I’m writing this to avoid my 3 week back log on my electronic Standards Profile. But it has been a very long time since I last wrote. I have, once again, had a very up and down few weeks.
The Easter holidays were very restful, and I didn’t do half as much work as I should have done to make my life easier when I got back to school. But if I am being frank, I needed those 2 weeks to be mostly work free because I was exhausted. I’m not sure I have known exhaustion like it to be honest. These were my first holidays without uni sessions or illness or a looming deadline, so I did very little work and I felt rested and rejuvenated when we got back to school (albeit the day after my birthday…)
This didn’t last long. Within that first week back my Assignment 3 pressure amped up, and I picked up another 3 hours of teaching with a new Year 8 class. This has been stressful. It took almost a week to get all my ethics forms signed off by relevant teachers, including the Head, and then I have had to work quickly to so 3 rounds of problem solving lessons and feedback with all my classes in my last 4 weeks. I’m getting there, but am yet to do ANY reading (I know, I know…)
I think my issue is that my level of good is higher than many other people’s. I’m the kind of person that sets my sights on an A*/First Class and works hard to get it, then rather than being over the moon, my reaction is more of a ‘And so I should have!’ Lesson planning is no different in this respect. I cannot stop at an ‘OK’ lesson, it has to be a great lesson covering all levels of challenge, engaging activities and mathematically accurate explanations. This means I work hard form getting into school at 7.30am to my drive home at 5pm, then after dinner until about 10pm. Mostly planning and doing associated uni paperwork. This leaves no time for the assignment and reading. It’s exhausting.
Aside from the stress of the forthcoming assignment, I also got my assignment 2 feedback. I got 54. Which is fine. It’s a pass. But can you see how this doesn’t fit with my exacting standards above…? It caused me a great deal of tears, and I have to say that I am still unhappy with my mark. Having seen my transcript and notes, I am still unhappy but I am not sure that my disagreement with the marker’s comments are going to get me anywhere. Instead I have arranged to speak to my tutor regarding how to make sure the mark for the third doesn’t dip either…
Uni issues aside, I am really loving teaching. I really don’t mind planning for so long when my lessons I then teach are successful, and they are. I think I am in a good position in that explaining mathematics is second nature to me, and my friendly personality has me placed well for creating those much needed relationships with my classes. Some days, after teaching an enthusiastic but chatty Year 7, and a less enthusiastic but equally chatty Year 8 Set 2, I am tired. I am physically drained, in fact. But I love every single day. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I could wax lyrical about it, but I won’t. You probably know what I mean, and I don’t want to bore you!
I am now getting antsy for my own classroom, so that I can try some new ideas which roaming around a school doesn’t allow. Thankfully, I have only 2 weeks left on placement now, so that dream is getting closer! The next time I really teach, I will be in the school I have my job in September, hopefully with my own classroom on the horizon.
I genuinely can’t believe that is a reality though. This time last year I was still working in a job that made me miserable, albeit with an offer for the PGCE in the bag, and now I am only 8 weeks from the end of the course in its entirety. 8 weeks!!!
So there you go, a quick check in, but I really should get to that paperwork.
I hope you are all well. And don’t forget to check in with @ITTChat on a Wednesday, 7-8pm – we’re trying to organise a meet up for ITT and NQTs in the Summer and we would love to have you there.