All entries for July 2011
July 28, 2011
I have noticed on facebook a few teachers saying how bored they are in the holidays.
I just wanted to refect on that and say I am not bored. I remember loving school holidays as a kid, and I do as a teacher too.
July 24, 2011
Well it became quite the emotional week for many as I left Myton. I really felt part of the school, appreciated by a lot of people, and to be quite honest, felt a spirit amongst the staff that had not been apparent all year. That was really good.
Had an excellent final staff cricket match and presentation, enjoyed the staff summer do, leaving speeches and staff bbq after school on Friday too. Science presented me with copious amounts of Lego as a leaving gift which was great, which I countered with some original poetry to say a big thanks to them too. Even had a couple of members of staff in tears over my leaving: tears of joy probably. And my subject mentor bought me the best present ever. I will really miss her.
However, the really hard part was saying good bye to all my classes, who were the first set of classes I taught, and will therefore always mean a lot, and probably be very memorable. I was delighted to see so many were sad I was leaving. I was surprised by the number of cards I got from them and am loving the presents! The chocolate the wife has consumed over the last two days, which quite frankly is rude.
I am quite a sentimental guy really, so the cards with personal messages mean a lot. I got one this week from a girl in my year 11 form who came in especially to see me to say thanks, and to give me the nicest baby outfit we own so far!! The card was lovely. However, two girls I taught, Beth and Grace, produced the finest card which I feel, sums up in a nutshell why I have had a blast this year. It went something like this:
We love you. Hope you have a nice time at your crap new school..... without us!!! Don't miss us too much. You know where we are if you want to be our science teacher again. Also a tip for your new school, don't EVER wear that bright orange shirt again, infact burn it!!!
A few examples of what it makes you look like; a walking carrott, a pumpkin for halloween, you work for easy jet, you work in an Orange phone shop, you're in a pop video.
On the bright side, you glow in the dark and you won't get hit by a car (sadly).
Gonna miss your hedgehog hair and when you abuse students by throwing stuff at them (JUST TO CLARIFY, THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED!!) & when you put us in slideshows. Ohh and when you shout 3, 2, 1... and when you sing Blink 182 - I miss you. Your CONSTANT Anchorman quotes! 'Its the pleats. Its an optical illusion'. & your scooter... please run over Harjot.
'I have never smoked, drank or taken drugs in my life. I have a heart condition.'
I hope your baby is nice and what not! Please don't scar him/her for life. Please. (that means wear a paper bag on your head, so it doesn't see your ugly face). Unfortunately babies cannot change their dads so it will have to put up with you.
Please leave your light sabre as a souvenir of your amazing teaching. thanks for letting me charge my phone and letting us listen to our music when working (awesome music too).
FANX M8 U SWND 2KAiii11
ps - we didn't mean any of the mean things we just said, don't forget us, and come back and visit us with your wife and baby.
It made me smile. A lot.
Excellent way to finish an amazing year. To the Kids I taught and tutored this year, fingers crossed you will be immense in all you do!
Though I also feel like I want to keep teaching them as they head into their final year. The year 12s I have done a load with this year, and leaving them as they head into year 13 is also a tad frustrating as I honestly feel like I was making a big difference with them too. Suppose this is a feeling every teacher will get each year, so I best man up and get on with it.
July 20, 2011
In the words of the dude in Stingray, anything can happen in the next half hour. I love Thunderbirds and Stingray by the way. Simple, but awesome.
I am currently reflecting in my lab, listening to my best mate's band Ivyrise on youtube, slowly throwing stuff away and making a 'keep sake' pile as I tidy up ready to leave. I have always been sentimental to be honest, but not sure wifey will be happy with how much I am planning on keeping and bringing home....! Especially after last night.
Anyways, I am realising how much I have loved this year, as I say goodbye to a number of people and students who I probably won't see again. A lot of people have contributed a hell of a lot to my enjoyment during my training. And the students are certainly at the top of my list to thank. I will miss a lot of them, and do feel a tad like I am betraying some, especially the year 12s as we have had an awesome 'learning journey' the last few months, to then leave them to finish their A-Levels without being able to contribute anything is a shame. Though they will have a couple of exceptional teachers next year to guide them home.
