All entries for October 2010

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 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.

Coco the Rottweiler


In April this year, I became the proud owner of a pedigree rottweiller, her name is Coco.  Upon my secondary research of the breed, I learnt that this is a difficult dog for first time owners due to the high level of intelligence of the dog, it's over-territorial nature, and later insubordinance to the pack leader.  The successful pack leader will be firm yet fair, consistent yet compassionate and will adhere to the three pillars of every dogs' need of affection, discipline and excercise.

Although I was a first time dog owner, Coco, thankfully is generally a calm an d submissive dog whose behaviour and routine is very consistent.  The behaviour is due to the fact she is from a pedigree lineage.  Her parents were born here, their parents were born here, but the previous three generations, all of which are Kennel Club registered, are from Germany.  The consistence of her routine is in large part down to her human family.  She wakes, eats, plays, relieves herself at the same time of the day.

Readers of this blog may wonder why I am spending time introducing them to Coco.  The answer is simple.  Through my observation of successful teachers, I have learnt that they possess similar traits to those required by owners of calm submissive dogs. 

Besides sustainance and physical activity, a good dog owner provides mental stimulation, praise and discipline.  These pillars of success are no different from an outstanding teacher.

First placement


I have been made aware of my where I will be placed for my first placement and am very happy indeed.  It's nearby, is a new-build with great resources and has a high reputation to boot.  

I have visited the location, for ethical reasons I shall not name the institution, I got lost on more than one occasion so it will be good to resume my duel with the corridors, elevators and stairwells that caused me some degree of head scratching on previous visits.  I did feel I was pretty good at orienting myself so it caused me considerable, yet not insurmountable pain.  

October 06, 2010

Serial Placement One Eve

Well, the Eve of Serial Placement One is upon me.  Back on September 20th today seemed like a lifetime away but alas it has shot by.  The weeks will now fly by indeed.  

Always, always, always, remember to never get overwhelmed.  I took great pride in keeping seated when Rachel Dickinson asked today.  I hope my calm and collected demeanour is not misperceived as laziness, incompetency or failure to care.

For whatever ailment a human being may experience there is almost always an antidote.

I am not sure how I felt before entering the library this afternoon but I left feeling very sure of myself and also very glad that the books I took out will serve me well.  They are not on any reading list, but did call out to me.

I think that frequenting the library is an EXCELLENT way of remembering exactly what our purpose is.

October 05, 2010

Better late than never

I have just been having a general browse at the blogs posted by pgce fellows, I do feel slightly saddened that up until a few days ago, our subject website was composed entirely of Latin.  

Therefore could not blog until this was rectified, some two weeks.

I would like to thank those in charge who have finally enabled us to access our website.

Happy blogging.

October 2010

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