Favourite blogs for Robert's blog

The Impressive Massive » All entries

June 21, 2011


I didnt get it.

I got half hour after my interview of hearing how amazing I am for my age etc...

And i got an hour long phonecall from teh head telling me Im great and the want me aswell, but dont have the money etc...

And a job offer for 2012, which is too late for me...

All im all, they got my hopes up, and then shot me down, because I wasn't bloody good enough.

And I am tired. And I had to come back from London so I am homesick...

I dont think I can go in tomorrow....I feel awful....awfl awful. Probably took it to heart more then the usual person would...


This is my first interview tomorrow. I have prepared as much as I can. I know about this knew school inside and out. I have practised my answers for possible interview questions. I am nervous, and I have a seriously long day ahead of me.

I have to leave at 6, to travel down to London for the interview. We shall see how it goes.

Now I begun to receive some sort of students teacher relationship, I feel bad leaving the year 11s. And aswell the year 9s.

I had an observation with my year 9 class the other day. I really thought about how I would engage them in the class. I differentiated, I used assessment for learning, I used different kinds of tasks, I used music, I used timers, I pulled out all the stops.

I thought it went amazing, I even heard one students say 'this is what media should be about'. We learnt about target audience, USP, colours and advertising/marketing. They had to make a fragrance for a particular target audience, and every student was interested, on task, involved, and showed a full understanding of the tasks, learning objectives, and even thanked me on the way out of the class room.

So, this is why I feel bad leaving my students, they keep telling me how they ahev been neglected by their normal teacher, and asked me if I would ever be off. Fortunately I dont teach year 9 or 11 tomorrow, so maybe they wont notice I am away!

Update tomorrow on my progress!!! wish me luck...

However - all i forgot to do, i even put it on my ppt, i even had it on my sheet, was read out the learning objectives. I could not believe it!!!! It was have been a great lesson...I feel lik'' im banging my head against a wall again.

I have had no one to introduce me to the classes, what they are doing, where they are, what their names are... and I am being cut no slack...it definitely wasn't a failed lesson.... but im being told its not good enough...

Still, my relationship with my students is getting stronger, just year 10 and yr 12 to pull back... but when you are told repeatedly that the classes you have are awful, and youll never get anything out of them, and are pointed out particular students... it is such a great feeling when you know you have got them engaged, and that they are beginning to try things for you they wouldnt for anyone else.

25th March PP2 – DIARY ENTRY

I have had a breakthrough, I have been given a mentor, albeit one who is never is class with me, or knows anything abotu media... however I have had my first 2 week late observation, and another since then. As it turns out my teaching has been quite good.

My year 11s have started to turn around. There is one girl in particular who has become a persoanl mission of mine. She is on the ABC list - a list of pupils who are on final warning before being permanently expelled. I have let them listen to music in class, and presented them with more detaield worksheets, differentiated to every students, and I have one to one meetings with them in class every week to se where they have got up to, and what they haev to do to improve. From the first meeting to the second meeting, all stduents have moved up to a distinction. I am particularly proud of my ABC girl, who has had her work deleted 3 times, and has got on with putting her coursework back together again.

She seems to have finally got some respect for me. I haev told her I am going to ring her mum if she carries on with this behaviour for another week. We shall see when the novelty of music and a new teacher kicks in. Although, I didnt leave my year 11 class quite so tight chested today.

smile - happy-full-of-myself-yeah-super-bloody-teacher-grin-


Its like banging my head against a brick wall...

This image says is all...

Not one person has even poked their little tootsie around the door to see what I am doing and if i am okay...



there is talk of me finally maybe getting a mentor,


I have a support teacher, he doesnt know how to use anything in the media department. But at least I have someone for crowd control.

He is a nice guy, but this really isnt very helpful. No one at the uni is replying, and i am trying to complete my core masters, and cct essays and sct essays, and thiese diary entries...etc

My year 12s have stopped turning up also, so I have emailed the head of sixth form.

Not to mention I have been complained about.. by an assistant principal, for sending an all staff email. I they want me to be treated like a cover teacher then I am going to act like one.

I know these entries are negative negative negative, but thats how its going!

17th MARCH – PP2

I have no included assessment for learning into my booklets. I have included self, group and peer assessment, not to mention teacher led assessment. I have also added the assessment criteria on each Assessment objective.

The classes can now begin to review and reflect on their own work. Also every student is now aware of exactly what they have to do to get a pass, merit and distinction.

The year 9s are still playing up, I have requested a support teacher (which apparently i am supposed to have anyway), and I have contacted the university for some support. Seeing as I am being used as a cover teacher for over 2 weeks now, I am beginning to panic. No one is takin gmy mentor meetings, observing me, I have no access to registers still, and no one has checked what I am teaching.

