A Fortnight’s All It takes

So, another week done. For Year 4 this means the end of a rather gruelling assessment week. For me, it marks the end of a successful (if not emotionally frustrating) week. I have managed to get all my interviews for my research done and transcribed, I taught art and dance with no injuries or calamities!

Next week I’m teaching all day Monday-Wednesday, including all transitions, and a grammar lesson on
Thursday morning. So it’s going to be a busy week.

Today was the last day I have to cycle to get to school and, after this evenings extremely cold, wet ride I’m almost ecstatic!

So a good end to the week!

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Restored.

By about 10am this morning I somehow managed to restore my “calm and happy” mantra.  I feel a lot better for it!  Of course, this may be because the girl who drives me to school but picks me up from my house is doing all the driving for the next two weeks – this hopefully means I won’t have to have any more days getting soaking wet on my bicycle which, as I’m sure you can imagine, doesn’t quite put you in the best of moods!

I didn’t do any teaching today, but marked a few of the assessments – only a few children have made improvements on their grades, with most children maintaining their grade; one child has gone backwards but this was to be expected!

I’m teaching dance (god help us all) tomorrow; happily I found out there’s an assembly beforehand which means that it’s a shorter session than previously anticipated, hurrah!

Calm and Happy

So, since the start of this term, I’ve been trying to stay “Calm and happy”, and I think I’ve done a pretty sterling job.  Until now.

It’s not anything to do with school, or the pupils, or lessons – that’s all fantastic.  There’s just the issue of some people being rude, and I just can’t stand it.  I’ve let it pass me by for the past three weeks but today this rudeness just affected too many people.  Two and a half weeks, that’s all, but I’m really annoyed I feel like this and I’ve let this rudeness get to me again.  Everything else is going so well – let’s hope I can get back to my “calm and happy” state tomorrow!

Sorry – this is a very moany post!

I have no words…

Ok, I’m totally lying, of course I have words!  The title of this particular post relates to (yet another) rather baffling email from Faculty.  This time, they are saying that they haven’t got enough placements for us on our Part Two placement, you know, our final examined one?  

Not only do they not have enough placement schools but they can’t guarantee that we’ll be with the right year group.  In my case, the ‘right’ year group would be Year 5 or Year 6; frankly I’m appalled!  Anyway, I sent them a fair email saying that a) I was shocked at their organisation – for a number one institution in the country for PGCEs this just isn’t acceptable; b) I was hoping for more; c) I will drive a car but only if they rent me one, pay for it, and pay my petrol costs; and finally d) that I would accept another placement in Year 4, otherwise it will have to be Year 5 or 6.  If they place me in KS1 I politely inferred that I would raise merry hell until they gave me what I expected when I joined the course!

Ooooof it really does wind me up!  It’s days like this when I think I should have done Teach First; Faculty makes it very hard for me to remain calm and happy…..

Well that was quick!

I got home at four thirty yesterday, FOUR THIRTY, that’s obscene! Anyway, I had a productive night cleaning the kitchen and bathroom and generally avoiding work. Went to the cinema and saw ’12 Years a Slave’ which was…..alright. Sorry to any fans out there!

School went really well on Friday despite the class being extremely chatty; we had to work in complete silence a couple of times which was a wholly unnerving experience! Only three weeks left in school now. I’m going to miss the year 4s!

“Grown as a teacher”

So today was a rather busy day.  I was observed my our School Coordinator today, who just so happens to be the Deputy Headteacher.  She watched my maths lesson on solving problems to do with fractions.  It covered all of the teaching they’ve had so far including equivalent fractions, finding fractions of amounts, and how to use division and multiplication facts to solve problems.  The lesson went really well and her feedback was really upbeat and positive.

This good confidence booster was followed by my mentor who says that I’ve “grown as a teacher” in the past week, and she feels that I’m more than capable to be left alone with a class and deliver a well planned lesson at the right level for the group.  So that was lovely of them to say.  I obviously have lots more to learn, but it’s nice to know that I’m at least on track!

