October 05, 2011

Random Reflections, Marvellous Musings and Poetic Ponderings

The focus of last week’s Professional Studies was BfL (Behaviour for Learning) and AfL (Asessment for Learning). We discussed practical tips for assessing the pupil learning that has happened before, during and after a lesson. I now have a new exciting ‘AfL toolkit’... basically just a box brimming with crafty gimmicks that can be used in the classroom for formatively assessing pupil progress. So I’m stocked up on post-it notes, string, pegs, raffle tickets, stickers, mini white-boards and lolly pop sticks. This was my try-hard attempt to feel more like a teacher. Do I feel more like a teacher as a result? Not just yet.

I also bought myself a personal laminator and some laminating sleeves: potentially the single most invigorating way I could have spent my Saturday afternoon. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind (or something along those lines).

But on a more serious note, I feel like more things are going in and staying in. I am absorbing information with much more efficiency whilst developing a strong sense of self-efficacy. I am constantly intrigued by the new things I am learning. Teaching is most certainly NOT mutually exclusive of learning.

During our Subject Studies sessions this week we have witnessed some priceless examples of good drama teaching by a certain Mr Jonothan Neelands (KS3 Hamlet) and Miss Rachel Dickinson (KS2 The Conquerers). These workshops were unforgettable examples of how to make learning experiential. This is something I have been constantly challenged by during the course so far: how do we make learning a memorable experience for our pupils, whilst also controlling behaviour, assessing progress and monitoring improvement? Food for thought.

But for now, a cheeky little poem:

I have a trendy jacket; I bought some shiny shoes,

I swotted up on APP, but still I’m left confused.

I’m happy with observing, I take notes like a pro,

But when it comes to teaching kids there’s so much more to know.

I know about assessment, I know about tool kits,

But just the thought of marking work gives me sweaty pits.

“She’s very well behaved”, my teachers always said,

But when it comes to BfL I’m filled with anxious dread.

I like to think I’m clever; I have a posh degree,

But neither helps when scary kids are shouting things at me.

I’d love to be outstanding, be great at what I teach,

But still my wish to be the best feels slightly out of reach. 

I don’t know why I’m rhyming, it doesn’t make much sense,

I find it helps me shape my thoughts when I’m feeling tense.

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