It’s Easter don’t you know!!

Hellooo 🙂

Well 6 weeks of placement has been completed and I feel knackered but I’m glad I have got 2 whole weeks off now for Easter- to visit family and friends and actually have a life!! Some people on my course are back in school today so it really just depends on which education authority the school is with as to when you get your easter holidays!

I just want to take this opportunity to say well done to all the people in D1 and the people in their final year on the Primary Education degree! It’s been a tough year but so many people have done really well on their dissertations! We have 1 assignment left and we’ll be free from assignments FOREVER!! 🙂 I registered for graduation the other day and I’m getting very excited about my last month or so left in Ormskirk before I return home to do some supply teaching and get a full-time teaching post ready for September 2011.

The majority of my Easter will be spent getting everything ready to be signed off as a newly qualified teacher 🙂 although I have to check that all my QTS standards are up to date and ready to hand in the end of May. After being signed off I have been offered a teaching job in the school where I am currently doing my synoptic placement, this will just be supply work but still it’s great to know!! I’ve heard that it is very common for trainees to get offered teaching jobs from placement schools.

Right enough about me! Happy Easter everybody!!

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It’s glorious in Ormskirk

Well ….the summer has arrived in Ormskirk so far…lots of students walking around with their flip flops on 🙂 Although, for most of this weekend I have been sat in planning lessons for the final week before easter hols. I have found the TES website soooo useful for teaching ideas. I am doing about 80% now and that involves a lot of planning, teaching and assessing but it’s so worth it. Also, next week I will be doing APP for half of the class this will give me a greater idea about where the children are up to in different subjects.
My classroom is still singing and I’m finding that music in the classroom really does motivate the children to learn!
Besides placement I have been looking for teaching jobs a few have come up and I think I might start applying in the Easter holidays. I am rather nervous about going to the interview but the careers service will help me with any issues. There is somebody in my class that has got her teaching job, which is fantastic can’t wait till everyone, including me in the class gets a job!!!
Oh, got my invitation for graduation as well last week so I’m going to start saving up some pennies ready to buy a nice frock for the graduation which involves a champagne receptions, 3 course meal and music, should be very fun but very emotional….I’ve made some fantastic friends being at uni!
Right I must get to bed, got a busy week full of Easter activities with year 1’s.
Bye everyone!

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Placement, placement, placement…….

Hello Everyone,
It has been a long time since my last blog, had lots on including dissertation and placement. This is the final one now and is 9 weeks long but I’m teaching pretty much ALL of the time, which is intense but it will be worth it when I finally get my own class.
Placements are hard work, but I’m with a year 1 class. They are fabulous and everyday there is something that makes me think why doesn’t everyone do Primary Teaching?!!! One thing that made me laugh the other day was….we were making an easter garden using soil and seeds, the children were helping as there is a lot of practical work in key stage 1 and one boy went to eat some seeds when a voice piped up ‘don’t eat those seeds you’ll turn into a flower!!’ But I was very professional about this and tried to refrain from laughing out loud!! There’s so many other funny stories and those that will do a teacher training course will have their own ones. Though, along with the great, imaginative comments there are sensitive issues that arise from children’s talk. This is why the staff had a training day on safeguarding children this means not promising them confidentiality if they disclose an issue etc. The training meant that I was up to date with my knowledge on safeguarding….which is a great thing to include in my letter of application for jobs.
Also, the uni have participated in a programme known as the ‘ActivExpression project’, this involves allowing the children to respond to the interactive whiteboard using a mobile device. Their responses can be numerical or text. As soon as I showed them to my year 1 class a boy shouted out ‘it’s a blackberry!’
The children each have their own mobile and they have used them in Maths. This is a further thing that I will be putting in letter of application to schools. My advice for applying for teaching courses would be to gain as much experience as you can and look out for lots of opportunities to develop your understanding of teaching.
At the moment, I don’t really have a life because of placement but hey it’s Easter in 2 weeks time and I get two weeks off so will hopefully have more exciting things to tell you by then.
Bye!!!

