All entries for March 2013

March 13, 2013

Complementary Complimentary

With the best will in the world I intended to update this blog regularly and make it a work of such reflective mastery that it would be studied by trainee teachers for centuries to come. Somewhere down the line however it became mid-March and I'm nearly finished my complementary placement. Cobblers.

So how has it been going?

Well the Autumn term really was tough. It was so long, and so dark... I get a bit of SADS at the best of times, the burdens of teacher training didn't really help. But I made it. Since then things have felt disjointed to be honest. After Xmas we had two weeks at Uni, then in the land of kings we only had 3 weeks before Feb half term, which led straight into comp placement which is where I am now. So I've not really felt settled and 'in routine' since before Xmas which is a shame.

Complementary has been great. Pretty cushy if I'm honest. For one thing my timetable is greatly reduced here. Secondly it is a department where they all follow the same schemes of learning, immaculately resourced and all sitting waiting for me in the staff shared area. Where's me memory stick...

Consequently I have been free of the planning burden for the last four weeks and it has been lovely to be so. It's interesting the way some departments work like this... very prescriptive and with resources shared by all teachers. In my main school they're fairly autonomous and all three History teachers do their own thing. It would've been 90% easier to have trained at the complementary school, but would I have learnt as much? I doubt it. Lesson planning is a huge trauma but you need to know how to do it! It's just a shame they don't tell you at Uni!

Complementary placement has reinforced some of my early observations:

1. It's so important to know names. Behaviour management is useless if you're trying to catch someone's eye and saying things like 'you there! excuse me! yes, you!'. Nightmare.

2. You need to build a solid working relationship with your students. I know and they know that I'm only here for a few weeks. It does have an impact in all sorts of ways. Luckily they're mainly a nice bunch.

3. Teaching is an unnatural act. After the extended Xmas break (including time at Uni) I needed to regain 'match fitness'. Lessons felt exhasuting again and quite nerve wracking. This is why the summer holidays are both heaven and hell!

I've been applying for jobs and have had two interviews. This felt like a huge step as I was confronted with the prospect of becoming a 'real' teacher, on my own with no mentor to run to! The interviews both went well but in both cases they appointed an experienced teacher. A shame, but nothing you can do about that. If they'd appointed a rival trainee that would've stung. Job hunting just adds to the workload though. The applications take hours, then there's the preparation for the lesson. Not good.

I am looking forward to going back to my main school for the run in. I really do want to hone my craft now, and really think about my PDP.

I miss going into Uni on Fridays. We really bonded and the camaraderie was lovely. We were all in the same boat and comforted each other. If anyone is reading this, I miss you guys!

March 2013

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