I think i am going to ring my mum tonight and seek some advice, I dont think I can do this job.


I have now put together the final booklets. My year 12s are behaving well, my year 11s do not sem liek they like me very much, and my year 9s and 10s are SO badly behaved I really do feel like quitting, its demoralising to say the least.

I feel that I should have a mentor by now, or at least someone to go to when my classes are kicking off. No one has even checked what I am teaching them! It could be anything.

And I dont really want to speak to any parents yet, I dont know how to address them or what to say.

I might try and see my professional mentor again today. And see if she will put something into action...

June 16, 2011

PP2 – 27TH February Diary Entry

This school seems very posh! The building resembles a prison, and none of the staff look very happy. There was someone crying in the staff room, and they wished us a sarcastic good luck. I have met some really supportive staff though, and I did feel quite positive about this placement . That was until...

It is my first week here, and I was supposed to be being eased into lessons..... but it turns out my mentor has gone into hospital with gallstones. Therefore I am taking over all her classes for this week. I hiep she returns, 2 of the years are starting a new unit, and there are no resources, no scheme of work, nothing. I wonder hwo she was going to teach it in the first place.

So I am walking into the abyss.... the students dont know me, I dont have at ablet so I cant show any videos or powerpoints, I havent got a photocopier code, I dont have a register, or access to a register....this is going to be hard...

I could have prepared over half term if I had known about it, but there you go.. so resourceless, mentorless, observationless.... I will be a cover teacher for the week... so here's to a proper start next week!

February 15, 2011

PP2 –The Academy

I have now started my second placement - PP2. My first impressions of the academy are its well organised, and the presentation of the school and ll of its staff are immaculate. Nothing like me at all. But it will be a a learning curve. i suppose i do need some refining. My fair lady and all that.

My new mentor is lovely, she has tried to make this as easy and enjoyable for me as possible, And I appreciate it whole heartedly. I feel well prepared and well excited.

I have a full timetable of media, and all aspects of media I enjoy. Not necessarily what I know about, but what I enjoy.

I have already made a video for the year 8's for their pathways events, which I have been told has gone down very well with everyone here at the academy.

I am also considering starting a film club for the students. Lower school, 7-10 and upper school 11-13. 

January 27, 2011

Perhaps the most Helpful Uni Session…

This is a promise...

- QTS Standards

- Blogging

- Listen to Lianne trying her hardest to bring our conversation back around to the relevant points...

A belated New Years resolution list.

December 01, 2010

Second Observed Lesson

Just when you crawl out from between a rock and a hard place, gusty winds from Scandanavia and Norsk throw you into another.  I am referring to my second lesson observation.  The first lesson on 'The importance of body language and vocal delivery in presentations' was lacking in resources and planning.  

Thankfully, following a conversation with a pleasant Polish student named Marsina, I was introduced to Prezi.  Prezi is a zooming presentation program, free to use at www.prezi.com.  It is essentially like powerpoint, but where powerpoint moves forward, causes frequent pain and a well known tool to combat insomnia; Prezi works in curves, pans and zooms.  I urge all readers to give it a go.  You will thank me in the morning.

Well thanks to my Prezi I was able to put on a jolly good show for the guys who are in the process of recording a radio advert for a music event.  However, I was using my own voice too much and need to hand the mike back to the students more.  There is a subconscious tendency for us trainee teachers, when under observation, to feel as if it is US AND OUR SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE that is being observed; when in reality, it is US AND WHAT WE INSTRUCT OUR STUDENTS TO DO which is really what they are observing.

More food for thought.

November 26, 2010

First Observed Lesson – Post Mortem

Yesterday marked the occasion of my first observed lesson.  The BTEC First Creative and Media guys have been working in small groups on a PowerPoint presentation based upon 'Advertising'. 

Holly delivered a brilliant observed lesson last Thursday on 'Good Presentation Technique'; and it was my aim to draw upon the key points of that lesson, throw in a couple of my ideas and then instill all of these elements into the younger minds.

I made use of an acronym I learned a long time ago, RSVP, Rhythm Speed Volume Pitch; with regards to voice projection and I made use of a monologue by David Carradine (RIP) in Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 2.

"Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology... The mythology is not only great, it's unique.  Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit - that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He's weak... he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race. Sorta like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plimpton."

The above monologue was firstly ready by a student, then by the exemplar.  It worked well, or so I was told!

Overall, I am aware that I need to make full use of the resources behind me and this may now involve an element of self-teaching which has never failed me in the past.  All in all a very satisying experience.  I was waiting all morning for the nerves to kick in, but I was rather busy and then half an hour prior to the start of the lesson I had time to re-arrange the furniture, chomp an imitation Bounty bar and then it was all go-go-go.

It's a shame that this placement is so short, which it is, or at least it feels like it is.

