God, I don’t even remember the last time I sat down to write a blog! The past few weeks have been a total blur of planning, teaching, evaluating, assignment writing and lack of sleep. But I am absolutely loving it.
My first block placement is officially over! Its gone so fast, and it’s really worrying me that in February I leave this school for a new (yet-to-be-determined) one. I absolutely love it where I am right now! But anyway… less worry… more focus on the past few weeks…
I have now taken full responsibility of the Year 10 class I have been teaching. They are a real hard bunch to crack – as set 7 of 10, they are the bottom set sitting the higher paper, and that is frustrating. For me and for them.
I’ve learned a lot from teaching them though. They need things to be chunked up quite considerably, and its tested my ability to take a subject like equations of a line and really break it down into something more manageable for them. I think I cracked it though, providing them with steps to help them find the equations from points, scaffolding the sheets that I give them in the same way and providing them with tools to help them with revision.
They are however, incredibly lazy. The standard of homework they hand in, if any at all, is terrible… and they REFUSE TO LOOK BACK IN THEIR BOOKS. I mean this is fundamental in learning. So I’ve had to get really good at using the Positive Discipline system very quickly. I have also developed a strategy to make them look back… I have banned the use of the words “I don’t know” or anything similar. Instead the class can ask for extra time to look through books before answering a question, ask each other for help or ask me/Miss H a very specific question to move them forward. So far, it seems to be working. They still occasionally try to get away with saying they don’t know, but we make a big thing of it and they have started to realise they DO have the answers, and I won’t ask a question I don’t think they can answer.
The Year 8 class are literally the highlight of my life. They are so enthusiastic and willing to learn. I taught them about Möbius bands last week, and they all took their own home because they were so intrigued.
I’ve only done part lessons and 1 full lesson with them so far. They are a very big class and I am finding it hard to ask every pupil a question. Especially those on the fringes! I have just come up with a cunning plan to fix that though… I bought some lollypop sticks and have created a ‘pot of doom’/a random name generator for the princely sum of 89p.
I am getting on well with them too! One of them suggested we have a party before I leave in February to celebrate that I have taught them. I mean, they also said they’d have a celebration party WHEN I leave… but I’ll take what I can get!
I have had my fair share of mini breakdowns though. My Year 10s have been frustrating and my gorgeous weekend away in Newcastle put me on a back foot. I had a really big cry due to being exhausted and no longer being able to think straight. But I know I can do this and I know I am getting better.
I think I’ve come a long way in the last 4 weeks. I am becoming much firmer with my classes, my questioning is improving and I’m starting to realise how important sleep is… Things can only get better from here, right? 🙂