OH! I’m half-way there…

Ok, that’s a lie; I’m a (very rough) sixth of the way through my first assignment! Bossed it out on campus for the past three days and tomorrow is my reward as my Mummy and big sister are coming to visit.

Absolute BLISS!

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This; THIS is what doing a PGCE feels like.

This pretty much epitomises the ’emotional journey’ that the first 7 weeks of a PGCE will take you on. Half the time you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but at the end of the day you know that there’s always the safety net of the impending ‘holiday’ to make the fear and trauma go away.

Even if it only lasts one week…

How to maintain productivity during study week

First of all, get up early and get going.  Obviously allow yourself a later start than normal (reached faculty at 9.30 rather than 9), but don’t hang about like a cat between the hours of 9am and 6pm; get going!  

Secondly, find a place to work which is reasonably quiet but you can still discuss ideas.  

Thirdly, and most importantly, ensure everyone brings cake.Image

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“On study week…

“On study week, act like a Mars Bar – work, rest and play.”

The above is the motivational email received from our PGCE co-ordinator in relation to this week’s Assignment Preparation Week (half-term).

Whilst it’s clear in its message, the main question on everyone’s lips is:  must we do so in that order?

What Half-term feels like….

What Half-term feels like....

So it’s happened, we’ve reached half-term! Seven weeks into the course, three spent in school and five at faculty. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve reached half-term…not that it’s called half-term, it’s ‘assignment preparation week’, We have 6000 words to write but right now, that’s not on my mind!

I know I’ve sounded a bit down about the whole course this week, but that’s because the PGCE is tough, really, really tough and I’m not quite ‘getting’ the Faculty side of things; the school bit however is right up my street (which is good because that’s where I need to be as a teacher). But don’t let my negativity about the course put you off. Whilst at times during the course it feels like you’re dragging the whole word with you, and you know you need to be able to lift it but you just can’t seem to get it off the floor it’s important not to give up. Because eventually, and this is what I’m hoping will happen, by the end of the year that world is gonna bounce right off the floor and hover above my head and I’ll have conquered it (world is clearly being used as a metaphor for the PGCE course….I’m tired right now, stay with it!).

In the meantime I’m looking forward to a week of focused work, because then it’ll just be one more week until I’m back in the classroom – now let me at ’em!!

The embarrassing thing is, I was even wearing a watch…

So, today I missed the meeting I’d arranged with my Professional Studies Tutor – what a muppet!  Luckily she said I could see her tomorrow instead!  It was a simple mistake – I thought she said between the science seminar and another lecture, she thought we meant between the other lecture and the science lecture.  Oops!

Anyway, hopefully I’ll do better tomorrow on that one!  In the mean-time, today was ok, a few interactive bits and bobs in Science involving giant blow-up globes and footballs sprayed gold to represent the moon.  We produced this poster about Concept Cartoons which are great accessories to teaching which I really feel have a value in the classroom, and apparently Ofsted like too – any teacher opinions on that?!Image

Life’s a Rollercoaster.

Or, perhaps more specifically, a PGCE is a rollercoaster!  Today was incredibly good compared to the past two days.  We had Art, P.E. and D.T.; I had a fantastically hands-on day but can’t help but feel that I shouldn’t need to wait for a day like this to make me feel like I can handle the course.  But that’s by-the-by, let’s focus on the positives!

Art was possibly the best lesson taught; we only have 3 hours on the foundation subjects and I think she hit the nail on the head perfectly.  We looked at the principle that Art was simply ‘making marks with tools on surfaces’ – we drew without taking the pen off the paper, looked at drawing without taking our eyes off the object, colour merging, using different gauge pencils, making clay models – it was brilliant!Image

P.E. brought us into the world of Dance – some more interpretive than others(!), with some great tips on how to get children (mainly, sorry for being in any way sexist, boys) involved in the lesson so obviously classed under the stereotypically “girly” topic of ‘Dance’.

The day ended on a high with D.T. starting early (giving us an early home time).  We made model Cars, some better than others, learning to use and make axles.  Ours turned out to look like an amphibious vehicle, though one of the wheels somehow got glued to the frame – it thus had a slight issue with movement….Image

Oooof, another bad’un!

But at least I anticipated that this day wouldn’t go well!  Parts of the day were useful, parts were hair-tearingly grim, and others parts were just completely irrelevant and a massive waste of time!

On the upside it’s the final of the Great British Bake Off tonight, I’ve organised a meeting with my Professional Studies Tutor to see if she can help sort this boringly negative stuff out, and tomorrow we have double Art, P.E. and D.T.

Hurrah!!

When you’ve had a bad day…

…the world seems anything but fine!  I’ve realised that I really, really, really do resent Faculty.  I’m in my element in the classroom, in front of a room of 29 little faces.  It’s where I belong and for the past two weeks I’ve been exhausted but in a good way – I’m exhausted because I care and because I’ll try my best to ensure that each of those little people goes home having achieved something, even if it’s as small as writing their name on a page and “having a go”.

It’s just these weeks we spend in Faculty which really get me down.  I was exhausted by 11 today which is completely non-sensical because I went to bed early, I woke up later than I do when I go to school, and I literally just sat in a lecture theatre.  I think it’s the assignments that are bearing down on us all like an ugly, hairy aunty with smelly breath that you really don’t want to sit next to in the car; of course, being in Faculty means there’s time to dwell on other things that you could, not push from your mind, but you could temporarily forget about whilst in school.

Eurrgh, this isn’t a happy post is it?  Maybe things will brighten up tomorrow….although, judging from the timetable, I can’t quite see how that’s going to happen!!

A part-time leaving gift…

A part-time leaving gift...

A leaving gift from one of the children. Apparently it was so that I don’t forgot them before I return in 3 weeks.

I don’t think I could, even if I tried. It’s bizarre how attached and involved you get in children’s learning in such a short space of time. I think I need to man up a bit….