Almost There!

So it’s actually half way through my Easter Holidays now – I can’t believe it! At this point, I only have 5 weeks left on placement, then 4 weeks of miscellaneous  course bits and bobs left. Just 9 weeks of term time, then I am a teacher!

My last couple of weeks in school were very stressful. But after handing in my second assignment and my last Uni Tutor observation I am feeling so much more positive, probably due to being able to get a good nights sleep!

To be honest, I don’t have a whole lot to update you on, because I appear to have lived the last 2 weeks in such a blur that I can’t really pinpoint too much. So I think I’ll just fill you in on the uni observation and maybe recap my New Placement Resolutions today…

On the last Wednesday of term, my uni tutor came to observe me with my Year 7 class. We have been doing shape, so I decided to take a little sidestep and have a look at Circles. We did a discovery of Pi lesson, where the students measured around loads of different circular objects and then divided circumference by diameter.

They did really well actually, such a bright little set. Lots of interesting discussions, and my tutor said she was really impressed with my letting them discuss and formulate their own ideas. A few of them had heard the formulae and of Pi before but there were clear limits to their knowledge and we were able to build on them. That meant that when we got a result for Pi as 6.5 they knew why I didn’t ‘like’ it as much as their results closer to 3!

For me, the whole thing seemed very chaotic and I wasn’t feeling all that positive about it – lots of string, lots of objects floating about to be measured, lots of chatter. But my tutor was really pleased. So pleased in fact that she gave me the uni’s top rating as my provisional course rating!

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Very pleased, really reflects all my hard work this year.

My targets this placement were:

  1. STOP DOING CARD SORTS FOR CLASSES OF 900 PUPILS. It takes too much of your time for the 10-15 minutes of the lesson it takes them to do them.
    This is something I have done – when I have done them I have used them smarter.
  2. Give out homework at the start of the lesson & collect it in at around the same time.
    I have done this for the most part, some little slip ups and needs finesse to run a bit more smoothly but I am making progress!
  3. Don’t drop the plenary. Make it less topic specific and more about reflection, then wherever you get up to, you can ask the students what they have learned that day etc. But you must not drop it.
    I am doing better with this. But I still do it! A lot more than I should!
  4. Do not be tempted to shout over students. Wait. A long time if needs be.
    This is going swimmingly. Even with super chatty Year 7. We’re down to 25 seconds from 55 with the hands up and waiting there!
  5. Say ‘no’ when you need to… and on that note, stop offering to take on extra things  (before you are even asked) when you don’t have time, even if you think it will help others.
    I’ve had too much to do this half term for anyone to even bother asking really!
  6. Instructions need to be more explicit and before every task. “In your books… All workings shown… iPads down… Pens down…” Do not move on until these things are done.
    Still need to improve this!
  7. Not every lesson will be perfect. Especially with the increased timetable. Plan the best you can, and remember this year is a learning curve… A very steep learning curve.
    I’m coping better with this, using things that didn’t work to make the next lesson better, less dwelling!
  8. Find a quicker way of marking books/homework/tests.
    Still working on this…
  9. Stop working at 9.30pm on weekdays. At the latest. Spend time with Jamie. Call your Mum/Grandma/Best friend.
    This has not happened with my mental past few weeks. I will work on this.
  10. Have Saturday off. Every week. & at least one more day in the holidays. You are pretty blooming fantastic, but you are not Superwoman.
    This has also been hard to keep up, but weeks without assignments etc I have managed this. And so far, I’ve only done work one day this holiday too… I’m getting better at this!

 

So I’m making some progress in most of these, the work/life balance is still a struggle though, clearly… I’m not sure if that’s going to get better without more time to streamline things!

I hope you are all having/have had/will have a wonderful Easter break. I am going to make the most of mine to see some friends and enjoy my birthday on the last Sunday! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Almost There!

  1. Good to hear it’s going well.
    A minor tip that might help with the marking bit (and that you might already do!): Before marking, sort books into piles. Find the homework in their book and leave it open on the page. A quick scan lets you sort them into a few similar piles, such as ‘looks right’, ‘no workings’, ‘wrong hw/no hw’, ‘classic error 1’, etc. These are much easier to handle, it tricks you into thinking it’s a more manageable task, and you get into a groove in your comments for pupils.

    Like

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