November 09, 2011

PP1 Entry 1

So I'm 3 days into my first block placement in my PGCE and half way through my teaching for this week having had 1 lesson on Monday and 3 consecutive lessons yesterday.

I was really nervous for my first lesson, Period 1 on Monday morning, top-set Yr9 and Physics (!! my fear factor). Actually, it didn't go too badly :) I had included a few student modelling activities and there was quite a mix of reactions to this. A few of the students (mostly the boys) were really quite up for it but the rest of the class seemed rather timid and it didn't go down quite as well as I'd imagined and the space in the room is quite awkward to work with. The class teacher gave positive feedback on the use of student modelling though so I might give it another go once I've got to know the class a little better. A Yr8 class the following day however loved the student modelling activity I'd planned. Maybe it's a Yr9 self-consciousness thing, or maybe the groups just have a different energy. It remains to be seen as I continue working with them. My low confidence led to a slight confusion in the discussion of longitudinal vs transverse waves but the class stuck with it and we seemed to work it out together.

My big issue with the first lesson, and also with one of the lessons yesterday, was timing, though in another I did very well on sticking to timings. I think the main issue is just not knowing the groups well enough to judge how much we can cover in one lesson and how long can be spent on each aspect of the SoW.

Monday morning already seems a lifetime ago...yesterday I had a double period either side of lunch with my lower set Yr9. After lunch I did the food tests practical, which my mentor (their usual teacher) later told me was the most complicated practical I would ever run. It actually went ok. The students could have done with a little more directions, I'd let them get on with it hoping that that would give more time to get more done. This might depend upon the group, but I'll definitely give more clear instructions and time limits next time. In the final lesson, I did my first demonstration, the space tube bell. All went well but the kids were definitely less settled in the afternoon. It felt like it might require more careful planning for afternoon lessons in terms of transitions.

All in all, it's been a good start, better than I'd expected and I can clearly see where I can work on things. The Science Department have made me feel very welcome and have been so supportive. I think one of my targets, outside lessons, is to use even more of the resources available at the school, it's taking time to get used to their procedures and how to get into the resource files.

That's all for now, lesson plans beckon! :)

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