All entries for February 2011

February 26, 2011

Half Term break…..

I have managed to go 12 days without a blog entry. Boom!

being back at school for a week was quite cool. Got a few warm welcomes from the classes I taught, but unfortunately I might be losing most of them again as staffing changes is meaning my timetable will invariably change too. It seems I have made a half decent impression though, as it looks like I'll be getting more 'importnat' classes in year 10 and 11, who will have exams coming up over the remainder of the year. It is one thing teaching year 8's, but how I teach from now can have a very significant impact on quite a few lives and futures.

I have spent most of half term painting the house. Though it has been a lot of work, I have managed to create some epic videos ready for my lesson on Monday on Paint and Pigments..... I have managed to get one round of golf in, but generally it has been DIYing. Not sure the wife realises half term does not necessarily = make Steve do lots of house stuff! I have managed to get all my lessons ready that I know I am teaching for the coming week, and spenta little bit of time on my Masters too. I have also gone and bought a hole punch, and finally got my evidence folders up to scratch. I have decided not to go for Q1, Q2, Q3 etc, with loads of cross referencing, but make discrete categories in the folders. So I have a section of lesson obs, lesson evaluations, mentor meetings, INSET days, core work, essays, subject enhancement etc.... I have then made a spreadsheet documenting each bit of evidence, and listed what standards each one can provide evidence towards. This means for Q1 for example, I can go to folder 1, mentor meeting 24/9/10 etc. It seems to work nicely, as long as everything is labelled clearly, and put in date order!

Hope everyone else is having a good holibob!


February 14, 2011

Keep My–ton to the end of the road

Well I've nicked a Birmingham City line there, and changed the words 'right on' to 'My-ton'.

But alas, we're all (well most of us) back at main placement. It has been a rather pleasant day, lots of people seem pleased to see Shuna, and even a couple seem pleased to see me. My form group were rather excited to see me - High 5's everywhere. I have caught up with all the teachers and staff I need to (and missed for the last 8 weeks), and I am ready to take over classes again tomorrow. Really enjoyed the drive in to work today; sun rising over the fields etc. Put me in a really good mood, and have kept it all day.

I feel prepared for these next 1 and a half terms; I'm learning to cope with the workload, I am getting plenty of ideas from other teachers, understanding schemes  of work and how to plan lessons using them, stealing resources everywhere I go etc. The complimentary placement was ideal for me in meeting standards I hadn't previously got any experience of, and I think I am a tad more prepared for teaching now at Myton for the remainder of this year.

I just want to say that as this very sad and emotional Friday approaches, I just wanted to reflect on our core sessions. They have been useful, and I certainly have learned a lot from them. It is also a little haven to get to and chat about lessons and experiences with all the other GTPs, and I will certainly miss the Fridays after half term.

Enjoy being back at your schools, and see you for our party on Friday!

February 11, 2011

Only got complimentary things to say about my 2nd school…..

Was a rather decent last day on complimentary placement. I was there for a couple of hours...

What did I think? Excellent school, a great head teacher, an excellent Science department who were extremely supportive. I believe I have begun to iron out my weaknesses in the classroom, and have got some excellent ideas from feedback which will hopefully take me to the next level. I was a tad surprised and disappointed with the grades I was given on my CP1, they obviously have very high expectations and set the boundaries tough, though personally I do not think the individual grades were representative of my performance, although the overall grade is about right I guess. But generally a positive experience, and one which has enhanced my training this year. So well done Warwick for sorting that out!

They even bought me a Lego tractor to say thanks and good luck :-), so they must be mint.

