I actually felt like a real teacher!

Year one Secondary RE with QTS Undergraduates had an opportunity, as part of their work on Hindu Dharma, to go into a local Primary School and get their first taste of teaching.  Feliciity wrote this in her blog:

We were introduced as ‘The teachers from Edge Hill’ today, we officially became teachers!

I don’t think I could have possibly been more nervous on the drive to the school we were going to, the awful rain and bad traffic didn’t help though. Upon arrival we signed in and got our lanyards to say who we were shown to the staff room where we gathered ourselves, prepared for our assembly and got our lesson plans finalised with our groups.

Then came the assembly on Diwali. From all the practices we had in class, I felt we were doomed from the start, oh how wrong I was! We all laughed together and performed the story of Diwali so well, I could not have been more proud of everyone, we really pulled through as a class and *hopefully* the children enjoyed our performance, especially a blue faced Shannon as Rama and a Monty Python homage from Joe as Sita.

Then came the actual teaching…

In our separate groups we were led to our classroom, where we were about to meet what can only be described as the most lovely, well behaved Year 6 children. To start with we planned a game of Hindu God themed Top Trumps, something I had enjoyed from our first lesson, and the children took to the game so well. I went round all the tables asking the children which God was their favourite and why, with some choosing those represented in our play of Diwali. 3,2,1 and they were silent, tidying up the cards back into the envelopes  to listen to the PowerPoint presentation, in turns we began to go through the slides, deviating to ask questions and add in more information. The stop at slide 7 of 14 wasn’t in the plan but if someone else in a group deviates from the plan, you go with it! With the groups they were sat in, we gave each table a body length strip of paper to draw around a nominated child to create a version of a Hindu God that they worked together to draw, name and paint. Walking round and talking to the children was such an experience:

I actually felt like a real teacher!

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The children listened and responded so well, with some taking aspects of Gods like Ganesh and Matsya to create their God. I spoke with some children about Holi Day and how Hindus throw bright colours at each other in celebration to help them be as colourful and creative as they wanted. We also spoke more of other different aspects of Hinduism as they were fascinated, I really believe they took in and actually learnt something. The plenary was the final slide and we asked the children questions on Hinduism, Samsara, Karma (which they gave us real life scenarios from their own lives to show their understanding) and Aum. Our final part of the lesson was a small video from My Life, My Religion: Hinduism by BBC2 which shows a brother and sister aged 11-14 showing a glimpse into Hinduism in a child friendly way. Of course the link on the presentation didn’t work, but what would a lesson plan be without some failings and whist it was fixed we spoke about what the childrens’ Gods would be protectors of. Thankfully YouTube gave us our video but we had to show from the beginning of the half an hour programme rather than the selected clip, but I rate this video highly as it is children explain their religion, highlighting key terms and showing it in its real life experience; my life, my religion is also available for other religions too – I highly recommend viewing.

The most valuable thing to take away from today apart from the amazing first teaching experience was how this one morning brought our Undergraduate class closer together, the next day it felt like we all knew each other that bit better, enough where we went from sitting in small groups, to sitting and laughing together.

A huge thank you to MA and Mrs JA for providing this opportunity and experience.

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You can read more of Felicity’s blog posts here