Day Tripper

So we had a school visit today which was pretty good, although any day not in Faculty is a good day! The school is very creative with whole corridors designed to fit in with the topics. Money and time goes into each display meaning that each topic is re taught every two years so the displays just stay where they are.

It was all very impressive and we were all blown away but I found the displays constricting. You can’t easily decide not to do a particular topic as the school is set up to do each one again. Anyway, I’ve got a job so don’t need to think too much about it!

Eurrrrgh feelings.

So I had a mini meltdown upon reaching Faculty this morning. So much bleuurrrrrgh for that place! Anyway I’m going home on Friday for the weekend to try and regain some sense of life being worth it. Literally cannot wait. Three days to go. To be fair tomorrow is a school visit day so no Faculty, wahooooo!

Sorry for the self-pity post; definitely a ‘pitfall’ day!

The start.

So today began the start of our return to Faculty. Absolute bore!

The day got off to a roaring start with, quite possibly, the dullest lecture known to man kind. When people point out that they are working to a time constraint, then constantly um and errrr over what they’re saying, it does add to the tediousness of the situation!

We were then told that our final, part two, placement should be given to us by Friday….but another school dropped out which means there are now twenty five trainees with no school. It does suck for faculty but they have committed to getting us all placements so fingers crossed.

We signed up for two, week long placements. One is in a specialist school, such as SEN. Personally I am not suited to work with SEN children. Believe me when I say I am strongly for inclusivity, but I think it takes a very strong and worthy person to work consistently in an SEN setting. I respect them strongly whoever it is not me. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the placement – it will be enriching I’m sure but…well….I just doing think I’m suited to enjoying it! The second week is in a small village school and is an enrichment placement. My school is having a health week so I expect there will be lots of food and fitness related activities!

Oh well, one day in Faculty down, 19 left until the courses ends (as well as 38 days in school); but then who’s counting?……..

Oh bother.

It’s the end of Half term already, how miserable! The week has flown by. Whilst it got off to a miserable start with my purse being stolen and my parents having to cut their trip short, the week picked up. I’ve pretty much finished my assignment, I’ve got a new car and my replacement cards are slowly arriving!

I really can’t believe the holiday is over already though – 6 weeks until Easter holiday. Bring it!

Done.

Image

Friday was the last day of my second placement.  It was quite a tough day having to say goodbye to everyone.  The staff, TAs, office staff and parent helpers had been so supportive all the way through the placement that to say a big enough thank you and a warm goodbye was a bit difficult.  In total we’d been there 12 weeks, which is a pretty long time!  

I got some perfect gifts and the Year Fours were lovely.  When I was at my interview on Tuesday they were busy making a card, each writing a message inside which was really sweet.  I’ll definitely be looking after it.

I was so spoiled on this placement; other PGCE students on my course haven’t been so lucky with the staff or pupils and it makes me a little bit nervous for what’s coming with my next placement.  I can only cross my fingers and hope for the best!  On the upside I’ll always have wonderful memories to look back on, and I know that I’ve become a better teacher on the placement and hopefully I can keep going forwards!

Only One Left

Tomorrow is my last day with the Year 4s.  

 

Definitely going to cry.

Shocker!

I know I’ve been rather silent over the past couple of days but it’s all been rather hectic!  I went to school on Monday, then went home to G-town for a good night’s sleep before my interview (on Tuesday).

The interview was certainly an experience, and one of the longest days of my life!  I had to be at school for 8.20am.  At 8.30 we were given our ‘task list’ for the day.  There were 10 of us there, all applying for three (turns out to be four-five) NQT positions at the school.  Most appeared to be doing BAs in education, so a bit more experience than us on a PGCE!  It transpired to be less of a list and more of a very loose timetable!  I was scheduled to teach my lesson “using a book as a stimulus to “make children fly”” at 9.35; so I did.

I was teaching a mixed ability Year 2 class, only seventeen children in total, but that was more than enough!  As a trainee teacher it was quite intimidating walking into a room of strange children and trying to teach them something.  The lesson was slightly chaotic.  One child lost a tooth (of natural causes, nothing to do with me), another had a little bit of a strop, but largely the rest of them were pretty focused.  It was only half an hour and I just about managed to cram the learning objective, main activity, and plenary in to the lesson.  I was observed by the two headteachers (it’s an infant and junior federation) which was quite unnerving – they must practice their poker faces because boy were they not giving anything away.

