Tag Archives: reading

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 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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Apologies once more.

I’ve been a bad blogger but sometimes that’s the sacrifice I make for being a good teacher.

Since I no longer have to do ‘formal’ lesson plans I’ve had so much more time. I’ve practically got my weekends back but it has meant working quite late during the week. I’ve also been spending a lot of time on my assignment which I finally finished on Friday (just before I got an email saying the deadline had been extended by a fortnight) *facepalm* never mind at least it’s practically done now.

I’ve also been preparing for teaching my new schemes of work after half term and for my external examiner observation next Thursday. I now know what I’m going to do I just have that one final lesson to plan and that’s it for this week.

Perhaps I can finally catch up on some of the other admin I have to do like reading, emails, gardening, ironing, campus pack, PSHE work and forms for my new job – that’s all for during half term though and next week will be all about getting me to the point where I can do that effectively over the half term.

My brother is here this weekend which has been a nice surprise and since we got the garden furniture we’ve had another visitor …

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We think (hope) he’s a stray.

In other news the garden is coming on well and I’ve had lots of homegrown radishes in my saladsIMG_20170512_163351_776

I don’t think there’s much else to inform you of. I hope I can get back into the swing of blogging next week.

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 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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Pre-Course Information!

What a day! So after an impromtue evening out for Mother’s Day on Sunday I came home to an email sitting in my inbox.

PGCE Secondary Pre-Course Information – NOW AVAILABLE‏!

Being a glass or two glasses of wine down I only skimmed the email to get a gist of the contents and duly forwarded it to my work email for printing this morning. I got to work early and printed all the documents, I even managed to read and highlight them all in and amongst work, students and classes.

The first thing to do was fill out some forms and email them to my course tutor which I’ve done this evening. I then found out the timetable of what’s to come.

  • Friday 2nd September – Enrolment
  • Monday 5th September – Programme commences (8.30 for 9.00 am start)
  •  26th September – 30th September – Induction week
  • 26th September – 13th October – Professional Practice 1
  • 3rd October – 8th December (Monday-Thursday) – Phase 1A Placement (a gradual move from observation to planning and teaching)
  • 3rd January – 23rd February  (Monday-Thursday) –Phase 1B Placement (developing competence in planning, teaching and assessment)
  • 13th March and 31st March – Professional Practice 2
  • 13th March – 17th March – Induction and Preparation
  • 20th March – 23rd June – Practice 2 Placement (consolidating competence and addressing areas in which to excel)
  • 26th June – 7th July – NQT preparation period
  • 7th July – End of Programme

So that’s what you’ve got to look forward to! :p

Now, here’s a list of the things I either need to do or have done. Having written it, I now realise that I need to prioritise it. I’m not convinced that even between now and September, with having a full time job and moving house that I’ll be able to have it all done so I’ve colour coded it Green – must do, Amber – do if possible and Red – do if I’ve done everything else because either I’ve already done it once, it won’t take too long or I can do it ‘on the job’.

  • Professional Skills Tests DONE!!! 😀
  • Visit a local Secondary School – I work there.
  • Conduct an audit and draw up an action plan to address an area of weakness. If you remember I was concerned about starting because I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to do in ‘en-course’ but it sounds like they want me to make a start so after I’ve finished ‘Teaching English: Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher’ I’ll make a start on that.
  • Begin to address subject specific work suggestions, now, when I received my interview feedback, the only thing they specified that I needed to work on was “Candidate is continuing to develop her Language Subject Knowledge. We would recommend that you also spend time looking at how teachers break down aspects of grammar for teaching at KS3 in preparation for your own teaching.” So that’s something I need to begin to address. My dyslexia is always going to be there which puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to spelling, punctuation and grammar and there can be no excuses for that but it’s certainly something that I will always have to  work at improving. I think that this will tie in nicely to the Audit and the action plan to address an area of weakness  though (see above) which makes me feel like it’s a bit more manageable: addressing four jobs on one.
  • General course reading, which I feel like I’ve made a good start on with ‘Teaching English …’, the revision guides and the exam syllabus that I researched for my interview but I’ll revisit them if I have time and also read some more general children’s literature and literature on the curriculum including Shakespeare. Having done an English Literature degree I feel that I’m pretty well up on Shakespeare and literature in general. I also took a British Children’s Literature module so some of the texts they suggested I’ve already read some of which I haven’t.
  • Familiarise myself with the Teaching Standards and the National Curriculum I learnt these for interview.
  • Sign up for ‘useful websites’ such as: Sec ed; Ofsted; The Times Educational Supplement (I even looked into subscribing but I couldn’t believe how much it was going to cost!) and The Guardian. They’ve asked me to keep abreast of current developments which I certainly did for my interview but I really don’t have the time or money to be buying these every week so I’m hoping that with all the other prep I’m doing and working in a school will keep me as up to date as is needed.

I have a lot to do. First things first. I’ll finish reading ‘Teaching English: Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher’ because I only have two chapters left and then I’ll make a start on my skills audit. Let’s see how that goes for now.

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