This is goodbye….

Well…. This is my final blog for Edge Hill University.

I come to the end of summer and I am writing my final blog…

So, on the 17th of August I got a phone call from a school in the isle of wight inviting me to attend an interview the following week… I was working at a language school in slough, so went down to Portsmouth and got a ferry across the Solent to the island.

I arrived at the school and was greeted by a lovely receptionist and instantly felt at home, just the way I felt three years ago when I turned up to an Edge Hill open day!

After a tour around the science department, I was interviewed by the head of science and the vice-principal… They then told me I could go home and that they would be in touch.

I got back on the ferry and headed back for the mainland, as we got into the car to get off the ferry I received a phone call…. It was the head of science…. OFFERING ME THE JOB!!!

I could not believe it, it still doesn’t feel real… I start on the 10th September… So on the 8th September, I will become a resident of the isle of wight!! I’m so excited but scared at the same time…

I can’t wait to start my NQT year and my Masters… It’s going to be an exciting year ahead!

The last three years at Edge Hill have been the best three years of my life, and I would urge anyone considering studying here to go for it… You won’t regret it!!

I have had three amazing years, with people I will never forget… It’s impossible to put into words how great my experience has been or how grateful I am for all of the help and support that I’ve received.

Finally, I want to thank you for following and reading my blogs over the past year. I am got to continue writing a blog as I enter into the world of being an NQT, if you would like to keep up to date with my first year as an NQT, then you can read my blogs at http://diaryofasciencenqt.wordpress.com/

Until next time,

Jen πŸ™‚

End of placement

Hey guys,

So, I finished my 11 weeks on placement on Friday as the schools finished for the Easter holidays. I decided that I would give myself a few days off to chill out before starting on my University work, however, that didn’t happen. I found myself wide awake at 7.30am on Saturday, thinking about what I needed to do on my assignments and dissertation, so decided to make a start on one of my assignments, which included a critical reflection on placement and evidence of and thoughts about assessment within the classroom.

When I was writing my critical reflection about placement, I thought I would write a brief reflection on my placement for this blog….

There were lots of ups and plenty of downs, but all in all was a really great experience… I learned so much from the teachers, both in the science department and across the rest of the school. I learnt a new style of teaching, which I will continue to use throughout my teaching career and started on the long road of self discovery as a teacher. Finding what type of teacher I want to be, asking myself questions, such as, how do I want to approach behaviour management? What style of teaching do I enjoy the most?

I am now in the process of applying for teaching jobs ready for September, I have had three interviews already, but at each one I was the only trainee teacher, coming up against teachers with years of experience, however the interviews have provided me with great opportunities to develop and work on my interview techniques, so hopefully it will be fourth time lucky for me when I get my next interview!

Until next time,

Jen πŸ™‚

Placement is coming to an end…

Hi again,

Well I have 2 weeks left on placement and today I have spent the whole day trying to get all of my lessons for the next 2 weeks planned… I’m about 75% of the way there so hopefully by the end of the day they will all be done!!

I’ll be really sad to leave my placement school, there have been ups and downs, as you would expect, but I have to say there have been more ups than downs and I have learnt so much! In fact, I think in terms of the kind of teacher I want to be, I have learnt the most on this final placement than on either of my other placements. I’ve learnt that it is extremely important for the pupils to engage in independent learning rather than me just giving them all of the information and it is essential for them to be active and enjoy their learning.

I’ve come across a new style of teaching on this placement, called TEEP (Teacher Effectiveness and Enhancement Programme) and it is suggested that 85% of the learning that takes place in a classroom should come from the learners and actually only 15% should be the teacher standing talking to the class… When I began my placement I wasn’t so sure about the idea, I’d only really taught using PowerPoint and standing telling the pupils the information before setting them tasks that allowed them to demonstrate their knowledge, but now I wouldn’t teach any other way than TEEP.

I have seen how much the pupils enjoy a TEEP lesson, with one pupils saying that he ‘knew he was learning but didn’t feel like he was learning because he was having so much fun!’ It usually involves thinking creatively when lesson planning and having a great amount of trust in your classes, but I have found that by putting my trust in them, they have seen I have confidence in them, usually resulting in a mutually beneficial outcome, where I get to spend more time actually supporting the pupils rather than standing at the front of a classroom, very much in a lecture style manner and the pupils get to actually enjoy their learning.

