As I am preparing myself to go on phase 1B of my placement in Primary Education, I thought that I’d share some of the things that I have done to get myself ready and make sure that I get the most from this opportunity.
The first thing is to research the school and find out what the children are learning. Luckily for me, my school has an amazing website full of information about the school, curriculum and ethos. Understanding this before going into school can make you feel more at ease and help the transition into school life. If your school does not have this I would recommend contacting the school to try to find out as much information as you can, this also gives you the chance to introduce yourself. It’s normal to feel nervous about placement and going into school, the best bit of advice I have heard is that the hardest thing to do is walk through the doors on your first day and once you have conquered that you can achieve anything. As I’m sure I have mentioned before ‘magpie-ing’ ideas is a big part of primary education and understanding what the children are learning can allow you to gather some resources, books or lesson ideas before you even enter the classroom saving you precious time.
Next make sure you’ve got some appropriate clothing. The general dress code in primary schools is smart casual but it is always best to check beforehand to save any embarrassment on your first day and to ensure you make the right impression. You don’t have to spend loads on an entire wardrobe and will often find there’s plenty of outfits you can put together from what you already own. Think about what you will be doing from day-to-day and don’t wear anything you don’t mind getting pen on or paint splashed across (this happens more frequently than you’d expect).
My main thing is organise, organise, organise. There’s no such thing as being too organised and you’ll thank yourself in the morning for doing things the night before. Make sure you plan your shopping to have enough in to make a packed lunch to take to school – this is something I have to remind myself of as being at University I can just pop back home for dinner. Also plan your outfit the night before, the outfit you think of in the morning is almost guaranteed to be buried somewhere out of sight and out of reach and create unnecessary stress for you.
Lastly enjoy the experience, make the most of every opportunity and don’t forget to enjoy your evenings and weekends just as much. Placement shouldn’t be a stressful time and there is support all around you for the process. Whether this be from tutors, friends or people you are on placement with don’t be afraid to share any concerns and don’t suffer in silence if you having a tough time.