Went to my new school yesterday afternoon, and got my timetable. I am teaching Physics, and thats it. Which is pretty mint. Bar 1 year 7 class, it is all exam classes, so the pressure will be high, but I am up for it. Interestingly, they are bringing in AQA this year at GCSE, meaning my year 9 class will be doing AQA whereas the year 10s and 11s will be following the Edexcel specification. Need to get my head around that!! Also found out I will be a year 7 form tutor. At least the students won't know the school better than me! Should be awesome though, and if it all works out and I stay for a while, will be great to see them all progress through school and grow up. I found it hard when my year 11s left this year, dunno how I'd cope after 5 years with a form!
Headed back from that school back to Myton, and played in the final staff match of the season vs the 6th form. I had to open the batting along with Mr Grier of history. Why? It was a shootout for the golden duck cup. Despite some excellent innings this year, I have unfortunately got 2 golden ducks. Mr Grier had 1 GD and 2 other ducks. Unfortunately he survived his first ball, despite me trying to run him out, and I left with the presentation evening last night with a 3 feet by 4 feet cricket bat. Its huge, and the rules are it has to stay in my lounge for a year. The cricket team have been a real highlight for me too, and it will keep me associated to Myton for a time to come as I intend to play next year too as and when time allows.
Anyway, need to continue with my work on the schemes of learning.... !!
Ivyrock and Ivyroll
July 16, 2011
It is my final weekend as a Myton teacher. And there is a devilishly busy week ahead.
Year 10s are back, all the year 9s are back from their Newquay trips, year 12s still around too, as well as my final year 7 lessons.
But alas, this is not all. Monday marks the final staff cricket match of the season, vs the 6th form, along with the annual awards ceremony. I have a chance in 3 trophies it seems, two good (match winner and bowling averages) and golden duck trophy.... :-( Also I am visiting my new school on Monday afternoon to get my timetable and schemes of work so I can make some preparations over the summer. With a baby on the way, a productive summer could be a god send.
Tuesday and Wednesday I have meetings after school (mentor and department) as well as antenatal classes. By Wednesday, I have to have written 15 lesson plans for the new scheme of learning, for a SoL I won’t even be teaching. I am a tad concerned I will be putting in a lot more effort than most (which seems to be the way), but at least I can be proud of the stuff I have done. The lesson plans so far are really good, and it is testimony to my subject mentor who has given me so many good ideas. I'll miss her so much next year. She is an email away though!
We are having a Science lunch time on Thursday, which I think is to say adios to those who are leaving the department (me and TK Maxx). After school is the all staff summer do, and there is also another one after school Friday. Party time!
So literally not a quiet minute in the week.
I also have to prepare a reading for my brother's wedding which is two weeks today. Poetry is my forte, so I have set high standards for myself here.
I'll post a final copy of it on here once done!!
I got a letter this week confirming I had passed the course, so I am officially a teacher now. I guess this is the objective for the GTP year, so delighted to have done that. But honestly it is so much more than that. I have learned a lot about myself. I am pretty good in a crisis, and have stayed relaxed throughout the year despite many going manic around me. I always thought they were strengths of mine, and they have been confirmed. I also know now that teaching is the perfect vocation for me, and I love interacting with the students everyday. Each day is soooo varied, but at no point have I had a day where I haven't laughed or made a student laugh, and perhaps dare I say, imparted wisdom on someone. This is the name of the game, to pass on knowledge (that scaffolding thing we did in week one, Piaget or whatever his name was) and also to provide an environment for kids to enjoy and thrive. I like to think I have done this.
So yep, busy last week. Might be emotional; for others, they’ll miss me! I had three sets of parents tell me on Open evening on Thursday night (a great, but extremely tiring night of me making ice cream using Liquid Nitrogen for 3 hours straight) that they’re children were gutted I was leaving. I say for others, as I have a heart of stone and disfunctional tear ducts. I have not cried since the 1994 FA Cup final, and I have lived through some pretty sad times since then. But I just take it on the chin and move on. Next big test will be the birth of my child I guess. Bring it on, I won’t cry!!
I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish my Ford Ka, my motorised home for over 76000 miles over the last 5 years, a fond farewell. It will be moving on tomorrow as we ‘upgrade’ our vehicle situation (namely we buy a bigger car, wife drives that, and I get her Corsa (score for me :-/)). It provided Warwick University golf team loyalty and a number of memories, and despite it being a love bug and completely impractical, I love little Dennis.
Much like I love teaching.
July 13, 2011
I take it back. Full marks for Katie. Saviour!!!
Just marking a load of year 12 end of chapter tests on medical imaging. I will shortly need an MRI myself, my brain hurts from the pain I am feeling! Just thought I'd let the world know before my impending death through the shame of some of these results!