I then had an hours gap before I had to do the ‘writing section’; this turned out to be a Year 6 SPAG test (spelling, punctuation and grammar) which I clearly did ok on.  We also had to ‘level’ a piece of work.  To my surprise I levelled it correctly. 

We then had lunch served to us.  At this point we were under the impression some would be sent home whilst others stayed to interview.  Turns out we all got through to round 2!  

We were interviewed in pairs and asked a number of rather rigorous questions!  We were asked to evaluate our lessons and to say why we levelled the work the way we did.  We then met with some kids from the school council and fielded those questions (much more relaxed than the interview, man that was scary).  We were then sent home and informed we’d be told Wednesday (today) whether we had the job.

I then caught a number of trains back to my Uni home ready for school this morning.

I received the phone call at 4.30pm.  They offered me a job.

 

And I accepted.

The Whisper Effect

It’s quite remarkable how the children react to a teacher who has all but lost their voice.  I managed to whisper my way through a 50 minute grammar lesson this morning with only the TA, assigned on a 1:1 basis with a child, in the room.

I sat the children on the carpet and told…or…well….croaked to them that they’d have to help me out as I really couldn’t project my voice.  I had them reading the definitions for different punctuation – when and how to use them – and then they had a little chat in pairs about the very poor grammar in a paragraph on the IWB.  They then came up one by one to correct the grammar and punctuation mistakes in the sentences.  After that, I let them loose on the laptops.  They had to play a quick game called Trapped Punctuation which was really good fun.  They even had to have the sound up on the laptops but were all very diligent about pausing the game and listening when I waved my arms around frantically above my head to get their attention.

You’ve really got to give children some respect; they are humans after all and can be very sentimental at times.  One girl called out to me as she left the room “Get better soon”.  I tried to tell her that I felt fine, I’d just lost my voice, but all that came out was a high pitched squeak and a creaky groan…..

A trip to the Doctor….

The doctor Confirmed that I have laryngitis! The word “bugger” springs to mind. On the plus side I’ve completed my three full days teaching so that’s a relief.

I only have a grammar lesson tomorrow morning. The kids are great as my voice started to fade during art this afternoon. They were really well behaved and were very quiet which was lovely to see; it showed that they really have respect for teachers!

There’s no cure for laryngitis apart from lots of liquids and resting the voice!

What. A. Day.

It was my second full day of teaching today, and it was certainly an eventful one!

One of my class received two red cards today – that results in the loss of two break times.  The first was because he punched another boy (in my class) in the privates during morning break and refused to apologise; the victim was left having to cradle his wounded….erm…area, for the rest of the day.  The same miscreant then, during lunch break, decided that it was his right to take all of the play equipment outside and throw it around the playground.  I went all teacher on him and told him I was very disappointed (cringe) and I’d already told him off once and he hadn’t listened (double cringe), that I expected better from him (running out of teacher stereotypes now) and that…..

….at this point he was saved by the bell.  To be more precise, he was, ironically, saved by the fire alarm.  So my afternoon plan went out of the window.  I managed to get the class up and out of the classroom, they were silent, mostly, and I was feeling jolly proud of myself until I reached the gate into the playground.  I ended up standing with sixty odd children by a locked gate.  We were rescued five minutes later by someone who actually knew the code of the gate.  Ever so slightly awkward but the important thing was we were out of the building right?  

Whilst we were, ahem, held up at the gate, a TA came up to me declaring that I should “count the chidlren as she takes some”.  Errrr what?  My heart filled with panic – who?  Who is taking the children?  Why is nobody stopping her taking the children?  I worked out at about 5pm this evening that what this TA was confusingly trying to tell me was that, in the case of a fire drill, the headteacher sometimes sneaks children away to ensure that the class teacher has taken a head count of their class – the cheek of it!  It turns out I needn’t have worried, this was not a drill.  Some rather naughty Year 5 pupil had decided it would be hilarious to press the fire alarm button.

Forty minutes later, when the fire brigade and police had arrived on site and said naughty boy had received “a right telling off” as the head put it at the staff meeting, we were sent back inside.  Well, then of course they couldn’t reset the darned alarms so the siren kept going off for about 10 more minutes – did I mention that one of the alarms is inside our classroom?  Anyway, finally (one hour after lunch break ended) silence resumed, along with 30 headaches.  I then had to attempt to teach science.  In half the time.  With children wound up from a fire engine and police car visiting the school…..

I don’t think I need to tell you that it feels a lot further through the week than just Tuesday – it should be at least Thursday after the week I’ve had!