July 13, 2011

Medical drama

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

Year 12s, wow.

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

Week in the life of a GTP who has no university commitments….


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.

Steve-o x

June 26, 2011

Living for the Weekend! Top tune Hard Fi

What a decent few days!

Friday was a quality day. Taught a couple of nice lessons, including a class I hadn't met before. A top set year 9, and it was my first experience of a top set at Myton. Pleasure! Courteous, intelligent, polite, inquisitive. Must be boring to teach that all the time. Year 12s are going nicely with the year 13 stuff I am teaching them (medical imaging), and overall a good day. I was also one of 5 members of staff in the science department (out of more than 20) to work a 5 day working week. Still yet to have a day off for anything other than GTP commitments which I had to have off. Illness yet to strike!

I did leave my phone in the classroom I taught in the final lesson Friday, which was discovered by another teacher. She then rang a few people to let them know I didn't have my phone, including wifey. Wifey was a little perturbed a woman was speaking on my phone to her! :-)

Year 11 prom was class, and it was a really good night all round despite the weather. And string in the beef! Will possibly be the last time I see a lot of my form ever again, which is a little sad, and I guess it is something I will have to get used to as students come and go. but 11M and 11Y will always be my first form groups, and I only have fond memories!

And from the prom and getting in at 2am, to a majestic performance on the golf course yesterday at Brocton Hall. Must win match for North Warwickshire GC in the West Mids scratch league, and we pulled it off 4.5-3.5, and I am not going to lie, I played pretty mint. And I love that!

Learnin walks from Leadership Team start in science this week, any lesson, any time, so busy writing lesson plans to make myself look organised! 2 of my three lessons tomorrow are controlled assessments (in a way), so not a lot I can do really.

4 weeks left, and that'll be year 1 done.

June 24, 2011

Strike onnnnnnnnnnneeee!

Been a while,

The days are passing me by somewhat, the lessons I teach are constantly interupted by trips, sports day, exams etc. Never really sure until the lesson what I will be faced with in terms of numbers.

I am kind of wishing I was a PGCE right now. The ones at our school left on Wednesday, and are off to start at their new schools in some cases, and I would like to be doing that too now to be honest. Guess that would give these last 4 weeks much more purpose and direction, whereas currently, it seems the school, department and students are just ambling through, going through the motions.

But yep, am currently up trying to plan an adventurous lesson for my nutter year 10s tomorrow. I do love them, but I need to entertain to keep them on task. Lesson is including a scooter and snooker balls so far, and the aim is to get everyone running up stairs and then calculating the work done and power in each individual case.

Year 11 prom tomorrow, I am ridiculously excited for whatever reason! Reacquaint with my awesome tutees, might even buy them a drink (if drink prices are not extortionate...). White tux at the dry cleaners, will pick that up after school tomorrow in preparation for being the event's 'bouncer'. Cannot wait to turn away some drunk year 11s :-)

Not really sure what to make of this strike nonsense. I cannot say I am one for striking, there are much more effective ways to cause havoc! The idea of industrial action when some teachers cannot because of the Union they are in makes no sense to me. I think it should have been done at a time when all Unions agreed to strike together (or not as the case may have been). I am also a realist, and recognise that at 28, this decision isn't going to affect me massively, it will be the 4 or 5 subsequent proposed changes over the coming decades that will severely influence my pension. The country is silly debt, and realistically I'd rather we got rid of that, and then got ourselves in order with fairer pension schemes and such. I honestly got into teaching to hopefully inspire a generation of physicists, and me not being in school will not help that cause either. So yep, that is my ill-informed opinion on that one!

Hope all final assessments have gone well for all of us, and the exam board are in a good mood next week!


June 16, 2011

Forum night

Well here I am,

It is a Thursday evening, red bull to the right of me, custard creams to the left, and I'm set up with the laptop. Tomorrow is year 11 D-Day for Physics, their final exam in the afternoon. Was in school til just before 6pm tonight with some year 11 stalwarts (mainly from my form, and they mainly chatted about One Tree Hill and Neighbours, but hey ho) and I am on 8am - 1.30pm revision duty with them tomorrow.

But tonight, we have set up a physics forum, where they can post any questions. So far there are 12 up there, and I have had to answer 2 of them. Other students have been able to answer them on behalf of me, which is great to see. Will see how it transpires through the night I guess, but hopefully this will be of use to some.

Played cricket tonight for the Myton staff team vs Warwick school. I cannot see myself teaching in a private school, but the facilities I saw were unbelievable. I appreciated the wickets they produced too, it made my bowling look epic. 3 overs, 1 maiden, 7 runs for 3 wickets. Then the rain came..... and boy did it pour down. We had them on the ropes too, little Myton Comprehensive, had them at 86-6 through 16 overs!! I was pretty confident I have to say we could continue to take wickets and knock off the runs too. But never mind.

Did a tutor freeze this morning, where form groups stay together during period 1. As my form have departed I was assigned to a year 8 form to help. They were doing debates, and included topics such as age limits on facebook, whether boys should have to do up their top bottoms, whether girls should wear trousers.... Was quite interesting, and highly entertaining. The voting was a quite predictable. Boys voting for the boys debating, girls voting for girls, regardless of the opinion, but think the exercise was useful to them. So well done 8Y!