Although I will be sad to finish my placement I am very much looking forward to a short break followed by some new challenges, I can’t wait to start a job in September and be a ‘proper’ teacher and do what I love; I’m looking forward to getting back to work on my dissertation and remaining Uni assignments and also working over summer at a language school. So I definitely have lots to look forward to over the coming months, not to mention graduation in July!!

Until next time,

Jen πŸ™‚

 

Hello….

Hello,

I just want to start off by apologising for not writing a blog last week!!

I have been ridiculously busy, so I thought this week I will tell you what I’ve been up to…

I have three weeks left to go on placement now and have been extremely busy planning and teaching lessons. I was observed last week and got “Good with elements of outstanding” so I was over the moon with that.

I also had some physics results back – I got 73% in one module and 79% in the other!! I actually had to get someone else to read the e-mail in case I had mis-read it!!

I’ve also been busy with job applications, I’ve been applying for teaching jobs around the area where I live and these are more time consuming than you would imagine, often taking me around 2 hours to complete one application!

I love my placement school and will be sad to finish but I am looking forward to a break now, I am exhausted, but wouldn’t change a thing. I know even more so after this final placement that teaching is for me!!

Anyway, I would love to know what you would like to read about in my next blog, so please get in touch and let me know…

Until next time,

Jen πŸ™‚

End of the half term holidays…

Time for another blog from me….

Last day of the half term holidays, and I should probably be feeling like I don’t want the holidays to come to an end, but strangely I am looking forward to going back to school tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to getting back into the hustle and bustle of school life. I love the excitement of it all. Don’t get me wrong I’ve enjoyed the break, even though I’ve spent most of it doing planning, University work or helping my brother with his University work; but I’m ready to get back into school.

I’ve only got six weeks left in school and I really don’t want it to come to an end! In this first week back I’ve got my interim report to complete with my curriculum mentor to see what grade I am at and I’ve got an assessed lesson where a visiting tutor comes in to observe me teaching one of my lessons. I’m being observed with my top set year 9 and I’m teaching covalent structures to them – I’m really looking forward to it!!

I’m in the process of searching for jobs at the minute too, I’ve seen a couple but I’m still looking for the perfect teaching job for September. I’ve also completed my application form for my Masters in Education and just need to submit this one day in the week when I can get back up to Uni.

I can’t believe how quickly the last three years have flown and that I’m nearly at the end of my degree – only six weeks on placement, three assignments and my dissertation left! I’ve started planning a graduation party for everyone on our course and their families and it’ll be here in no time!

But for now, I’m spending my Sunday planning lessons and preparing for school…

Until next time

Jen πŸ™‚

 

That Sunday night feeling…

So it’s Sunday evening and this is the time people say you’re supposed to get that Sunday feeling… The feeling that the weekend has passed too quickly and the disappointment of the long week ahead… However, I don’t feel like that at all!

I love Sunday evenings. Sunday evenings to me, mean that tomorrow morning I will be back doing what I love… Teaching.

I was up at 8:30 this morning and by 2pm I had planned all of my lessons for the week ahead! So I spent the afternoon chilling out watching some films with the family.

Tomorrow I have 2 periods with my year 10 BTEC group and 1 lesson with my year 9 group. On Tuesday and Thursday this week it’s “funky day” where primary shook kids come to the school on a curriculum link day, we’re teaching them all about chemical reactions which will end in them making their own bath bombs.

Although I love teaching I’m also looking forward to the half term break next week and to get some more of my dissertation out of the way!

Until next time,

Jen πŸ™‚

My first day of full lessons…

I have just finished planning my lessons for Thursday and Friday, and I have to say… I’m definitely ready for bed now!

All this getting up at 6am for school and then working til 9pm sure is tiring me out, but I absolutely love being on placement. The school that I am in is really nice and I couldn’t have asked for a better science department – everyone is so friendly and supportive!

I have lessons with all of the teachers in the department and all of them have been really helpful in preparing me for the next 8 weeks of planning and teaching!

Today was my first day of full lessons, starting with 2 hours with year 10s and later an hour with the year 9s – one thing I quickly realised is that a stopwatch can be one of a teachers best vices! It’s amazing what holding a stopwatch in the air can do to a class who don’t want to be quiet while the teacher is talking!

I’ve had an absolutely fantastic first day of full lessons, and can’t wait for tomorrow! I’m really looking forward to doing more teaching from now, for the next 8 weeks and getting to know the kids (and even learning from them!)