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This week…..

This has been a very busy week with juggling my social life and academic life..here goes….

It was the first night back in the venue last wednesday so my friends and I thought it would be a great idea to dress up….. in ‘anything but clothes’!! By the way, this means wearing cardboard, bin liners, basically anything but clothes! So wednesday night was spent making costumes mine ended up being a mix of bin liners, bubble wrap, flower arrangement and battery operated butterfly lights!! Anything goes at uni!!

I have started further training this week, PG Cert in Music Education, Edge Hill are funding it and it is provided by the Voices Foundation. I am hoping it will make me a lot more confident at teaching Music to primary school children, this will involve singing with puppets. I really enjoyed a conference that focused on Professor Martin Ashley’s research on boys and singing, I recommend that future trainee teachers check out his website as boys really do enjoy singing and information on boys and their changing voices is really interesting.

Also, this week all third year primary trainee teachers were required to dress up very smartly for mock interviews with current primary headteachers. I brought a new suit and had prepared a few answers for the interview questions such as my philosophy of education. Also, edgehill have provided us with great advice and guidance on getting our first teaching post and we have a designated area on the careers website so I feel quite prepared!! However, when I was interviewed I ended up speaking ten to the dozen and going bright red…but this may have been because we were being interviewed in front of the rest of our group, but I did volunteer so can’t complain!!! I have sent off my first application today for a teaching job near Leicestershire so I hope to hear back from them soon!!!

Right, best carry on with some assignment writing so that I can go out later in the week. Have fun, byeee xxx

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University interviews!!

It’s a bit late but happy new year everyone, those holidays went far too fast for my liking! But back to the old student life now 🙂

I was talking to a girl who attended an open day not so long ago and she asked my advice about going for her uni interview (she’s interested in doing primary teaching), so I gave her a few tips and thought that I would share them with you guys.

  • Firstly, celebrate! This may sound odd but getting to the interview stage is an achievement in itself! So you should feel very proud that you have what it takes!!!
  • Know the current topics/issues surrounding education. You should read through the TES, this is available online and the Guardian, also have a look at the BBC news, because they may ask you about what you  know/your ideas on different topics, such as the use of creativity in schools (Google this if you don’t know what it means because it IS a hot topic in schools at the moment).
  • Be prepared- the night before, get everything ready- clothes, pen, paper, any other documents and have an early night so that you are bright eyed and bushy tailed for the interview.
  • You may like to prepare some questions to ask some of the tutors to ensure that you get the most out of the interview day. Such as : What school experience am I required to take as part of this degree? What sort of opportunities are there for me to get involved in extra-curricular activities and other events?
  • Remember first impressions count- so dress smartly and appear enthusiastic about wanting to be a teacher.
  • You may have to be involved in group discussion. This is a part of the interview process where the tutors can see how you listen, communicate and reflect on ideas. So remember to get your point across but do not take over the discussion, because it is not what you’re saying that they are really interested in it’s how you interact, they want to know that you will make a good uni student!!
  • Just be yourself and believe in yourself!! Sometimes uni interviews can be a bit nervous, but some people imagine they are someone else, who is more confident, which can work!!
  • Before you accept a place make sure that you are certain that this course and uni will meet your educational and social needs.

Finally, good luck!!!

I have an interview tomorrow, which involves headteachers and tutors doing mock interviews, so I have my suit hung up but I’m still quite nervous!! Better carry on reading the TES for a bit!!! Wish me luck!

Bye x

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Social butterfly……..

