on Monday.

The other thing that was troubling me was something really lovely. My boss was in a meeting with her boss and I was called in. They were congratulating me on my application and asking where I’d applied and why. They asked me to be sure that I request a placement at the school I currently work at and that they would like me back once I qualify … It’s a really lovely offer but part of me also really wants to see other schools and other departments and see what’s on offer and how they work. It would be really easy to get really comfortable and it may also mean a delay on moving. There’s a lot to consider.

After a brief chat with my Mum to calm me I caught an ‘early night’ in that we went to bed early but ended up staying up watching a film. Normally I fall asleep half way through (standard girlfriend practice) but on Friday, just when I wanted to, I couldn’t.

I got up early on Saturday and got ready, packed my car (so that it was one less thing for my boyfriend to have to take into his house) and went off to my skills test support sessions. It was a really hard day and by the last hour my brain was no longer working but I think it was reasonably useful. We talked about what was on the test and what we needed to do to be successful. It’s just a case of practice and doing it. I have another booked in December but it’s likely to be the same material over again … I’ll see how I feel about going nearer the time. I was planning on taking my skills test in January but given that it’s nearly December already and I’m staring down the barrel of three interviews I might give myself some extra time. I was on the verge of booking them this evening but then I had to choose which one to take first and I realised I haven’t actually practiced a full test yet so I don’t know which one I would be better at … I will wait till these interviews are out of the way and then crack on with the skills tests.

I went back to my boyfriend’s new house afterwards and all was unpacked and looked gorgeous! It was a really wonderful feeling. We went to the pub to celebrate and then got a takeaway and watched a film. He even let me bring the duvet downstairs onto the sofa as a special treat! Then we went to bed and I slept really well. I just wish it could have been for longer.

On Sunday I got up and started reading and planning my interview prep. I could have done some of it on Friday but I was just so tired from lack of sleep the previous week I knew I wouldn’t have done a good job. In the end I’m glad I saved it. I read through everything and made post-it-note lists of everything I had to do and made a plan. Then my boyfriend and I managed to spend some time together over breakfast and into the afternoon before I had to drive home before the light got too low.

Since I’ve got home I’ve read some more and done some research but really I needed to get some ironing done so that I’ve got fresh clothes for work tomorrow and also ready for the interview next Monday! That being said, I’ve managed to dispense with two of the post it note lists already so that’s made me feel good and I feel so much better for just having a plan! I don’t know if I’ll get everything on my ‘to do list’ done but all I can do now is work through it methodically and do my best …

My Mum is coming for dinner tomorrow night and it’ll be really lovely to see her and catch up on everything and get her perspective and opinion on what I’m doing. I should be able to get some prep done before she arrives and then again on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Will keep you updated about the other interviews too but until then, have a lovely week.

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