Day 1 to 120 – Placement Two

What an experience has placement two been. Tiring. Exhausting. Touching reality. A taste of what teaching is really about [Assessment.Marking.Feedback->Marking.Feedback->] A Vicious Cycle. Statistics, Value Added, Predicted Expected Grades/ Levels. Makes you wonder is this what teaching is turning into? Despite the direness and scandals of teaching. A longer time to establish a relationship with each teaching group was rewarding. In some cases appreciation, of the effort made with the group was awarded with great gratitude.

This placement was a real eye opener as to what is expected from a teacher on a day to day basis. High expectations, deadlines, chasing students,creating resources,  taking part in extra curricular activities, innovation in teaching and keeping up with completing your Personal Development Folders(PDFs), Individual Development Folders (IDPs) oh and the Masters Level Assignments.

On top of everything dealing with everything,  you can add difficult host teachers to the mix that forget you are a PGCE student and enjoy seeing you struggling.When you turn around and prove you are better than them and the students appreciate and prefer your method of teaching , ah I would say that can be the most satisfying feeling, especially if the students parents come bearing gifts, adds a slice of lime to a cool drink of satisfaction.

During the process, the key is time management, organisation and the ability to compartmentalise every aspect of your PGCE . Nothing can stop you from being the best teacher to your full potential and successfully completing your PGCE year with QTS and Master Level Qualification.

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
G. K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936)

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Day Ten – Placement One

Starter – A meeting regarding a charity day on friday. Some time which was long with the pastoral group.

Insightful communication with the mentor regarding the assignments and

Comparision of the different year 7 groups. Having One of the highest ability and lowest ability was incredible the difference is tremendous. Recognising how to differenciate. rewards and sanctions.

Working with the deputy head of a school very insightful. Excellent classroom management techniques. Breaking down tasks. Giving responsibilty to the children for their actions.

Importance of comminication

Plenary – Lovely session with the class again. Discussion on what needs to be done for tomorrow.

A nice summarising meeting with the mentor.

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Day Seven – Placement One

Most of the day today was spend on finding out the lessons that need to be taught in the course of the week. Continuation of lesson observations and to get lesson plans moderated before teaching. Getting lesson plans quality checked was immensely advantageous and feedback provided by the mentors was significantly constructive.

Clarification on how to write effective and reflective lesson plans was also addressed which proved to be invaluable. Importance of highlighting and emphasising on expectations(rewards and sanctions) in the first lesson were strongly encouraged.

Activities undertaken today

Observing a year 12 and year 9 lesson. Year 12; being amongst the lowest ability group completing an OCR Level 2 course (definition: a course designed for year 9/ year 10) was not motivational for them, therefore being incredibly disruptive added to the already disastrous combination.

An opportunity to observe another low ability year 9 group averted a forth coming disaster; lack of the appropriate software. As this is one of the lessons that I am due to teach, logging onto the computers in the designated computer room revealed that the 2animate 2 simple suite was not installed. This was problematic as the entire term’s lessons are based around that particular software.The problem was tackled and dealt with by the host teacher.

Short Term: Prepare a lesson on DTP for year 7.

Middle Term: Start completing the IDP.

Long Term: Meet all the QTS standards.

‘I will act as if what I do will make a difference.’
William James

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QTS TESTS

Alas all the QTS Tests out of the way. What a relief.

Literacy – Check.

ICT – Check.

Numeracy – CHECK.

One QTS standard complete [Q16].

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Day Six – Placement One

Highlight of the day: One lesson to observe therefore plenty of time to finish those all important focus tasks. Some of the students have finally started to recognise me and have stopped mistaking me for a sixth former. Observed a year 10 lesson, finally a meeting with the ITT coordinator. Persistently approached host teachers and mentors to get the all noteworthy data required to decipher over half term.

Activities undertaken today

Observation of the year 10 lesson; although now gradually they are developing more into supporting sessions with the students which inadvertendly gives a better insight, as I will be asked to take over the lesson. It also provides an indication of the shrewdness and craftiness required with that specific class and certain SPECIFIED students.

