### 5 days of School

I've relaxed for four months, and certainly cultivated bad habits of waking up late and sleeping late as well. The past 5 years of waking up at 6am has faded away from my mind, when I could be enthusiastic and so awake for my classes that my students often asked me the reasons for my perpetual energy in class. So I realised how lazy I had become when I had to wake up at 6am for the past 5 days (Mon to Fri). Mon and Tue were spent volunteering for 2 hours each day at School W, and I had not realised that I missed teaching so much until I sat down in front of two girls and was told to teach them "integration by parts". I thought my role was more of a remedial/revision tutor, but apparently I was brought in to teach the concepts which had not been taught before. The teacher, another volunteer and I sat down at three tables with 7 to 8 students (A level class sizes are so small here) and taught them integration.

I am keen to apply the formative practices I've learnt, and after going through the idea of integration by parts and demonstration of one example, I asked the students to do another example by themselves, and did not answer them straightaway if they were stumped. The "wait time" strategy does work to communicate to students that they shouldn't do random guessing but think before they move on to the next step. I also did not answer even after they obtained the correct answer, and made sure that they were very sure of their own working and checking after which I told them that they were correct. I certainly do think that we can do much more to improve on questioning skills to promote more learner autonomy and reliance on teachers' judgement. On Tuesday, I revised Normal distribution with three boys. It is certainly different from Singapore because they do not have graphic calculators and used a z-table that looks different from the one that I used for A levels when I was 18! The questions were quite routine, but I was quite sure that at least 2 of the boys managed to understand most of what was required. However, they required more help than the two girls I taught on the first day.

Another interesting thing is that since the students are taught modularly (Core maths, statistics, mechanics, decision), they could be doing several chapters in one week.

On Wed to Fri I went to School S in Coventry city centre, and was totally amazed by the excellent facilities. Since I went there from 8.30 to 3.30 each day I was able to make more than 10 lesson observations, followed tutors to their pastoral care sessions, staff meetings, and chatted with them in the lounge. The head mathematics teacher allowed me to do a pitch to the teachers requesting for help in my dissertation project, and I am very glad that at least 3 have responded. In fact, I am glad that they treated me just like a staff member, not minding my very intrusive lesson observations and chatting with me and showing me their marking, etc. I have often wondered if Singapore teachers would be so willing to let an education student go into their classrooms.

I probably will be extremely busy in the next two months planning and acting on my plans for my dissertation, and writing two more assignments. I am glad to have received excellent feedback (and a good grade! yay) for my first assignment, and just submitted another today. However, I am also looking forward to 2 more trips this month, one to London and another to Cardiff.