February 12, 2011

Reflection on AP1

So finally I have my completed placement 1 and have got my AP1 form.

I’m pleased that my mentor saw some good things and reflected this on my form. There were a few I thought I had achieved, like the one about acting in a team, but he gave me his reasons and I’m happy with his view.

Overall I am pleased with the experience I received. I worked with a range of year groups, a range of abilities and got a taste of a lot of environments. I would have liked to have done more EAL and SEN work directly, specifically within the departments and so I shall make sure I do this next time.

With all the feedback I think I will be able to make a much brisker start with my next placement. And at least I know what will be expected. I’m going to try and just stick to it and follow what has been pointed out to me.

Professional Attributes

I was given a good report on the Professional Attributes; missing only one standard. My relationship with the pupils was discussed. I really liked that my mentor said that I “has high expectations and implements school policy.” I did feel that I developed really strong relationships with the pupils. That was the one thing that I will not let anybody take away from me. I have tickets to the Drake concert and the year 10’s loved it when I told them about it, there was a boy in my year 8 class whom many, many, teachers could not get along with and he was perfectly behaved for me, even telling other pupils to behave (this was because in my induction phase I had sat with him one lesson and explained everything about enlargements to him and when he could get all the questions correct, he really appreciated me for it). Every single one of my year 7 class got along with me and took on everything I said to them. I would give them day to day updates on my wrist and often they would ask me straight away if I needed help writing anything on the board or just how I was feeling. Lovely children. =D It does make you happy. They’re like little lovely people. Haha. Sweet.

I need to work on being innovative and adapting what I do based on the feedback I get. This is a fair point. I was scared of breaking away from the initial routine that worked so well! I thought I had barely perfected that before I was being asked to try group work and pair work and I.T. based lessons. Then when I did try it – and it went wrong – I got even more terrified and went right back to the standard lesson style.

I think I shall make changes to my lessons straight away with my next mentor if any suggestions are made so that I do include them and carry on making a decent enough progression.

Professional Knowledge and Understanding

I need to be slightly clearer on the provision made for those who have a learning difficulty. Cater better for differentiation and EAL and make sure I use a variety of strategies to ensure I can get a range of techniques going. The general thing is that I have to try and cater better for everyone. This will be helped most importantly by using the background of the pupils a lot better.

Assessment has generally gone well as the process started with an exam paper analysis for a year 10 mock GCSE exam. I tried other forms of formative assessment and whilst there were some flaws that needed ironing out, it generally worked well. It would have been nice to have done some sort of final summative assessment to see if I had made any sort of a difference to the pupils but I don’t think there was enough time.

I liked that I had regular access to computers; it meant I was able to do quite a few computer based lessons. Overall, Professional knowledge and Understanding has gone well. It is the one category where I made progress.

Professional Skills

I would like to maintain and develop the way I established a good working environment in a classroom. I want to be a lot more regular on the setting of homework and make sure I stay on top of marking.

I need to work on establishing what prior knowledge there is and share more openly what I intend on doing in a lesson with Teaching Assistants.

Otherwise I am pleased that I was able to plan for progression and use literacy and ICT.

Professional Skills is something that you can always improve upon anyway so I look forward to building up from the trials I have already undertaken.

I got an overall grade of Satisfactory and I think this reflects the placement. There are some real key points which I would like to improve on and I do believe this will improve my practice greatly.

It is nice to know that others think that I have made a good start to my teaching career and I also think that I have. I tried out quite a lot of lessons and games which I was initially quite sceptical about and I like that they worked – and if they didn’t I was able to discuss why not with a lot of people and gain ideas for improvement. It has made me a lot more open to trying different things and I hope that when I do try things in PP2, even if it doesn’t work, I don’t get discredited for it!

Bring on PP2!

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