You can take the teacher out of the classroom….

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….but the creativity of the teacher has no limits! That’s right, I’m home, and I’m making paper chains. I’m sure my creativity could be aimed somewhere more productive, such as at lesson planning for next term. Ah well, c’est la vie!

Home for the holiday – bliss.

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Fresh faced

So I handed in my assignment today, hooray for me!

As I was handing it in I saw some fresh young faces waiting for their PGCE interviews. My friend and I were thinking that they looked too young to be teachers; that’s when we realised. They weren’t young, no, no, they just hadn’t been worn down by a term of the PGCE course. Unlike us who are haggard, ill, and running on stress, they were fresh faced, happy, and nervous with bright anticipation. I might come back in a year and see how they’re looking then…

My life in A4

My life in A4

So this shows the timetable for this term. This is 14 weeks worth of PGCE life. I would show you the timetable for next term too, but as I haven’t crossed any days off it yet I fear it would be too depressing an experience for all involved, most of all me!

Over a year

My interview for a place on the PGCE course was on the 5th December 2012. I missed the actual ‘anniversary’ of that day but, recently, a few of my friends from the years below me at Uni have had offers from various universities. It was such a good feeling when I received the interview and I had 5 weeks to wait until the actual day, whilst others who had applied to different places had only 3 days notice! So, bearing in mind that these interviews are hugely varied depending upon where you apply, here is a brief summary of what happened at my PGCE interview, just in case you were wondering…..

So I had a morning interview which went from 9 until about 1. There were eight of us in my interview group and seven out of that eight made it (I’ve seen them around Uni when we are in Faculty). We were all put in a room and had a few tasks to do – we had to choose an object from a table and discuss with each other how we could use that object in a lesson. The objects included photos, rain sticks, glue, a globe, and other weird and wonderful things. We then swapped tables so we were sat with different people and had to order some statements saying whether we agreed or disagreed with them. That was quite fun but we always had someone hovering over us watching!

The next part of the interview was to give our pre-prepared 2 minute speech on a method we’ve observed which we think is a good teaching strategy. 2 minutes really isn’t very long and I had to practise a lot before I got the timings right. It was all very relaxed and we gave the speech to those sat on our table, so it was only to 4 people.

We were then given a written task; we basically had two hours to write no more than two sides of A4 on our views about an article regarding KS1 children and how they learn (they told us afterwards that this is what they use to judge whether we were capable of doing the Masters side of the PGCE). The reason we had so long to do it was that we were taken out for our individual interviews which were about 20 minutes long. The interview was pretty good actually; all they really wanted to know was what we thought our weaknesses were, our strengths were and what our experiences of working with children has taught us. It really wasn’t scary at all, and, like I said, it was all pretty chilled!

I then had to wait a painful 14 days to hear back from them whether I had a place or not. It was torture but, clearly, I got accepted and over a year later here I am; knackered, stressed and mentally exhausted. Totally worth it.

Like a Turkey on Christmas day I’m done!

That’s it, the end of the first term!

We are one third of the way through the course.

We have completed (and survived) 3 months.

We have completed 35 out of 120 days in school.

We are 1/4 of the way through our 1b placement.

We are tired.

We are hungry.

We are stressed.

We have essays.

BUT WHO CARES BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!  Hooray!  (although I will miss the children; typical)

Knackered (with a silent ‘k’)

Two more sleeps to go until the holiday which is good because I’m absolutely knackered in every way -physically, mentally and (sort of) emotionally. It’s been a long term!

However today the children performed their ‘Stable Manners’ play twice to parents, once at 9.30 and then again at 4 and they were wonderful.  However, the first performance was slightly better than the second one in which three wise men became two (one developed a tummy ache), the star couldn’t get her costume on and then somehow managed to get her pony tail caught in said costume and, to top it off, the CD began to jump on the last song, typical; however the children carried on throughout dancing, singing (occasionally in tune), and smiling throughout.  Hooray that’s over!

“It’s like a Crunchie, only it isn’t crunchy.”

Today we had an epic PPA Phase Meeting (Y3 & Y4 teachers) to plan next term’s work.  This included a large amount of chocolate, biscuits, and mugs of tea and coffee to see us through.  The above quote, as a by-the-by, is in reference to the new Honeycomb Chocolate Fingers – try them out, they’re divine!

Anyway, we managed to sort out the children’s ‘History off the Page’ day; basically a crack squad of Ancient Greek enthusiasts come in to school for a day to let the children take part in Greek-style activities from wax tablet making to olive-tasting!  The day sounds fantastic and, happily, it falls in the week before half-term, which is our final week of the term.  We also looked at the 2014 National Curriculum for Literacy and Mathematics and are including the ‘minor’ changes as of January 2014.  Apparently there is very little that’s changed, though there was some discussion as to why on earth we need to teach Y4 Roman Numerals (when most of them aren’t overly comfortable with the modern-day numbers)!

Apart from that the day was pretty boring with PPA running from 8.30-1.20.  Tomorrow is a day filled with performances and, of course, parents.

Oh joy…..

Blood, sweat and (fortunately no) tears

So today I taught Maths.

I had a wee bit of a nose bleed to accompany my hacking cough and masculine-sounding vocals.

Year 4 are extremely forgiving.

Prime-time

There are 5 days left of this term for myself and my fellow PGCE students.  I am so tired, it really can’t come any sooner.  However, this week is going to be immense, for a number of reasons.  The list thing worked well in my last post, so let’s try it again:-

  1. Monday morning is the Y3/4 dress rehearsal of ‘Stable Manners’ which the rest of the school watches.  So that’s a stressful 9-10.45 slot.
  2. Mid-morning Monday is my maths lesson; that’s right, I’ve been given the prime-time teaching spot of post-dress-rehearsal and pre-lunchtime run about.  I’m just going to get them to design Santa’s Grotto….it’s loosely going to be related to area.  I’m simply being realistic.
  3. Monday afternoon is PPA time.
  4. Tuesday morning is PPA time in which the Y3/4 phase plan next term’s teaching.  So that’s Tuesday morning filled.
  5. Tuesday afternoon is the Y5/6 dress rehearsal which the rest of the school watches. As long as I don’t have any more hysterical children sat at my feet (see the previous post), this should go well.
  6. Wednesday afternoon at 2.30 and 4 is the Y3/4 performance of ‘Stable Manners’.  So that’s pretty much the whole day gone.
  7. Thursday morning is the R/Y1/2 dress rehearsal…..which the whole school watches.  I’m foreseeing a rather hilarious morning.
  8. Friday morning we’re teaching Science safety.  Basically they need to draw posters and try not to fall off their chairs.
  9. Friday mid-morning we’re designing Christmas crown with our Y1 ‘Buddy Class’.  N’awwwwwww (as long as nobody staples their fingers together).
  10. Friday afternoon is taken up with Christmas lunch.
  11. Then I crash and burn.
  12. OH and I made this Cinnabon Cake which will be waiting for me after school.  HOORAY!  Click here for the recipe!IMG_4636

Bring.

It.

On.