Today also marked my first interview in teaching. I applied for 4 jobs in the last week, and have been invited to interview for all of them which is encouraging. Today's interview required me to teach a 20 minute lesson on anything I wanted to do with Physics. Quite a tough ask given it was broad. Even tougher given the application went in two days ago, and I received about 18 hours notice for the interview itself..... The formal interview was quite a nice experience actually, and developed into quite an interesting debate for quite a while on how to get more ladies into higher education Physics. There were questions that went along the lines of 'what do you think makes a good lesson?', 'what would you do to secure a positive learning environment?', 'where do you see your career progressing?', 'how would a friend describe you?', 'what are your views on the roles of pastoral care?', 'how will you bring here to engage all students?' etc etc. There were no trick questions, but I am pretty sure the GTP experience we all have would get any of us through it. I was offered the job in the afternoon whilst I was at an twilight session at my complimentary (incorporating drama into all subjects) school, and accepted it. I was told in my feedback they really like the GTP as a course. I was up against two PGCE students today, and I think the training route really has held me in good stead.

Then went to Warwick, did a cheeky talk for some wannabe GTPites for next year. I think I sufficiently entertained them. Now home, just finished assignment 8 (isn't data a mundane topic) and as of 1.38am, had sorted all my evidence for Q1-9 for Gill :-)

Off to bed, at Warwick in 7 hours.

Stevo x

February 07, 2011

Angle of Reflection

Job applications are arduous aren't they? You should receive a small amount of money for just filling one in. I submitted a couple last week, both online, and having spent the weekend completing a couple of other ones, I went to submit them last night and it turned out they were postal applications..... I have a busy evening after school tonight dropping them off. So note to all, have a look how you need to submit your applications beforehand. You might need it completed a couple of days early to post it!

Well Chelsea played like an unplanned lesson yesterday. No purpose, no idea what the objective was, lack of guidance, no scaffolding of understanding, only a couple of players displayed any type of intelligence, forget that multiple intelligence pants we've heard about at Uni.

Last week at complimentary placement, and spending my time getting witness statements signed etc. Being observed 3 times this week by various mentors and heads of department, so need to up my game and get loads of ticks and positive comments before the CP1 form is filled in. I'm getting the wife to bake a cake for me just to sweeten up the subject mentor at the school before he gives me a grade. Bribery might just be the answer.

I will write a reflective piece on my time at Perry Beeches in due course, but needless to say it has been a very positive experience. I have enjoyed being in the science department, and have felt part of the team from the start. They trusted me quite a bit from the start and threw me in with a rather hefty timetable (which I requested to be fair) and I have certainly worked towards meeting a few of those tricky standards now, which is fantastic.

Just taught a lesson, a practical for year 7s, which I either sink or swim in. Today I swam, everything completed, modelled well, equipment packed away, plenty of time for the plenary. So pretty happy with that. Next up is a year 10 BTEC class, and I have nicked a lesson idea from Gill for that one; have adapted her 'design a mammal' exercise we did a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway, more applications to complete, ppts to update, essays to write, research to analyse, resources to make, a presentation to prepare for...... Busy Busy Busy

Come on the Chels!!!

February 01, 2011

Double Double Double, John Terry's won the Double

I've found a way to make lesson planning, essay writing and job applicating a much more fun process on a Tuesday night.

Just listen to the mighty Chels turn over Sunderland! It is much more fun. Love Salomon Kalou.

Well things to reflect these last couple of days. I am still not sure what personalised learning is after Friday's session, think it could have been better differentiated. I did enjoy our mammal making task though. Hilarious. The room went an eery quiet once I mentioned the geographical north is the current magnetic south pole..... those poor English and MFL students looked perplexed!

Taught a full day yesterday; 2, 2-hour lessons and a final hour at the end. These double lessons are a new thing to me. On Monday, I taught a low set year 9 class for 2 hours, and to be honest it was hard work. they were agitated at 90 minutes, and it is so hard to keep them on task and the lesson fresh and fun and constantly changing directions. The other double lesson was a top set year 10 class, and they were a joy. We made really good progress, discussing the motor effect, right hand screw rule, Fleming's left hand rule, electromagnetic induction etc. The double lesson proved to be a success. I am not too sure it's benefit though, given everything we are told about attention spans of students. Can see how it might be useful for practical work in particular, and A-level classes, but I reckon I'm not a fan.

4 lessons today, and was alright. Lots of yellow slips and referals. There was something in the water today, they were going crazy.

Anyway, back to applying, writing, planning and animating..... Steve x

February 2011

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