So yeah, that's my day in a nutshell (including a couple of uneventful lessons). Hope yours was good. Well done to Alison, Ruthie and Jess who I have seen have waltzed through final assessment this week. Proud of you all!


June 14, 2011

Time is running out

So then.

From September 1st until June 14th. Have had 24 observations, 5 of which from University tutors, and the final one took place today.

It went really well, was a year 12 lesson on ultrasound in medicine. With a PhD in ultrasound, it is something I can talk about for a long, long, long, long time. I guess my enthusiasm for this branch of Physics was evident in the lesson!

Had a very productive chat after the lesson with my subject tutor, who congratulated me. He was perhaps the most intimidating character of all those who assessed me, but he has been extremely thorough in his analysis of my lessons and feedback has always been constructive. So thanks for that.

So this is kinda the end of my GTP course in a way. I have completed everything for the University side now, and await confirmation of me obtaining QTS on June 29th, and also what mark they suggest I am awarded.

Still have 5 and a half weeks of teaching, and at some point soon, I will comment on events of last Friday (year 11 leavers assembly). I have very strong views on the matter, just waiting til my mind can articulate the feelings in a constructive way (otherwise I may eventually end up in trouble).

Hope everyone is ok, and it is good to see many people on facebook making reference to passing final assessments! Keep it going.

Steve x

June 08, 2011

Tick Tock

Tell you something for free.

I'm knackered!

I miss my form group obviously, but this extra 25 minutes in the morning has been quite relaxing so far today! printed off and cut out all my resources, loaded up my powerpoints etc. Just awaiting lessons to begin. Hyperactive year 10s to begin. They have Jeremy Clarkson to entertain them for part of their lesson today. wooooo.

Anyway, that has passed 2 minutes of the waiting....

By the way, listened to Idlewild this morning driving to school. They are, and always will be, amazing.

June 07, 2011

Red Bull gives you…. Qualified Teacher Status* (*exam board confirmation pending)

Well, just in case any of you GTPs read this blog still, here is what happened during my final assessment day.....

Well Red Bull for breakfast provided the ideal nutritional values required to survive a relatively epic day. Visited Bedfordshire at 4am having had one heck of a night, including a cheeky 3am visit to Tesco (huzzah to 24 hour supermarkets) for a printer cartridge (boo to shoddy HP printers letting you down in times of need), and up at 6am as I always am for school. I had a list of 3 things I needed to print off from school and stick in my folders, dropped them off, and onwards to head teacher briefing...

I then had 48 minutes to plan two cover lessons for periods 2 and 3 whilst I was supposedly busy being assessed. This was a fun exercise. Or not. Still, good experience to set cover work, and on reflection of the work completed by both classes and the comments made by the cover supervisors, they were obviously suitable.

Having met with both my school based mentors, my professional link met with me at 10.10am, scheduled to go on til 11.30am. The meeting / assessment was relatively surreal. We went straight into Q27 (feedback) and Q28 (reflection of students), looked at a witness statement from a TA from a complimentary school, and the assessment diverted to a course of me really plotting my career as a teacher. It is my duty from this point forth to improve myself as a teacher, but also to improve others as teachers, so my good practise will influence all students in a school, not just the ones I see.

It really was not a stressful experience, and although I could not be told whether I had passed or failed, my mentor at school said tonight in my mentor meeting she'll eat her boots if I haven't passed. They do look tasty though.

Period 3 was sidelined for lesson planning for periods 4 and 5 (had not even thought about those flaming lessons) but I got dragged into an impromptu year 11 revision session for triples doing Biology and the doubles doing their final exam. OCR Biology module 6 is bloody difficult! Required a serious amount of blag, and a crafty amount of 'you tell me'. But as always, lovely to see the mighty 11M and 11Y tutees in school.

Two afternoon lessons actually went really well, based on 4 minutes prep. There is something to be said for interactive whiteboards and interactive teaching resources! Though I was disappointed not to have spent more time getting ready for the lesson, I guess you have to choose what is more important at any given stage, and year 11 revision and final assessment were up quite high up on importance mountain. Still, my year 10 BTECs get to dissect some schizzle on Thursday!

Planned my three lessons for tomorrow, year 12s still on study leave so my days are still quite quiet. Year team meeting after school, then a staff cricket match. Might even grab some food. Also need to work on a script and an idea for making a good bye video for year 11 leavers assembly on Friday. Currently re-writing the lyrics to a Dizzie Rascal favourite:

'sitting here on my own, 11M have gone, revising at home,

Sitting here Slem and me, both clinically depressed, crying into our tea'.... and so on.

Good luck with final assessments GTP-ites (if anyone has the official name for the plural of a GTP, that'd be wicked)

Stevo x

Wouldn't you Adam and Eve it?

So, have my final assessment in 6 hours 49 minutes. It is 1.41am as I start this blog....

So, had a nice little evening planned, printing off some final things, making a rather awesome tracker for Hay to get blown away.... but ended up in hospital for 6 hours instead!

Anyway, whilst printing off said stuff, thought I'd reflect on my bad luck....

Good luck to all who are being assessed in the near future,


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