November 22, 2010

PP1 Update

At last the nerves of teaching are not affecting my sleep any more, I am now a whole lot more relaxed leading up to the lesson and during it.

Saying this, however, I am getting the increasing sense that I'm not a good teacher.  When the majority of the class look at you, straight after teaching them a method, and complain about not understanding, a feeling of inadequacy and helplessness sets in.  On the one hand, this could be something you just get used to as a teacher, but on the other hand, I could be confusing these young people way more than I should be doing!  Hopefully I'll look back and see the obvious mistakes I made, or perhaps I might even look back and see I was teaching really well and just took things too personally, I don't know.  But for now, I need to work on improving the level I aim my lessons at.  If I aim a bit lower, this could build the class's confidence and encourage them to attempt the harder questions I've been setting so far.

With behaviour management I still struggle.  I'm yet to hand out my first detention, which is relatively good considering it means no-one has been naughty enough to deserve it.  I feel that the more experience I have, the more time at the front of the classroom, the more I'll feel relaxed, confident and let my personality come over and hopefully inspire discipline itself.

Today I have my first revision session with Year 13.  It's Mechanics 1 so it should be pretty straight forward.  It will be interesting to experience this very different form of teaching.


November 08, 2010

Reflection on the start of PP1

Today is my first day of my block placement at my first school.  From now on I will be taking complete control over a Year 10 2nd set and a Year 8 lower set, including setting and marking all homeworks and end of unit tests.

For the past week I have felt overwhelmed at the amount of responsibility I am taking on and the feeling of comparative unpreparedness, although today I am relieved by the reduction of lesson observation time, allowing plenty of time to plan, prepare and organise myself.

On Friday I taught my first ever complete solo lesson, observed by the head of maths.  Despite feelings of intense nervousness, I managed to stay calm and deliver a coherent lesson, but not one without areas for improvement.  In the feedback there was a clear common theme of behaviour management.  From keeping the noise level down to giving out more warnings; although this is to be expected for my first lesson.  So overall I'm happy with how it went, but I would like to get used to teaching very soon, as there's only so much lack of sleep I can take this term!

As I start to plan lessons for the rest of the week, the main thing brought to my attention is my lack of knowledge about the group.  For future reference I've found it is incredibly helpful to know the names of the students, to know the range of levels they're working at, and to know the seating plan.  Hopefully these are things I will pick up quicker as I continue teaching.


October 07, 2010

Teaching Tessellation

Writing about web page /vchui/entry/teaching_tessellation/

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Teaching Pythagoras

Writing about web page /jwilkinson/entry/discovering_pythagoras/

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September 28, 2010

Maths PGCE First Thoughts

So it's been over a week since we started the course and I have only just become (with the invaluable aid of a free diary/planner from NASUWT) vaguely organised.  This isn't a surprise for me, but apparently the PGCE can get pretty hectic at the best of times so being organised has suddenly become all that more important!!

Yesterday we had our first presentations to a group of around 16 other students.  The presentation was on 'a piece of maths you find interesting'.  I thought I might like to make things as hard as possible for myself, so I chose the topic of 'Algebraic Number Theory' and decided to try and make it accessible to people from various backgrounds of maths, from degree level to A-level.  Having not read much of the feedback yet, it's hard to say how it went.  But from the feedback I have actually read it seems I aimed the presentation at the right level.  This was my main aim as I wanted to make such an abstract topic accessible to everyone.  On the other hand I may have made it too simplistic for those with a degree (or more) in maths, and I don't think I covered enough subject matter.  Other things I need to improve on would probably be my eye-contact and not 'speaking into the board'.  I used to have a problem with not pronouncing my words clearly enough but I think this and my voice projection were quite good.

For tomorrow I have to get a lesson plan ready and I think we'll be analysing where we should have appropriate assessments throughout it.

I quite dislike the cheesiness of writing about what I'm up to in a blog, but also enjoy it when I get into it! Anyway, it's for my course so I have an excuse!


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