All entries for April 2012

April 30, 2012

The finish line appears

PPT1: Done

PPT2: Done

PPT3: Done

PPT4: Done

PPT5: Nearly done

MA1: Done

MA2: Done

AP1: Done

AP2: Done

Final observation: Upcoming

AP3: Upcoming

Standards: Referenced (almost)

The Easter holidays came and went, and what a well-timed joy they turned out to be. A week in St. Ives with my nearest and dearest followed by a week of planning, all the time making sure I was drinking as much wine and sleeping as much as possible. Also chance to touch base with wonderful old friends and remember what lovely people I'm going home to in July. The encouragement being passed to me by the super strong people who are doing their best to support me at this time is very much a 'light at the end of the tunnel' mentality which has become a fool proof coping mechanism for me in these later stages of the course. 'Ahhh but Rebecca, you can't think like that - the end of the course is only the beginning of your true journey to becoming an outstanding teacher'. I can hear the echoes of my course leaders bouncing around my brain, but I'm afraid all that matters to me right now is seeing this thing through and passing the course. I know where I'm going next (the glorious plains of Swindon), so I will reserve the real long term thinking for when I finally get there.

As I do a bit of looking back, I am amazed by just how far I have come since the start of the year. I don't want this to be an exercise in blowing my own trumpet but reflect I must so reflect I shall. Just a year ago I had never stood in front of a class and delivered a planned lesson. At least not in a scary National Curriculum, school policy, Warwick proforma, formal observation kind of way. I had only ever taught people who had chosen to be there or paid to be there, and compulsory education is a different ball game altogether. And a very competetive, challenging and rewarding ball game at that! So this has brought me to consider some of the defining moments of the year so far:

PP1 during an after school detention: ME 'Once you've caught up with the work you failed to complete in my lesson I'd like you to write me a statement about where you think you went wrong and reflect on how you can improve next lesson. Once you've done that, you can go' PUPIL 'Why? Are you even a real teacher?'

PP1 after an enjoyable Year 9 Victorian Workhouse lesson: PUPIL 'Miss, I think you are the best one of these we've ever had.' ME 'One of what?' PUPIL 'You know, a sort of half-teacher' ME 'Oh, well, thanks...'

PP1 after Year Seven Pantomime performance: 'Good Luck in the future Miss, we'll miss you' *Pupil is about to go in for a hug before checking herself and giving me an awkward smile instead*

After PP1 when my Subject Mentor sent me a text to inform me that they had started teaching my scheme of work across all classes in Year 9.

PP2 meeting my Subject Mentor for the first time: 'I have read your form from PP1, very impressive, your reputation proceeds you. I can't wait to see you teach... no pressure though'.

My MA2 handback. 77!? Are you having a laugh?

At my interview day after being offered my first ever teaching post: 'Your application was the strongest on paper and throughout the day you continued to widen the gap between you and the other candidates. Many of of the panel commented that your responses to some of the questions were suprisingly mature and insightful for someone at such an early stage in their career.'

During PP2: ME 'I wonder why he wasn't in my lesson Period 4 today, I saw him Period 3' COLLEAGUE 'No, don't worry, I heard something about him walking round school with a BB gun, I think he was probably with senior leadership during your lesson'. ME 'Oh... I see, fair enough'.

My Drama Subject Mentor during PP2: 'I really like that pit-stop thing you do in the middle of your lessons, I've started using that myself.'

Conquering my fear of teaching Year 13. Confirmation that I am older than them, and I have degree level knowledge, even if I dont always feel it.

Being left on my own with a class and realising I can actually handle behaviour, and therefore I can handle my NQT year.

Teaching two of my best English lessons on the last day of Spring Term, Period 4 and 5. And they told me I wouldn't get anything done on the last day of term...

The harsh reality that no matter how much progress you think you've made with certain individuals, every day is different and they might just decide to hate you for a day. And then love you the next day. Teenagers are brilliantly twisted.

April 2012

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