I will leave it there for now,

Until next time,

Jen πŸ™‚

A week and a half into placement…

So I’m a week and a half into my placement and in absolutely loving it!

I’ve got two year 7 classes, two year 9 classes and one year 10, 11, 12 and 13 class an have a year 10 form.

I spent last week just sitting back an observing, taking note of the pupils and just watching how they behave and how they work best.

This week I am integrating with the classes essentially acting like a teaching assistant – I love getting to know the kids and even though it’s still really early on I feel like I am forming relationships with the pupils.

I’ve been given the topics that I will be teaching when I start next week and have begun planning in preparation.

It’s all so exciting!!

If there is anything you would like to know about being on placement don’t hesitate to ask and I will try and include it in my next blog!

Until next time,

Jen πŸ™‚

First day on placement…

Hello again πŸ™‚

So today was my first day on my synoptic placement…

Even though this is the 3rd placement I have undertaken since starting at Edge Hill I was still full of nerves last night… What would the school be like? Would the kids be nice? Would I have supportive mentors?

When I arrived at the school at 8am this morning I realised that I had nothing at all to worry about! The school, the kids and the mentors all seem nice!

I started the day with meeting the science department and having a quick tour of the science rooms and staff rooms and was then straight into lessons. The first lesson of the day was maths (yes I’m a training to be a science teacher) but the science an maths departments work together as one faculty, so I sat observing a year 10 maths lesson.

Periods 2 & 3 were spent in the large hall of the school in a revision session put on for the whole of year 10 in preparation for their exam next week.

Period 4 I met with my professional mentor and discussed the expectations for the placement and what I hope to achieve by the end of my time at the school.

Period 5 I was in a year 9 science lesson where pupils were making models of everyday objects and describing how the use science and then going on to design a futuristic product that would use science.

Period 6 is for extra curricular activities and ends at 4.05 and staff are expected to stay until this time – so today I got a chance to chat with some of the other members of staff and get to know them a little bit.

All in all a good day – in looking forward to getting stuck in and doing some teaching!

I will try to write shorter more frequent blogs now I’m on placement, to give a more in depth idea of the life as a trainee teacher.

Thanks for reading

Jen πŸ™‚

A new year…

Happy New Year!!!

I can’t believe how quickly the Christmas holidays have gone – probably because the only days I actually had a “holiday” were Christmas day, boxing day and new years eve, other than that I pretty much had my head in my books….

I should apologise for not writing my blog last week – I just got swept up in all of my revision, so I am sorry about that, but I will be writing two this week to make up for it!

I have two exams tomorrow… Environmental physiology and Ecological genetics, I know I have done more than enough revision over Christmas but I can’t help but feel nervous, so here I am it’s 23:18 and I have taken a break from my “last minute cramming session” to write my blog. As I cram I realise that I can actually already remember most of the stuff I’m reading – which is a comforting thought! So many key words buzzing around in my head “allopatric speciation”; “zeitgebers”; “euryhaline”; “stenotherm” and “ecotypic differentiation” just to name a few… tomorrow brings the end of my biology modules, they’ve been fun and I’ve learnt a lot!

I have two more exams on Thursday… Physics: concepts and models and Physics in action. AgainΒ I’veΒ done plenty of revision over Christmas but that doesn’t mean to say that tomorrow evening and all day Wednesday won’t be spent trying to cram those little extra bits of information into my brain! Thursday will be the last exam I will sit at Edge Hill University – I’m not going to lie, it can’t come quick enough! I’m not a fan of exams, I’d rather have a 5,000 word essay any day!

On Monday I start on my final placement as part of my course… I’m very excited and even bought myself a new “teacher” bag today in preparation! I can’t wait to get into school and get some more experience of lesson planning and being in a classroom in charge of a group of pupils…

I’m hoping to write my blog more often while I’m on placement, although I use Twitter to give a day to day update of life as a trainee teacher, sometimes 140 characters isn’t enough and I’d like to provide you with plenty of information about placement so you know what to expect when you (hopefully!) embark upon your teacher training at Edge Hill – so keep an eye out for that.

I would love to know what you would like to read about and would really appreciate any comments or Tweets to request specific blog topics!

That’s all for now – don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@Jen_EHU)

Thanks for reading!

Jen πŸ™‚