I would be very interested to know how the observed lessons of my colleagues went.  

November 18, 2010

First solo lesson

I performed my first solo lesson today.  It was on getting employed in the creative media industries.  Overall, the feedback says I did a satisfactory job. 

There were areas of excellence in classroom mangement, building rapport and subject knowledge.  However I was lacking in planning and resources and left far too much of the lesson to my freestyle ad-hoc nature. 

Food for thought indeed.

November 17, 2010

Another chunk of days go by!

Good morning bloggers.

I am not finding anything negative to say about my placement here.  Rich (not necessarily monetary-wise), diverse students.........Great staff.........Top-notch resources.............

November 12, 2010

Almost the end of the first full week

As it says in the subject line I am coming towards the fag-end of my first full week.  It has been an excellent week.  The setting, staff, resources and perhaps most importantly, the learners are all above average.  It is great to be part of the scene here. 

My timetable is taking a real shape now.  It was skeletal 'se7en' days ago but, now; it has a wide spread of courses and subject areas therein.  I have areas in Functional Skills, Creative Media Production, Digital Media, Filmmaking and Animation. 

I am feeling very happy that these subject areas fall within my areas of interest which are quite diverse.  Over the upandcoming week, I will be providing lesson support, solo-teaching, team-teaching with Miss. Holly Gaston and generally being a cog in the "*** ******* machinery.

As I have worked at this FE establishment before I often bump into recogniseable staff and students and it's great that the rapport we used to share is still ignited!  It is also great to work alongside Holly who is fabulous!

I shall retire for now as I do have some tasks to do during the rest of the day and over the weekend.

Take it easy policy. 

November 08, 2010

The much belated start to Block Placement 1

I shall have to keep it brief fellow readers as your humble narrator has plenty of other work to be getting on with; however the blog shall not suffer!

I am very happy to be placed in fairly familiar surroundings and was given a timetable with blocks of free time on my very first day last week!  Brilliant!  This will provide me with plenty of time to get back into the groove and chip away at the work which has been bestowed upon us.

As I said, I must keep it brief for now but overall, reflectively speaking, going pretty well thanks!

November 02, 2010


So Tired.

November 01, 2010

PP1 Serial Days week 2

What a half term...I feel like I have had one day off, not a week. I have however got ever so slightly closer to completing my QTS standards. I have managed somehow to pass my Numeracy test. HA! It is a miracle. It really is. So I did do something productive this half term.

I am meant to be designing 2 leasson plans for this week to teach to a media production class. I am so stuck and I have no idea what to do...I need a lesson plan fairy. Or just to do it and fail miserably and take heed of the criticism I receive afterwards.

I am in limbo, I'm in the media office, no one knows me, I'm waiting for my mentor and I feel ever so slightly awkward. Am I meant to be waiting here or in her room. Am I meant to have completed these plans or not? Where am I? What the hell am i doing? I think I should stop thinking so much...

lesson planning

October 30, 2010

The Return of the Roger

First and foremost, dear readers, I would like to express my deepest and most sincerest happy-polly-loggies for my misendeavours which culminated in my absence.  A special note to Antony, Danny, Mike & Taran; Team Athena I'm sorry.  Holly, sorry for not being there to meet and walk us to City College - someday.

Roger is back - with a massive appetite for success - watch this space.  

October 18, 2010


I have only just realised that I don't have to keep writing follow ups from other entries, I can just click 'create new entry'. What a dodo. So I hope it had been coming out okay?

My day was tiring, exciting, not in any way how I imagined it, and I had to wait a long time, and be very nice to a lot of valuable people to get a subject mentor. And by jove, I got a subject Mentor. She is very very lovely, knows her stuff and we seem to have a very friendly professional relationship already. I hope after she looks at the subject mentor handbook she doesn't throw it back at my particularly round head. After all, neither of the media people seemed to know I was even coming in today, just 'soon'.

However, I had a great day, first with BTEC First Diploma Level 2 students doing creative media production, then in the afternoon with some very social Level 1 students, who managed to make me laugh more then I have in a while. It was lovely to see my belief in the importance of applied learning come to life.

I must admit, I felt much more nervous around the staff then when I got to talk to the students. I found this quite amusing. Although, the media department made me feel extremely welcome, and I couldn't thank Neil the Computer games man enough for our brilliant talk about computer games. Bayonetta!

I also received a scheme of work for the level 2 BTEC Creative media production. Shame I didnt get it Friday. That would have been sweeeeet. No but seriously my mentor is hooking me up, specs for boththe main courses I will be observing, coincimentally Edexcel, (just the awarding body I have books for already, score!) and information on the learners on each class. And a shiny new college card with a horrific mugshot of me shining on it.

I hope everyone else had a less stressfull but just as lovely day as me...to be continued!