July 07, 2011
Well had my year 12s this morning who I had given the task of doing presentations to the group. They were magnificent. So delighted it coincided with a member of the leadership team coming in for an impromptu visit!!
I was totally impressed with the relevant detail they went into, and all had spent time understanding their topics to answer difficult questions at the end, more than satisfactorily. I am now in possession of 4 great exemplar presentations I can use in the future when covering gamma cameras, radio isotopes, PET scans and NMR. Love that.
In summary, independent learning is the balls! But with a prize for best presentation, I was unable to decide between 3 of them. So it will prove to be an expensive lesson once I've bought them ALL prizes :-)
Anyway, I must use this free period more wisely. I am in charge of the collapsed year 10 group this afternoon, so basically whoever is left who's not on work experience in year 10 BTEC classes. Maybe nobody here at all. We'll wiat and see.....
GTP leavers drinks Friday - woooooo! Jane is finally spending some cash on us.
Got GTP at Myton leavers night next Tuesday, a Science summer do, and two all-staff summer dos, as well as the cricket team's presentation all to come. Busy last two weeks socially.
Anyway, back to the science guitar x
July 04, 2011
Been a rather jolly week, full of firsts I guess and a number of good experiences. Since last Monday, I have continued to teach my year 7s, 9s, 10s and 12s. I am currently conducting a little experiment with the year 12s. I have to cover by the end of the term a couple of chapters of their A2 Physics, Ultrasound and Medical Imaging, which I guess come under my 'expertise' umbrella, in particular ultrasound which my PhD was based upon. I have both groups currently, and have decided to teach each topic in different ways to see how they compare and contrast. The medical imaging is what we are currently doing, and I have split the chapter into 4: radio isotopes and pharmaceuticals, gamma cameras, positron emission tomography and MRI. One class I split into 4's and gave them questions on two of the tasks to researchand answer, with the aim to eventually go on and teach those topics to another group who hadn't covered those tasks, who would return the favour by teaching them their topics. The other group I have given one task to, and asked them to produce a powerpoint presentation ready for this week. Will keep you updated which one produces the better peer work and results....
We have senior leadership team learning walks last week and this, and I have been hit twice now by the head teacher in lessons. Still waiting to receive feedback, but the classes were impeccably behaved, even if their uniform wasn't.
My year 9s are currently doing a mock coursework in preparation for their GCSE coursework next year, which has now been set by OCR. The controlled assessments are pretty good actually, and in all honesty, though more difficult than the old coursework, is more a test of science ability and understanding the general process. I like it, and although they have struggled a bit with the writing up of their experiments (apparently, they did this with their other teacher), their plans and experimental work were awesome. I will miss that class immensely next year.
I also had my first antenatal class last week. Ask me a question on the three stages of labour, dare you! Bet I know the answer.
Thursday was the first industrial action I have ever been involved with. I went to school and had an extraordinarily productive day. I created a dummy dataset and plan for said year 9 coursework, and wrote another couple of lesson plans for the new SoL which I won't teach next year! It is still a shame that kids miss out on school because of a pension issue, and I think I would struggle to strike ever unless my job was in danger. More important things in life to worry about than the odd few £'s here or there, or working an extra year or so. I'm just glad to be alive you know!
Thursday did end on a massive high, with the Myton Summer Music Concert. 100+ pupils were involved, and they were outstanding. It is annoying to know I taught a load of them and had no idea how much musical talent they had across a whole range of instruments and genres. But it was a night to be proud of being associated with Myton.
Friday was the year 11 going into 12 induction day, and a chance to promote A-Levels etc. I was left in charge of Physics as I am the only one readily available in school currently. I did two sessions, and played my liquid nitrogen trump card and think I provided a very insightful and entertaining 30 minutes for those who came to each session. Had 16 to the first one, and 30 to the second, so every chance of 3 AS Physics groups next year, which will be epic. Lots of my form their too, and it does add to my regret that I will not be there to teach them next year.
And I write this having returned from Alton Towers. An annual trip for year 11 normally done earlier on in the year prior to exams as a last social activity but taken out of the calender to be brought back in late through public demand.... 12 from each of my form groups went on the trip, and had an awesome day despite the queueing, and yet again the good byes became emotional for some.
This is the review of my week. I hope it was insightful!
See you GTPites at the varsity on Friday for our goodbye drinks.