Well the past week or so has been an absolute whirlwind. So much has happened in such a short space of time!
Last week I had to hand in my first assignment and first placement review. The assignment was sorted a very long time ago, so all I had to do was press submit online and hand in a hard copy on Friday – no all-nighters for me!
The nicest part of the whole review process was getting to read what my mentor thought of me/my teaching. The entire document she wrote was full of praise and really showed me how far I’ve come the past few months through someone else’s eyes. To top it all off she gave me a ‘Very Good’ – my University’s highest rating! I was absolutely over the moon… I even did a little dance and then called my mum to tell her!
This week is ‘reading week’ – which makes no sense as we have now handed the assignment in… I planned to use it for catching up on sleep and admin while in my PJs. However, last Tuesday morning a job at an ‘Outstanding’ Academy landed in my inbox in a TES alert. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity so spent a few days perfecting my application, then sent it off on Friday.
It was a very short ad, with applications closing on Monday lunchtime, and by Monday evening I had heard back – I had an interview! This was exciting enough for me really – with a very hastily pulled together supporting statement I wasn’t sure that my ‘Very Good’ attributes were going to show. But they must have!
Today was my interview. I had to prepare a 60 minute lesson on Similar Shapes – lengths, then moving on to area and volume if the class grasped the basics early on. I wanted to make sure I showed myself off to the best of my ability so I planned like I would any other lesson and asked my mentor for advice. I finally settled on a ratios starter as a recap, some teacher talk and pupil input with examples, then a card sort for an investigation into the relationship between the scale factor and area. I also planned a T/F question relating to area, and then a problem solving question.
I also made sure I had a means of doing directed questioning without knowing any names! I ordered some lollipop sticks and placecards on Amazon; planning to use them both with numbers on to pick lollipops from a pot, and their names on the front of placecards so it was then more personal. Unfortunately, they didn’t arrive until last night at 8pm (silly Amazon Logistics…) so I had a last min panic in Tesco with the craft section and some record cards. My lovely boyfriend then spent the evening folding them into placecards and folding up my booklets.
Then I delivered it first thing this morning. I’ll be honest, I’m bloody proud of it as a lesson and I think it showed off my ability to ask the right questions, be persistent, find any misconceptions and get the correct message across. It wasn’t perfect but for being observed in an interview lesson I did really well… albeit while sweating profusely.
The thing I found hardest was that I really got to like the other 3 girls I was up against. Then we had to sit together and wait while we were all interviewed and then called back.
They were all very worried, but I felt like the day had really gone well for me, though maybe that was just because I felt it was a sign that I wore a dress in the school colours… I had a little niggle as I considered one of the girls. in her second year on Teach First as my biggest competition, and she was called back in first! I started to plan how to say thank you and ask for feedback without crying, then I got called up too…
I got into the room and the Head of Maths OFFERED ME A JOB! I was so shocked as I was convinced the other girl had gotten it (she did, as it happens, we’re both starting in September!) and said as much when she offered it to me. She asked me if that was an acceptance and I said ‘Yes! Of course!’ then everyone shook my hand and congratulated me.
I was grinning like the Cheshire Cat all the way to HR, and my car, and then since. I rang my mum, my dad, my boyfriend, my best friend…. everyone! I am so so happy.
What a Christmas present, eh?
I hope everyone has a great Christmas, filled with lots of rest and family time, and as little marking and planning as you can get away with. I’m off to start my Christmas season with a celebratory Indian and a prosecco!
Catch you in 2016!!!