I also taught PE today.  It was hockey, and I decided to do it outside.  The ground was very slippery but I only had one casualty – she took a bit of a bashing returning from the Office with 6 plasters, one on each knee, hand, and elbow, respectively!  She did only slip over though so it wasn’t that she’d been beaten up with a hockey stick or anything!

Some sad news around the school this week has been that the lollipop man passed away at the weekend.  He was clearly a key part of the school community, with a condolence book in the school’s reception area showing how much his time was appreciated.  One of the boys in my class has clearly taken this news badly, and I had a half hour wander and a chat with him around school.  I felt very honoured that he asked me if he could have a chat, and it’s nice to think that the children trust me enough to share how they feel, even though I’ve only been with them for 5 weeks. 

So today was, in all, a very positive day; definitely needed it!

Faculty Frustration

Now, I know that I am on the job-hunt at the moment, but today Faculty sent an extremely unhelpful email.  Considering the amount of stress we are all already under, they sent an email stating that:-

Dear Trainees,

We thought it would be good for you to hear that one of the trainees on your course has received a job offer from one of our partnership schools.

Well, good for the trainee, but there was no need to send that email.  They keep telling us that there is no need to rush for jobs (after all, we’re at the number 1 training institute for PGCE students in the country), so why send that email?  It’s just struck a nerve and marred an otherwise sterling school day!

So let’s focus on that positive now that my personal issues are out of the way!  Maths went surprisingly well today, although I was appalled at the Y4’s knowledge of their times tables, as was my mentor (their normal class teacher).  So tomorrow’s lesson is going to be a very dull drilling of our times tables from 1-12!!  The lesson went well.  I did my first maths carousel with Y4 and it worked well; it was nice to have small groups to work with at a time, especially after placing them in groups according to how well they did during yesterday’s lesson.

Tomorrow’s maths is observed by the school coordinator who just so happens to be the Deputy Headteacher.  Fingers crossed it’ll go ok.  She’s only ever taught in KS1 so KS2 isn’t her area of speciality!

1 down 4 to go. I’m 1/4 of the way through…

The first of four maths lessons was taught by me today.  I have three more to teach.

  • On the plus side I started with 28 children and finished the lesson with 28 children.
  • On the downside at least 4 children had music lessons during my class which meant that they either missed the main teaching, or they missed the part where they actually had to apply their knowledge and learning.  Rather frustrating.
  • On the plus side, all but 2 children managed to get some working out down in their maths books.
  • On the downside, I had to mark 26 books.

To be honest, the ‘plus sides’ outweigh the ‘downsides’ purely based on the fact I only have to teach three more maths lessons this week.  Personally I find maths a bit of a drag; you can’t be quite as creative as in literacy.  They need to understand one way of doing maths, whereas literacy can flow in different ways….

Monday Munchies….

I baked some cheeky little raspberry and chocolate chip muffins at the weekend to put in the staff room.  They went down a treat!  If you’d like the recipe then click here.

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Besides the sweet treat, the day went pretty well.  I led two guided reading groups today which were successful, although being first thing on a Monday morning it somewhat resembled pulling teeth!  Apart from that it’s been a rather chilled day with PPA this afternoon.  I’m teaching maths for the week, starting tomorrow.  I’m not particularly nervous about what I’m teaching, I know what I’m doing pretty well; I’m just nervous that my explanations won’t get through to them.  I’m great at waffling, a skill adept to literacy teaching, but I just don’t think it’ll run so well with maths.  Anyway, we shall see….

D’oh!

Since September I’ve thought that the chair in my room is really low and I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to adjust it.

I just worked it out.  You literally keep spinning it until the seat rises.  How embarrassing.

On the plus side, this simple oversight would suggest that all of my attention and brainpower has been focused on planning lessons and assignments; at least I’m on task…