As half term is right upon us, gathered essential information in regards to the the expectations and work that the subjective host teacher might have. No surprises that the only teachers that were prepared and aware of this transition were the two mentors which will also morph into the role of host teachers. One of the teachers’, I still havent met yet and the other one; although mentions that there is tonnes of work they would like for me everytime we talk, has failed to provide me with any assistance or information in regards to this.

The best way to deal with this issue is to heavily rely on this beautiful thing known to us mere mortals as e-mail. Besides the small glitch all the information now is safetly stored in a spreadsheet.

A meeting with the ITT coordinator has revealed further information on how to completely renovate ourselves into replicas of actual teachers such as dealing with duties and many more voluntary things that we should do.

In regards to lesson planning over the holidays, the mentors have provided us with details on how to get a hold of them therefore any additional queries or glitches that might arise in the midst can be settled.

Short Term Plan: Finish all focus tasks.
Medium Term Plan : Start lesson planning for the weeks to come.
Long Term Plan : Thoroughly going over QTS standards and learning theories that might be linked to ICT.

“Education has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.”
G.M.Travelyan

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Day Five – Placement One

Today is the day when host teachers believe that I am suitable to be unleashed on creatures that are else wise known as students. Today is the day of the plenary.Despite other very fundamental activities that were occurring around school, my plenary seemed to take precedence over everything else; in my world.

Activities undertaken today
Initially observed a fellow colleague who was equally as nervous as myself, deliver a plenary on publisher, which was done with great bravery and poise setting the bar tremendously high for myself.  Next lesson, met the year & group I will be teaching publisher to after half term.

Received advice from the host teacher regarding the delivery of the first lesson back, the advice included significant information such as enforcing a seating plan, thinking of the rewards and sanction policy and some details about myself so their curiosity is dealt with initially.

Now the nerves were in over drive as it was time to do my plenary to year 8s on spreadsheets. A quiz on spreadsheets was created which was to test the prerequisite knowledge of the students, since I was unaware of the name of the students, a randomiser was created with the class list inserted in the spreadsheet which randomly choose a student to answer the quiz question. Before delivering the plenary I picked upon the naughtiest child to press the button to generate the name on the laptop. ( The laptop was there as a contingency plan as the formula would not work on office 2000. Yes that’s correct . Office 2000 latest version).  Feeling my heart pound within my chest, I managed to stay composed whilst delivering my plenary. Overall the plenary went well and received praise from the host teacher and some feedback on how to improve it.

Finally a sense of relief.

Short Term Plan: Information about lessons to come.
Medium Term Plan: Discuss the lessons that need to be taught after half term.
Long Term Plan: Learning Theories.

‘You see things and say ‘Why’? But I see things and say ‘Why not?’
G.B Shaw

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Day Four – Placement One

Gradually, settling in to the new environment. Surprisingly don’t get lost too often although still cant remember the special code used to enter the sacred place; toilets.Routine as usual, firstly a visit to my extraordinary form group that manages to conjure up; immensely quickly, bad feedback from other teachers.

As my mentor distributed the timetables today, structure was in order, a sense of direction swept over me, which was soon taken away when I was told that they were only temporary.

Activities undertaken today
Observing a year 7 lesson where myself and a collegue were offered an opportunity by our mentor, to dive at the deep end and attempt to do a plenary for tomorrow. The plenary had to include keywords used for spreadsheets and making the activity interactive. Ideas were brainstormed to deduced the best approach necessary to convey this information to the students.

Prior to creating the resources, it was essential to gather information in regards to the topic, the class and the specific ability group that the plenary would be addressed to.

Short Term Plan : To create resources for the plenary. Finish a lesson plan.
Medium Term Plan: To finsh all the focus tasks for wednesday.
Long Term Plan : Get information about the lesson that need to be
taught after half term so lesson plans can be written up during
the two week break from school.

Target for Tuesday
Deliver the plenary and get feedback from mentor.
Play around with the animation suite for the lower ability.

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
                                                                Albert Einstein

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