Hello Everyone 🙂

Well, it has been another busy week! My science assignment was due in last Thursday and I was in school on Friday. I just have to say this time of the year in schools is absolutely fantastic, all the children in foundation stage and key stage one were trying to learn their lines for the nativity while some of them had forgotten what part they were playing in the play. I did not manage to see the little ones nativity, however, I was invited by the deputy head to assist the years 5 & 6 in their Christmas performance for the elderly residents of a day centre in Birkenhead. I noticed that the children thoroughly enjoyed coming out of the classroom and entertaining the elderly with their carol singing and line dancing to carol songs, they had some of the residents in tears. It was a privilege to help the children and teachers in delivering this entertainment and it made me appreciate just how important it is to provide children with a range of experiences and opportunities to learn and perform within the outdoor environment. And, I am now very excited about starting a new POP module next year, titled ‘additional educational settings’. I think it is great that Edge Hill have given me the chance to enhance my knowledge of the outdoor environment, trips etc. So I will keep you updated about that!!!

Also, this week I have been very sociable! My friend described me as a ‘social butterfly’ but I’ve noticed the more I go out and get involved around the uni the more great people I meet and associate with. Also, I went for a Christmas meal in Ormskirk with all the Edge Hill student guides. Then we carried on to Styles, where there was a karaoke which involved a man and woman duetting singing ‘barbie girl’, it was such a laugh. I also went to the venue with some friends and danced a lot which has led me to losing a couple of pounds this week, no doubt they will be piled back on when I have my Christmas dinner with my uni friends later today!!! Nothing beats you uni life!!!

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Teachers fair….

Hello everyone!
Following on from my last blog, I attended the teacher’s fair on Monday. The fair included stands from Edge Hill Careers Services, the teaching unions (NUT, ATL and NASWT), supply agencies and local authorities such as Lancashire County Council. The teaching unions were offering free membership to student teachers at Edge Hill. The NUT stand was particularly busy as they were giving away freebies such bags (that look like the ones that usually say 100% recycled on) ,organisers, pens, sweets and leaflets on getting a teaching post. However, the supply agency stands were much busier because a lot of trainee teachers were filling the registration forms in to ensure they receive regular contact about available supply work over the UK. Supply teaching is very popular and provides great experience for professional development as you can teach a range of different years in different schools. The local authorities were handing out application forms and were taking trainees email addresses so that they could contact them regarding their teacher recruitment process. I have signed up to a few local authorities and I have also registered on the e-teach site to receive job alerts about Primary Education. After walking around the teachers fair, both my friends and I decided to go to the talk from a visiting speaker for the NASWT, who gave some fantastic advice about letters of application, interviews and becoming a successful teacher. The main message was to take an hour or so to ask myself ‘why I want to be a teacher?’ He suggested that if I bullet point the reasons then they would appear in my head when in interview. The reasons would help in writing the letter of application and interview process; this should increase confidence when applying for teaching posts.

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Where is the snow……

Hello Everyone 🙂

It’s now 27 sleeps to christmas and it was the Ormskirk lights switch on last friday! However…everyone is very disappointed with the lack of snow in Ormskirk, hope there will be some this week as I want to make a snowman 😀
Anyhow, it has been another busy week. I went into my year one class on Monday, then on Friday I went to observe a year 5 class which also involved making and eating jam sandwiches as they were learning about instructions! Placement is very tiring but very rewarding and lately, I have been trying to update my QTS standards < this involves meeting standards and providing evidence (photos, reports, newsletters, certificates) to show how I have met the standards and is an essential part of gaining qualified teacher status. Please see link for more information.

Also, after being handed a booklet in a PPD lecture titled ‘Introduction to the Careers Centre for Final Year Trainees wishing to teach’ I am starting to get prepared for attending job interviews by developing my profile of professional development which is a white file that includes my cv, certificates, qts test results and standards as this is the file that you have to take into schools. Also, an independent task for this week involves creating the letter of application which is sent with the application form to schools prior to interview, so I will be working on this through this week.
There is also a teachers fair on campus, Tuesday from 12 to 3.30pm. There will be over 30 exhibitors from local authorities, teaching unions Offender Learning Directorate, Supply Agencies and more…

Students and visitors have been advised to dress smartly and also to take business cards along with them to hand to the exhibitors. I am hoping that I will get to speak to a range of professionals about my future career in the teaching profession.

