Writing about web page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RC0DdrHbGg
Well it's the final week of the month and, like many around the land, I am starting to feel a bit like Jermain and Bret....Friday and payday can't come soon enough! So while I say in, hunt for coins down the side of the couch and write this blog amongst other things ... let’s 'reflect' on what on the whole seemed quite a disjointed week.
Monday had returned to us with its customary yell from the alarm clock and I was finally back at school getting to do some teaching! A welcome break from the weekend where Mr McLeish and his eleven muppets...I mean puppets seem determined to ruin any visit to different city by not turning up for 45 minutes, getting a lead and then shooting themselves in the foot by scoring own goals ... sorry about that rant over. So Monday and teaching....
It was great to be back in the classroom after the few days away at uni the previous week. Today I had year 9 and year 7s with a year 11 class thrown into the mixer. With the year 9 class I got to try out one of the new tactics for controlling the behaviour issues I ran into last week...and it sort of worked a bit. The kids actually got some work done and we managed to complete most of the lesson. At points it was a struggle though and one thing I have learnt from the lesson is that I need to control my frustration. But I look forward to next week and seeing what will happen as I plan to do a practical with them...
Year 7 lessons are always fun and the big overall theme from the two lessons today was that I need to improve on my AfL! I found myself being rather pleased with myself that we had managed to cover everything I had planned and a number had done that much work they had moved onto my extension work sheets....then it dawned on me that I had no idea how the kids felt about the lesson and if they understood everything that had been covered.
Something that is rather important in this teaching lark!
It's again one of those things that are so fundamental and easy to forget...allowing enough time at the end of the lesson for a quick recap. I had tried to do a thumbs up/thumbs down true or false quiz with my second year 7 class however this was a bit of rushed addition to the lesson after AfL being noted in a previous observation - the problem with thumbs up and down being that every pupil can see each other and 'go with the flow'! Next week I am planning more appropriate plenary to try and cover this issue.
From all of the lessons so far I have found that being an expert in juggling should be high on the list of standards and at the bare minimum be put on to the qualifications needed to get on the GTP course. You finally get used to something and think you're getting the hang of it when another ball is thrown in and throws you off your timing! This is a skill I am having to learn very quickly and can only improve with experience.
And that was it for teaching this week...one whole day!
On the Wednesday I was out of school and off to a special school. This was a fascinating and very enjoyable visit. It was great to see how the children with severe SEN are provided for and how the whole school and the lesson plans are geared to dealing with not only mental/physical needs to learn, but also the emotional and behavioural support offered to the children and young adults from primary level to sixth form. This experience has opened my eyes and made me realise how little I knew before. I now know what focuses I need to write on that sheet for the complementary placement and more than that I feel this is an area I really want to be involved in and I am going to become active through work and volunteering.
Thursday was spent at Uni during the day but by night I was finger deep in food colouring, PVA glue and Borax. It was open evening and I was in the Science club room making SLIME!! I can some this night up in three words...Fun but exhausting. Getting to meet the year 6 kids from all over the area was great and the look on their faces when they got to make and play with the slime was awesome. It was a chance to meet parents for the first time as well so this was a real learning curve and great to see just how involved the parents want to be in their kid’s education.
Of course the parents had loads of questions....now being a GTP student with the mammoth number of 11hours real teaching experience I was in no position to start answering most of them...so I had to pick and chose my answers and figure out where the other members of staff were (luckily we had two in the room!) as to make sure the school had a year 7 cohort next year!
So that was the adventure away from uni this week. At uni the subject sessions rolled on. Some of the points that are brought up are interesting and some are very useful. I do feel however that we GTPers are forgotten some what as everything is so focused on introducing concepts to the PGCE crowd. I can't speak for everybody but I do feel that being in school gives us a working knowledge of the key concepts being put across in the sessions and we could do with something more appropriate. At the moment I feel I can learn more in an hour at school than in a day at uni.
Having said that though it was nice to be given a whole morning to plan a 15 minutes teaching when it’s normally 15minutes to plan a whole mornings teaching!!!!!
So there we go until next week and to quote Craig Charles from Tekeshi's castle that is playing in the background....
As my old man used to say the bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.....Sayonara!