All entries for November 2010

November 17, 2010

Skills Tests x 3…DONE!

I passed my third and final skills test this week: numeracy. It was the one I, and I think probably most people, was dreading the most but once I got in there the test was much easier than expected. This was despite technical issues with the headphones blasting out at top volume which took two blokes several minutes to sort out and meant missing the first three mental arithmetic questions because they refused to re-set the test...Hmm!  

Other than that I have had a fairly stress free week in work and even got to listen to an insightful talk from Paul Dowswell, author of Auslander, when he came into school to speak to year 9. I think the librarian is keen to get me involved in as much as possible and I've even been invited along to Solihull Children's Book Awards next year.

November 10, 2010

A Double Dose of KS4

Finally I'm actually teaching KS4 and taught my first lesson starter on Monday; manipulating complex sentences in a discursive text in preparation for a year 10 controlled assessment based on genetic engineering and cloning. Although it was more of a grammar orientated activity, I managed to track down and display a picture of that hairless mouse with a human ear growing on its back...just to provoke some kind of response from the somewhat lacklustre class. 

I don't know if it was the picture, or just my teaching, but it seemed to go down well and my mentor gave me some really good feedback. I felt completely relaxed and confident but still have my usual difficulty to combat: pace! Perhaps I'm just over cautious and always want to make sure every pupil fully understands everything I've taught them but tasks almost always seem to take longer than I've intended. 

After my year 10 success on Monday, I spent the whole of the following day with the same year group on my very first Immersion Day. These are used to deliver the Citizenship and PSHE aspects of the curriculum to the whole school. KS3 and 4 are taken off timetable and spend morning and afternoon sessions doing alternative activities. I was in charge of delivering the Interview Skills programme to year 10 in preparation for mock interviews and work experience later in the year. We kicked off the session with a rather cheesy DVD of ill-prepared interview candidates and identified their mistakes. Pupils then had opportunities to design a suitable interview outfit, plan what they would need to bring, plan their route to an interview and, most importantly, plan their answers to potential interview questions. All in all both morning and afternoon sessions were successful and I found it beneficial to spend time with and get to know pupils I hadn't met before. The experience wasn't half as daunting as I'd expected it might be and I feel more prepared for teaching year 10 again next week. 

November 2010

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