On the social side of things, I went out last Wednesday to the venue. Although, most of the night my friends and I were talking about how close we are to finishing uni and how the weeks are flying past especially because we are in school every monday, then 9-5 tues, weds & thurs 9-12 then off on fridays! So I have decided that I am now going to forget how close I am to finishing uni and just enjoy each day as it comes 😀

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I don’t want to leave Edge Hill Uni!!!

Hello 🙂

It has been a very busy week at Edge Hill! And it has been a particularly scary week, a lecture last Tuesday shocked me the most! It was about ‘applying for teaching posts’, involving how to search for teaching jobs and write your letter of application which is sent to the schools, read by the head teacher who decide whether they want to interview you. This lecture was fantastic but it highlighted how close I am to graduating from my course and leaving Edge Hill, which I am a bit depressed about 🙁

Also, this saturday I was working for the open day as a student guide where I was telling people about my uni experience whilst doing campus tours, I realised just how much I love Edge Hill!
So, as it is just over 4 weeks to christmas I thought that I would write 4 reasons why I LOVE Edge Hill Uni:

FRIENDLINESS: From the moment I entered the university gates the staff were so welcoming. The atmosphere round the uni was so warm, I could tell all that students did have the best time at this uni as they laughed and chatted in their groups. The social events on at the uni have helped me make some of the best friends.

SUPPORT: The tutors are always willing to help and there to give me exceptional guidance on assignments. The edge ahead in the library also supports academic writing. The counselling service is very useful and helped me a lot through difficult times.

EDGE DUCKS: No other uni had ducks and they are very special to all the staff and students! They are mainly found in the large duck pond. However, they like to wander round campus! The ducks are great apart from when they are on their little adventures and you are in a rush and they get in the way 🙂

PRIMARY EDUCATION COURSE: I love my course and the placements involved! It has helped me see just how inspirational and rewarding a teaching career is! The lectures are always very informative, the seminars are fun as we do the activities that children would do but then we get taught how to teach it.

These are just a few reasons why I love Edge Hill (and don’t want to leave). I have plenty more.
Anyway back to uni work.
Take care everyone 😀

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Spend, spend, spend…..

Hello everyone!

It has come to that time of the year when it feels like 9pm when in fact it is 3pm! The extra layers have made their yearly appearance and the heating is being switched on, but is being used sparingly! On the plus side, my iphone app has notified me that it is only 42 sleeps to Christmas 🙂 This has made me very nervous in terms of my finances….so, as a result, I have been looking for ways to make extra cash.

The university provides a job club for staff and students, which is an online database of local and national vacancies. Please use the link below:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/careers/JobClub/AboutJobClub.htm

I have used the job club throughout my time at Edge Hill Uni. It was particularly useful during the summer after first year, as I wanted to stay in Ormskirk. I managed to find a local job in Maghull that offered full time hours throughout the summer vacation. Furthermore, the job club helped friends seek voluntary work which will allow them to build lots of skills for their future careers. Such as a friend who wants to go into the prison service found a position for a ‘Victim support worker’ on the job club website and will start training very soon. This opportunity will look great on his CV and will make him more employable.

It is so important to enhance your CV and work experience as it will make you more employable. Work experience provides a greater chance for you to develop and practise your ‘transferable skills’. This term refers to skills such as teamwork, communication, decision-making, organisation. University aims to develop and improve on existing transferable skills needed for demands of the workplace.
In terms of applying for university, the universitys are looking at not what you have done but at your POTENTIAL! It will stand you in great stead if your application shows that you are beginning to build on your transferable skills.
Whilst being at university and living in Ormskirk, there have been countless opportunities to increase my transferable skills which has bulked my CV up and increased my experience of working effectively with children. So….Get started on building those skills 🙂

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