Expectations VS Reality – Part 2

Hey everyone, I hope you are all enjoying your December at Edge Hill University! I thought I would do a part 2 of expectations vs reality at university because I enjoy reading them and writing them. If you want to read the first part, follow the link; https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2019/07/07/university-expectation-vs-reality/

Dress Code: A constant catwalk

Expectation

I am going to show up to my lectures with my best clothes on everyday. I will have a fresh new look everyday and and get up a little early to do my hair/makeup.

Reality

You rock up to lectures in the same jeans you’ve worn the past three days and an oversized hoodie (I personally see nothing wrong with this) and it’s a good day if you even remember to brush your hair before putting it in a bun or throwing a hat on.

I fell victim to this expectation before I started uni and even went as far as to say that I wanted to change my entire wardrobe…all lies. I thought I cared about looking put together when going to lectures but in reality, I wanted to be comfortable. If you are one of them people who actually look nice and decent going to lectures everyday, please teach me your ways.

Motivation will be at it’s peak everyday!

Expectation

I will get up early everyday and have a perfect study timetable that will never be interrupted or changed.

Reality

Some days you literally cannot. You just simply cannot do today. You got out of bed and did the first paragraph of your assignment and that is okay.

Take it from someone who studied nearly every single hour of the day for her A Levels, that when it comes to university, you are going to have off days, you are going to have burn outs. If you can’t follow your study timetable some day, take the day off and do not force yourself, it won’t benefit you at all. The next day will be better after a well deserved rest.

Cooking

Expectation

You will have meals prepared every night, a meal plan ready for each week and maybe cook for the flat on a Sunday. Jamie Oliver would be proud

Reality

I had porridge for my dinner last night.

Again, this is from someone who loves cooking and often thinks of themselves as a culinary expert but sometimes the thought of boiling the water for pasta is just too much. Just like the studying, you will have your off days and this is okay too. You can be Jamie Oliver tomorrow.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, I had a lot of fun writing it and hope to do a few more in the future.

Thanks for reading, Lauren x

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

-Unknown-

Final Year Placement

Hello everyone!

I hope you all have that Friday feeling and have some nice weekend plans ahead!

I have officially completed 8 weeks of my final professional practice with only 2 more to go! The time has flown by and what an incredible experience it has been! This is partly down to the support and guidance from teachers in my current placement school, and also because of previous teaching opportunities that Edge hill have provided.

When I applied to study primary education, I did not realise how worthwhile and valuable professional practice would be. Although our seminars and lectures are useful for developing our knowledge of classroom pedagogy, putting theory into practice has been my favourite part of the course for many reasons.

Usually, at the start of a placement block, students begin to teach a small percentage of the timetable. This increases week by week until it reaches 80%, which used to seem impossible! However, having 3 blocks of professional practice has allowed me to grow in confidence and develop my love for teaching even more!

If you are going to study a teaching course with professional practice opportunities,  feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Have a fantastic weekend,

Interviews at Edge Hill

Not every course requires an interview but Primary Education is an example of a programme that does. I remember how nervous I was beforehand, mostly because I did not know what to expect. It has all become a bit of a blur now but I will try my best to recall what I can about Edge Hill’s interview process! You can access some useful information here. 

How should I prepare?

Research – make sure you know enough about the university. Have you been to an open day or campus tour? Why have you chosen Edge Hill University? What about their Primary Education course appeals to you?

Work experience – make sure you have had enough experience in a classroom environment. It is not too late to ask to spend time observing lessons, perhaps in your former primary school.

World of education – it is SO important to stay informed of current educational issues.  The Times Educational supplement and BBC education news are good starting points!

What should I bring to the interview day?

Portfolio – although a portfolio is often not necessary, I found it really useful to bring to my interviews. By having a small file with a few pictures from different work experience, it allowed me toeasily access things to talk about. Not only did it support my discussions, it looked organised to the interviewers. It shows them that you are already thinking about meeting the Teachers’ Standards.

Certificates / Qualifications – these can be photocopies. Ensure you have all the evidence you need to demonstrate your abilities and past achievements.

Potential Questions

  • Why have you chosen Edge Hill University?
  • Why do you want to be a primary school teacher?
  • Why do you want to teach primary insteadof secondary?
  • What current issues in education are important to you?
  • How will you be a creative teacher?
  • What experiences have you had of working with children with special needs?
  • What skills do you have?
  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?

Subject Knowledge Tasks

As well as having a campus tour and an individual interview, I also took part in maths, science and English written tasks. These were marked out of 20 and I received my feedback when I got my letter of confirmation in the post! An important piece of advice I can offer is… research phonics!

Good luck!

Although it might seem a bit daunting, you’ll be absolutely fine! During the interview just be yourself and relax. The interviewers at Edge Hill are lovely so try to think of the interview as a chat, rather than an interrogation! Wishing you all the best.

Placement Magic

Hi everyone!

With my placement drawing to a close, I am starting to feel quite sad! 6 weeks have flown by and I only have 2 weeks left of teaching my year 4’s… but I hope to visit them again when they’re in year 5! So, here are some of the many reasons why professional practice is the best part of my Primary Education course:

1)The children

After teaching the same pupils every day for the past few weeks, I have gotten to know each and every individual – their personalities and unique quirks. One of the most worthwhile parts of teaching is watching a pupil understand a new concept or overcome an individual struggle within a certain aspect of work. Knowing I have helped to make a small difference puts it all into perspective. Not only is it amazing to help children learn, assisting with social or community events like a school disco, sports day or club allows children to simply let loose and have carefree fun – laughter and smiles are enough to make anyones day!

2) Developing yourself as a teacher

With every placement, comes new lessons learnt. I cannot begin to explain just how much I can take with me from just 6 weeks of professional practice. This is mostly down to the teachers, mentors and every adult who works there. Their guidance and support has been brilliant and inspires me to become as supportive as they are when I eventually have my own class!

3) The creative side

This professional practice has allowed me to recognise the opportunities for creativity in everything I teach. In Religious Education we recently made stained-glass windows for their topic of the church. In Literacy, the children have put themselves in the roles of Boudicca and Claudius for their Roman topic (also relating it to History). Overall, it has been wonderful to deliver these lessons and watch the children participate with enthusiasm.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to ask any questions if you’d like to know more about my second placement within Primary Education! Speak soon,

Anna 🙂