October 17, 2010

Akira Kurosawa, David Brent and A Good Work Ethic

dbYesterday, although it felt like a millenia, I visited Warwick Arts Centre for a Film Talk on Akira Kurosawa followed by a screening (VHS) of Stray Dog 19-fifty-something sorry.  What an experience.  John Gore puts on great programmes, and in the past has featured Kubrick, Leone, Scorsese et. al.

As I look into the horizon, making sense of it all, I will take the work ethic of Japanese filmmakers into my working practise.  As David Brent once said: "I haven't got a sign on the door that says 'white people only'. I don't care if you're black, brown, yellow - Orientals make very good workers." Indeed Mr Gervais.  Stephen Merchant went to Warwick University.


For anyone interested in film, I thoroughly reccomend a visit.  They take place once per half term, the next one is set to be a real cracker.  Post-war hysteria and the liberal approach of subject matter by the studios allowed auteurs to really express themselves. 'Peeping Tom' makes 'A Clockwork Orange' look like a plesant visit to nana's.


Please, fellow students interested in film, attend!  It's a great experience I assure thee!

October 14, 2010

the Method

Seing as there is only one academic day before we start placement, I felt it was time to talk about the approach I am planning to take.  I've used it before, lots. 

It's a very versatile approach, some may be subconsciously incompetent, others may be consciously competent; I do believe that all individuals within society operate within its parameters to some extent or another. 

It's the Stanislavski Method, from Konstantin Stanislavski, a Russian from the 1930s.  It concerns itself with searching for the 'theatrical truth', replicating or reproducing another characters emotional state to project one's self differently.

I consider teaching to be a very unnatural process.  That is not to say that there aren't individuals who are not natural teachers, of course there are.  However, the notion of one older person standing in front of, let's say thirty, young people of all roughly the same age; within an institution, disseminating information via teaching - is a wholly unnatural act.  When else in the human lifespan does this occur?

With this wholly unnatural act in mind, it requires an approach which is a transformation of the usual self.  Speech, dress, walk, talk, non-verbal communication, mental state.  All of these things need to be altered somewhat for two reasons.  Firstly, to accommodate the virtues of the Method and secondly, to make the unnatual seem more natural.

October 13, 2010

Underachievers in Secondary School

Raise aspirations!" the PGCE student called out.  

"Yeah but how do you that?" retorted the lecturer.  

This occurred with some seven or eight minutes left of the lecture; just enough time for us to gloss over ideas like 'guest visits' or 'personalising learning'.  Shouldn't this have kick started proceedings instead of forming the fag-end?

I am blogging on about the lecture held this afternoon at 2pm.  

I sat there, five or six rows from the front, disengaged.  Thank God I had Fruit Pastilles, Thank God I binned the packaging for I don't want custodians on my back.  Thank God even more I was able to have a cigarette before the next lecture started when I shared my opinions with an agreeable colleague.  She's always Wright.  I will share these opinions with you all now.  And as always, would welcome any feedback with open arms.  

Surely we know girls do better than boys.  Surely we know African-Caribbean pupils continue to struggle right the way upto Key Stage 4 and surely we know to carry an umbrella in the rain.

But what of the strategies that we can use to tackle this colossal, nationwide problem.

I wasn't expecting an all-singing-all-dancing-bells-ringing solution; partly because there may not be one.  

The answer, fellow colleagues may lie in OUR hands, our COLLECTIVE hands as those individuals who, in the future, will aim to be marked as Outstanding on a useless OFSTED sheet.  

However, we will only learn if this assertion is true, IF we are given the tools by Simon and Newell, the tools which allow us to introspect.  To introspect, we think aloud, and with several like-minded people this becomes the way we can tackle the issue heads-on.  

We were shown a sneak-peek of the tools today, but with only a few minutes to go before the end, sadly we did not have the chance to work with them.

October 11, 2010

Mark Sampson and his Agenda

Had a great seminar today hosted by Mark Sampson.  Really admired his energy, effectiveness and ability to bring real classroom experiences into our seminar room.  Simply cannot wait for his return in January.  Hats off to Stuart King for arranging the gig.  

I will reflect more expansively on this when I feel like it.  I don't right now.


October 08, 2010

Film @ Warwick Arts Centre


The up and coming week is National Schools Film Week - I may not get the opportunity to visit as the programme of events clashes with many lectures/workshops, but true to my word, I shall indeed try.

I had a really good meeting with John Gore, Film Programmer, Warwick Arts Centre earlier.  

Film is a hugely powerful medium and one that young people, I feel, have a natural affinity with.  Such is the fast-paced nature of youths lives, the growth of consumerism and IT, film should be identified as a medium which can be the friend of the classroom.

If you agree with me, send me your thoughts and let's see how we can build relations with the largest Arts Centre outside London.