All entries for Thursday 18 October 2012
October 18, 2012
It's the last week of half term here in Leicester, so a good time for some good ol' fashioned blogging to look back at events thus far.
The time of day really matters in school. The only really miserable experience I've had so far in class was Tuesday p5, year 7. My goodness they were restless, noisy, immature, you name it. It was a bit of a battle and one I'm not sure I won. A bit dispiriting really and the kind of lesson where you go away and think 'it it me?', 'can't I control a classroom?' But I saw the same class the next day p2 and they were much better so I guess time of day does matter a lot. I also taught the samel lesson twice more this week and it went a lot better both times. So it's definitely a p5 pheomenon. Not me...
I did have one success in that class I suppose, I made a change to the seating plan and it worked. There was one side of the room which was causing me grief so I mixed it up a little bit. I felt guilty moving the 'good' girl to the 'bad' side and explained that it was nothing she'd done. She seemed fine with it.
Aside from that I've enjoyed all of my lessons which is reassuring.
My main problem seems to be timing! I am using lesson plans but always seem to run out of time! I guess I'm still trying to put too much into each lesson which is a sign of trainee anxiety about running out of things to do. I think that is the issue. I allow quite a lot of time for whole class discussion but that can't be a bad thing. I think there's also a bit too much 'me' in my lessons- I need to loosen the reigns. I'm tempted to give them everything rather than let them do some of it themselves. Again, trainee anxiety I think.
Differentiation is a headache. All History classes here are mixed ability and the range of ability within each group is quite staggering. I need to start to cater for this next term because if I'm honest I've ignored it so far. Ethically I like the idea of everyone having the same starting point and providing extension tasks for the more able. That strikes me as better than handing out 'dumbed down' material, but it's difficult.
It's really gratifying being looked to as a teacher. After a few years as a TA and Cover Supervisor, being seen, treated and respected as a bonafide teacher is nice. I'm starting to build relationships with the kids as well. It's a nice feeling. In my first few weeks there were sometimes a few sighs or groans when they found out I was taking the lesson rather than my mentor. I understand that cause he is great, but it still hurt a little and wasn't the best start to a lesson. Now I feel accepted. I even heard a yessss, it's Mr Underwoodthe other day! These things matter!!!
One thing is clear- it's getting real after half term. My timetable really kicks in full time then. I will therefore be spending most of half term planning lessons and trying to get on top of my University assignments. I don't mind though; it's a good chance to get ahead and I'm grateful for the week off to do so. I'd rather do that than have a hellish half term being swamped.
So all in all a great first half term. Can't believe how quick it's gone and I'm chuffed with what I've achieved.