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October 24, 2011

Bit of 1st term NQT reflection

Well well well.

Really interesting 4 weeks since the birth of my daughter (who is exceedingly awesome).

My two weeks paternity got cut short due to a cheeky Ofsted visit. My being there would have made it a lot easier for the school in terms of cover and enabling the very helpful SLTs who were covering my GCSE classes in particular, so I volunteered. Good Samaritan me.

It was a funny experience. Lots of stress, the pressure to write lesson plans for every lesson seemed to be unbearable to some. Coming straight out of the GTP year however, it was honestly water of a ducks back. Lesson plan writing was as standard for the majority of lessons, and the threat of being observed isn't too bad given as a GTP I was observed once or twice a week formally and informally every lesson pretty much. Only two science teachers were observed in the end, and me in my caravan were spared any judgement. Still, I now have a real idea what the inspection process is like.

During paternity, I popped into my local subway for a bit of breakfast (on my birthday infact), and caught 4 students I teach truanting. What is great is I reported it, and the parents have really got involved and acted upon it. The students also know they did wrong, and have taken the punishments they received in the right way. Guess it is showing my school has developed good relationships with parents, who trust them, and also have the relevant communication channels in place to sort out these problems.

On returning, I found out I had been teaching 2 of my GCSE classes the wrong module, having been misinformed at the start of the year. A tad infuriating, but we have made really good progress in preparation for their exam resits in November. I have a revision day during half term with them, so hopefully they'll be performing awesomely come Nov 8th and 15th.

For those on the GTP, I admit I had my doubts when I took a job elsewhere to where I trained, I guess familiarity would have been a comfort over the summer months. But I am finding it so good being somewhere else which is a total contrast to my training school. I am still learning each day, and having to adapt things I have done previously to suit the new classes I teach.

Chris Foy. Useless. Again Chelsea were robbed yesterday. Stellar display by the 9 men. QPR disgust me. Always have. I did once see Dennis Wise score a worldy there in 1992. Overhead spectacular.

Have a good half term!

May 08, 2011

It's all about the money money money

If I hear one more year 7-11 girl sing that song in my lesson..... I'll explode. But it is kinda true for me this week too.

Let's reflect on my week of wisdom impartment on the next generation.

Monday - bank holiday. All my lessons went perfectly. Oh wait, I didn't have any :-) Played golf, and played alright. Dropped off the wife at the airport who was off to Paris for 5 days for a conference. Bad news - I had to cook all week. But in better news I didn't have to feel so guilty about staying up til beyond midnight planning lessons and interrupting her beauty sleep.

Tuesday was a busy day. Totally full. I had planned a little in advance and had booked a couple of computer room based lessons, which were very much student led. I was a tad annoyed with my year 9 class, not with the students, but by English. They have arranged a series of lessons on Shakespeare off timetable, and it seems to interrupt my lesson more than most! Tuesday night (see previous blog) was quality, with our year 11's heading to the Ricoh arena for the Cov Telegraph Cup Final. Had a blast, and I think my behaviour (which was entirely positive by the way) has earned me some serious credibility with the year 11s. The 20+ years of going to Stamford Bridge may have been painful at times, but it sure does prepare you for chanting! I also had my first mentor meeting in a month, due to Easter and an illness, and it was great to have a proper chat with my rather awesome mentor.

Now Wednesday was a funny day. Period 1, awaiting for my 'lovely' year 10s who I was observed with by both my Warwick tutors last term. They are very mixed ability double science set, and their last exam marks range from A*-E. But it is a relatively small class, 18, and we do have a good laugh despite some of he characters in there. However, 9 new people racked up Wednesday, having being moved from triple sets. Thankfully I got an email that lunchtime informing me, 2 and a half hours after the lesson, that I would be getting 9 new people, some of which have exams coming up, and some who do not..... Mind blowing! Only 4 lessons in the day, but I did get a cheeky parents evening to cap it off. Again, was really good fun, and was my 3rd one of the year.

Thursday is my mental day this week. Tutorial, teaching all 5 lessons, break duty and a lunch duty, and after school had an ICT training session for us GTPs. Busy! lessons went pretty well, and I got observed with a year 13 class. Thought it important before they head off an study leave for me to get a few Q14's ticked off doing A-level lessons for my folder of evidence. When I say folder, I mean 300 ring binders. How much stuff do we accumulate?

Friday was good. Only two lessons, a bit of numeracy support was given to a fellow GTP who has their skills test coming up. One of the lessons was with my now 50% bigger year 10 class, who had been a tad naughty the day before with their other teacher. I was a little worried, but my new seating plan worked out ok, and I put a lot of energy in to keep them onside. A few bad jokes and my ability to make analogue to digital an exciting topic later, I was really happy with the relationship we struck up and the positive ethos and banter in the room! Week finished with a year 12 pub quiz (done in a lab (oh, don't give year 12's caffeiene, they go crazy)), picking up the wife from Brum airport, and then seeing John Bishop. He was rather funny.

