All entries for Tuesday 04 October 2011
October 04, 2011
The second day gone, and I'm even more tired! I have a feeling this blog entry will be much shorter than yesterday's...
As we waited to start our day, my Professional Studies group stood and chatted about tomorrow morning - while most of us are in school, one brave member has volunteered to represent us on a panel which talks over the issues/positives of our Enhanced Partnership. We all seemed to agree that it was a valuable experience, and being back in school was brilliant. But we also said there was a definite (and frustrating) element of disorganisation.
Tomorrow we are going to be in a primary school for half a day (more about that in the next entry!) and we knew absolutely nothing about it until last period today. While that is not at all the school's fault - the primary schools have been a little lax with replying to emails - it's an illustration of the frustration we've all felt over the past few weeks.
Nevertheless, I'm excited for tomorrow! Living with three primary PGCE students has made me keen to spend some time with the really little people... we'll see whether I change my mind after tomorrow morning.
So... back to today! I preferred it to yesterday. There was less free time and things were more interactive. The students were often doing group work so we got to walk around and talk to them about their work and school generally. Talking to the year 7s about how they were finding secondary school after just a few weeks gave me some real insight, which I'm hoping I will add to tomorrow.
We also saw Geography today (very useful, seeing as I might end up teaching some of it!) but stuck mostly with History. Seeing three different teachers was really interesting for me, especially comparing things like behaviour management techniques, use of questioning and choice of resources. I took a lot of notes today! How much of it I've taken in is slightly a different issue... although writing this, I feel quite hopeful. I'm looking forward to tomorrow afternoon, when we will be reunited with our PS group and given time to reflect together. I have a feeling tomorrow may be the most useful day of this week, but you'll have to read tomorrow's entry to find out!
So today was the first day of my Observation Week. This is also my first blog entry, so I guess I should begin with some reflection about the course so far.
Well I moved to Coventry just over three weeks ago now (wow! Feels like ages), and I still haven't been into Coventry centre. That's probably a good illustration of just how busy I've been... it also shows how disorientated I still am. After three weeks I was hoping that I would feel settled, but I'm more overwhelmed than ever! There's a lot of information coming at us very fast, and we have very little time to actually sit and take it in. I'm ashamed to admit (although I know I'm not alone) that the 9-5 has been taking it's toll. Despite all that I am enjoying myself. I think I'm in the right place, Warwick seems to be inspirational and focused on development on a personal and professional level, and on the general progress of education. I've thought about things I'd never considered before and I feel like my mind is really being opened.
This is the first year of Enhanced Partnership and I have to say I'm really enjoying it. Personally it's been a good few months since I was last in a school and I've really missed it. A lot of theory has been thrown our way over the past three weeks and it was a relief to be able to see it in practice and relate it to something concrete. It might even stick!
Today was a subject day, the first chance I've had to see some history lessons. The history teacher was rather surprised to find the three of us stood eagerly in front of him, having just returned from a trip to France, and he did a great job of looking after us for the day. We saw a good variety of ages and class sizes, and also saw some other subjects (KS3 Values and A2 Politics, neither of which I'd ever seen before). At first I started taking notes in my notebook. I knew mostly what I was looking for, having had a good read of the Observation Booklet over the weekend. My notes were a little random (and possibly too detailed?) but when we had some spare time I transferred my thoughts into the actual booklet. To be honest both were helpful. It meant I went over my thoughts and observations twice. The teacher was extremely helpful, especially in answering our questions. I was also really glad to have two other History PGCE students so we could talk over what we'd seen. We looked at some resources and chatted to some of the students.
At the end of the school day I found myself surprisingly tired! It turns out real observation takes a lot of concentration. But the day had been definitely worthwhile. Even after one day I feel like all the theory has finally been grounded in something concrete, and I haven't actually done anything yet! I guess I'll finish with... roll on tomorrow.