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 🙂

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 🙂

 

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 🙂

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 🙂

 

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

First day on placement…

Hello again 🙂

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 🙂

How to get classroom experience…

So you’re thinking of training to be a teacher? One of the main things that Universities look for among the thousands of applications they receive, are students with classroom experience…

Getting classroom experience isn’t always the easiest thing… but the following tips may help you to gain some invaluable practice based experience…

1.    Are you still at college or university? – Ask your careers service if they can help. Some have mentoring and classroom assistant schemes, but even if they don’t they might be able to put you in contact with schools in the local area interested in taking observations or volunteers.

2.    Do you know any teachers? – Do you have any friends or relatives who are teachers? Use any existing contacts you have and ask if they might be willing to take you in and observe lessons.

3.    Ask your old school – How long is it since you left school? If you are in touch with any of your old teachers or they might remember you then they might like to see that they have inspired a love for teaching in an ex-pupil!

4.    Ask your children’s school – Do you or your friends have children who are at school? You could approach the teacher and ask if they need helpers or volunteers.

5.    Be brave and ask. – If you don’t have any existing contacts then just ask! Look on Edubase for schools in your area and email or phone them to ask if you could come in and observe lessons. They will be used to getting requests so don’t worry about asking, but it might take time as it is popular.

6.    Be as flexible as you can. – It is not easy if you are studying or changing careers to find time to go into a school but you do need to be as flexible as possible. You might need to travel a little further than you wanted but if you can be as flexible as possible then you have more chance of being helpful to the school.

7.    Register with the TDA – If you want to teach a shortage subject including physics, chemistry, maths or modern foreign languages (MFL) you might be eligible for their School Experience Programme. They can help you get experience.

Why Teaching?

Why did I become a teacher? I’m guessing that many teachers ask themselves this question on a regular basis. There may be days when a teacher is so overwhelmed by the task in front of her, that she asks herself “What on Earth am I doing?” Teaching is, without doubt, a challenging profession, and one which in order to do it well, you must have a passion for. Teaching has to be something that you love to do. If not, the negative effects can be extremely long lasting, for both you and your students.

Have I always wanted to be a teacher? Yes and no is my answer to this question. Since a young age I have always “played school” taking on the role as teacher, but I also was very interested in becoming a dentist. Then I got involved in netball coaching at the age of about 14 and was sure that teaching others was what I wanted to do, and knew that I would teach either Science or Physical Education. My year 11 work experience was in a high school, and I think it was this experience that made me realise that teaching was the profession for me. Through college there were moments where I had other career paths in mind, but then I began to study psychology for the first time, and absolutely loved it and thought that I wanted to become a psychologist in a prison.

With this new career path in mind I went to University to study psychology, and although the course was very enjoyable, it just didn’t feel right; I couldn’t get the idea of being a teacher out of my head… Now I’m sure you’ve all heard the cliché “If you can’t get something out of your head, maybe it’s supposed to be there.” Well I took this on board and after two years on my psychology degree I decided that teaching was 100% for me, so I began to look for Universities that could offer me the course that I wanted, and that’s when I came across Edge Hill University and it sounded perfect to me, so I ended my degree at my first University and set along a new path at Edge Hill….

I began to volunteer at a local school on the run up to the start of my course, and that’s when I noticed the positive effect that I could have on a child’s life. I began to notice that I could encourage even the most challenging of pupils to complete work by introducing interesting and exciting ways to get them to think about what they were doing. I’ve had two placements for my course now too, and it’s amazing watching the kids grow and become confident learners.

If I had to pick my favourite thing about being a teacher, it would definitely be those “light bulb” moments, when you have explained something to the pupil and you can see that they understand it.

Now, I can’t wait to qualify as a teacher and have my own classroom and classes, but does my enthusiasm and passion for becoming a teacher mean that all of my students will always like me? No. Will every day be a brilliant success? Definitely not. However, I know that during my time as a teacher I will have a massive impact on students’ lives and will have influenced my pupils in a positive way.

If you are interested in teaching in a secondary school, Edge Hill are running a Three Day ‘Taster’ Course for Secondary Teaching. This is a chance to experience a career in secondary teaching before making a decision. You will be able to talk to practising teacher, spend a day observing lessons, receive advice from the school’s training team and discover the best route into teaching for you. If you are interested or would like more information follow the link http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/careers/TeachingZone/TrainingTeach.htm

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with life as a trainee teacher at https://twitter.com/#!/jen_ehu

Something to think about…

“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.”  ~Donald D. Quinn