October 04, 2011

Observation Week – Monday

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.


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