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Half Term – Three weeks to go.

Over the weekend we mainly just chilled out. I actually got quite a lot more done than I thought I would but really out of just wanting to do it rather than needing to get it done. I marked both the year 10 and year 8 assessments and organised myself for the coming week.

On Monday I really needed to get out of the house so Greg and I went for a spontaneous walk nearby and ended up having a lovely sandwich in a pub. It was really nice to spend time together and not worry about everything. I feel like I’m managing everything well at the moment.

I do keep feeling a bit ill but I know that’s just because I’m relaxing and ‘on holiday’ it happens every time – feeling woffy, sick and moments of exhaustion. I don’t normally nap during the day but I have been doing recently.

During Tuesday Greg was back at work so I took the opportunity to really get to grips with some things I needed to do. I went to town and took my contract items to be scanned. That all seemed to go fine. I cashed a cheque and went shopping. I got things that I’ve needed for a while and it was nice just to go on my own, spend as much time as I wanted in places without having to worry I’m inconveniencing others. I also got some marking done, the shopping was delivered and I did a whole load of ironing which was to be continued the following day.

Wednesday was a good day. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself and couldn’t really make a plan but anyway I managed to wash my car, dig a bed, do pleanty of assessment marking and catch the sun! It’s been a glorious day and hopefully tomorrow will be the same.

On Thursday my parents came to visit. I had a really good day. I got nice things in for lunch and made a shepherd’s pie for dinner. I was excited to show them how the garden’s progressing, the food we’re growing and my plans for it over the summer. I really wanted to sit out on our new garden furniture and to be able to offer them gin and tonics – like a real adult and we did. It was really nice. I also took them to our local garden centre and my mum and I had naughty cream teas. I had a lovely day.

Friday was a little rainier which was good as a) the garden needed it and b) I needed to sit inside and polish off my assessment marking which went fine. I also had a bash at getting through my campus pack and teachers’ standards evidence which went fine – just time consuming.

Over the weekend my brother was coming to visit which was nice and I hoped that sometime in during the weekend I’d be able to have a go at finishing off my to do list which only consisted of Campus Pack and PSHE admin. They were only type up jobs but they’re the kind of jobs that have been hanging around for ages and keep getting put on the back burner because they’re not that important but nevertheless they need to be done at some point over the next three weeks.

Now that my assignment will be done and handed in this weekend hopefully my weekends will be freeer so I might be able to get things done then.

In other news I got my supply teacher contract through so that’s all official and I should start work in four weeks!

I’m looking forward to going back to school tomorrow but I’m not looking forward to the get up time!

TTFN X

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Clematis Flowering 

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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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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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Bonfire Night.

On Monday I observed some very interesting lessons and felt like I fitted back in to the school right away. I had a really good meeting with my CM and we started planning what was going to happen over the next two weeks and she gave me some really good pointers for my lesson the following day.

On Tuesday I was really nervous all day for my first full lesson during P4. It went really well although I felt I could have used my voice better. I knew how I wanted it to come out and sound but it just wouldn’t. There had been some confusion earlier in the day about actually who was going to be there. I had been told 8 pupils. I taught 22.

After the lesson I had another meeting with my CM. We made some changes to seating and talked about how we were going to approach the next few lessons having met the class and the difference between abilities of pupils. She also advised me to be quite stern as some of those pupils need it. I need to remember that I’m in charge and this is my classroom. I also need to give explicit instructions one at a time – don’t be afraid to wait. and also to sign post the timings more clearly. There were a few tweeks to the entry routines but other than that she was really happy and said there was nothing glaring that she thought was rubbish! Nobody died!

During Wednesday I delivered my first drama starter which I was really pleased with, really enjoyed it and observed my CM introduce year 10 to Jekyll and Hyde. I’m really excited for that SOW. I also finished proofreading the majority of my assignment. Just got that to tidy up on Friday and it should be ready to hand in.

On Thursday I had a busy day but finished my starters and plenary preparation for next week.

On Friday I had an ‘Independent Study Day’ as some people were still on half term. I spent it finishing my assignment which I’m really pleased about but also managed to squeeze in some time for some yoga to easy my shoulders and some meditation which was really nice.

In the evening Greg and I went to the cinema to see ‘Inferno’ the new film for the Dan Brown books. It was certainly more intense than the other adaptations of the books. Afterwards we met some friends for dinner.

On Saturday we went to the bonfire in our village and I really loved it. I’ve never been that into Halloween but I’ve always loved bonfire night and fireworks. We took some mulled wine which was gratefully received by all and then came back and watched ‘V for Vendetta’. We had a really lovely evening.

Today I want to try and get some lesson planning done but right now I’m making a shepherd’s pie for tomorrow and Greg and his dad are doing some jobs around the house that we’ve been meaning to get around to for ages. Later we’re going round to his parents for Sunday Lunch. I’m really looking forward to it but for now, while I’m waiting for the potatoes to boil I’ll get onto the lesson planning!

TTFN, hope you all had a wonderful bonfire night! 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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Argy bargy, planning and one week till half term!

On Monday I had a fairly normal day but didn’t manage to have a meeting with my CM after school as a progress leader (year 9 form) meeting was sprung on me.

On Tuesday I had my PM meeting which was good and I got the opportunity to chat with my fellow trainees although they all seem to have been told different things about what their course leaders expect which is confusing. I also started work on my ‘noticing booklet’ which one of the other girls on my course gave me and which is really useful.

During Wednesday I managed to find my year 10 SOW and started re-planning my MTPs for after Christmas as there has been some argy bargy between my CL and CM as to when exactly I should start teaching and what my focus should be.

The drama class I attended was the same lesson as last week but I can see how it’s evolved now. The teacher has kept what went well and evolved it to be even better which was nice to see. It also gave me some interesting perspectives in terms of differences from English.

In year 10 English it was nice to see my CM deviate from her original lesson plan to give pupils information about the mock exam they’ll set next week – adhering to their needs.

In the afternoon I met with the SENCO of the school and discussed some pupils and what can be done in terms of differentiation but, all in all, they’re a very able cohort.

On Thursday I practically completed a MTP for Year 7 literacy however this may not be where my focus should be. It’s hard to be being pulled in two directions at once and I’m finding it hard to be strong in what’s best for me.

On Friday it was nice to be back at uni. We covered behaviour management and the psychological and hormonal reasons why teenagers may be poorly behaved. We also covered meaningful marking.

This weekend I am at my Mum’s for a family friends 60th birthday. It’s nice to be home with all my family and to be with my cat. He’s not been very well but I think he’s a bit better now he’s on a different diet. I’m soaking up all my time with him.

Here’s to one more week until half term, when hopefully I can get caught up with everything!

TTFN

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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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