So all about the money, money, money? Well it was a financially beneficial week for me I must say. I have been struggling to be honest on the GTP wage compared to where I was at before, with my expensive hobbies, paying the mortgage etc. Petrol has been a killer for me, as I have a round 40 mile trip each day to and from Myton. To keep on top of it, I have started doing some tutoring. Having joined a website, I have actually been inundated with requests to help with AS Physics in particular. I guess there are not many physicists about, well I am the only left on the GTP course at Warwick. That fact also has helped me with my salary next year at my new job. I guess I impressed at interview, as the starting salary I am getting was a rather pleasant surprise, and I am also getting a retainer at the end of each year too subject to satisfactory improvements being observed. With a baby on the way, I was pretty thrilled with that too. And I also received confirmation I would be receiving some money from Myton for a couple of revision days I did with my year 12s over Easter out of the kindness of my heart.

Enough about me, it is time to focus on Chelsea. One of my best days at University was in my first term in first year. So probably end of November, start of December 2001. We were away v Man U, and I watched it in the Airport bar at Warwick. As it was 2001, pre-Abramovich, Ranieri in charge, I was possibly one of only 4 Chelsea supporters at Warwick, and I was certainly the only on watching it on the big screen at the Airport bar. The place was packed, with Man U's usual eclectic fanbase from across the world represented (none from Manchester mind), they were treated to a feast of footballing brilliance. 3-0 to the Chels, I may have had a few choice words to say to a few of those Man U fans, my one man singing army was a joy to my ears. Anyway, I will be delighted if that could be replicated today.

Everyone keep trucking, if you had Q10-21 last Friday, hope it went well, if it is this or next Friday (I'm 8.30am this Friday) lets all nail it! I look forward to seeing Gill again!

Stevo x

March 27, 2011

Angle of Reflection


Had a pretty crazy week. Very busy, two full days in there somewhere, two observations, a glorious week of weather which seems to equal students becoming nut-cases..... then my year 11 form groups have been split up into ability groups for the remainder of the year (ridiculous in my opinion, but I'll be glad if proven wrong)....

Well if I reflect on the start of the week. Decent enough Monday. Observed some year 13 stuff, and had a pretty neat lesson with my year 10s. I am having to become pretty innovative to cram in so much content into such a short time. I will have to give them A LOT of homework over Easter. Had 4 lessons Tuesday, and I was pretty pleased with them too. My BTec class again were impeccable, and I feel this is one of my biggest achievements to date in terms of building a relationship with a class. the class is littered with apparent 'trouble', but they are truly splendid. I will miss them next year! Then Wednesday came. My 1st lesson was potentially awesome, but the class arrived late, the projector failed, and my demonstrations didn't work so well.... awesome! I was observing my year 7 class who are still being taught by another teacher during this time, and it was pretty shocking. Not the teaching, but the behaviour of some. My year 8 class was possibly the worst lesson I've experienced so far all year, with one student being particularly vulgar towards another and to be honest it just made me pretty sad about the whole thing. My lunch was spent sorting that out, contacting the relevant people etc. No rest for the wicked however, with two further lessons to go.

My period 5 lesson, I tried something different and it worked a dream. Just started a topic on electricity generation. I made a poster, stuck three copies of it outside the classroom. Got them into groups of 3, and I randomly called 1, 2 or 3, and that person would go outside, look at the poster and transfer as much info onto an A3 sheet as they could, with the idea they replicate the poster I had made. The class got very competitive (drawings on hand, photos on phones....) but it was done in really good spirit and they did some exceptional work. It cheered me up :-)

Thursday was another 5 lesson day. Year 9 again and some consolidation of the poster work. Year 12 followed by year 13 (first time I had taught that class and it went really well), a lesson with my 3rd year 10 class talking about my life story pretty much given my familiarisation with ultrasound, x-rays and gamma rays, followed by my BTec class again. Tiring, but really happy day. Was observed that day with the year 9's, and feedback was pretty good. Need to work on the relevance of my plenaries. Friday was a quieter day, just two lessons with my year 12 monkeys and my year 10 double set, and overall pretty good. Was observed by senior leadership teaching the year 12 class (my first post 16 observation - something I needed to sort out too (tick)) and feedback was positive. Good old potential dividers.

Then Friday night, went to the school production of Treasure Island. 6 of my form were in it, and I was very proud, and topped off a good end to the week after a wobbly middle!

So the weekend.... loads of lessons to prepare for.... Folders to get ready for my Q1-9 assessment this week, a Masters to write, more lessons to prep for.... 2 subject knowledge enhancements courses to attend this week too. When time is short, the one thing you don't need is the clocks going forw... What do you mean they are going forward by an hour in 25 minutes time? That really sucks!

Big hand to the England cricket team who produced their most comprehensive peformance of the world cup today. I also want to give a big hand to Fabio Capello for choosing the right captain, and hopefully he notices that England are a much better team without Barry and Gerrard in there. Better balance, better footballers.

Come on the Chels!

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