Chapter 3

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egid...

Well I have managed to secure a position for September in a really lovely local school. The process was not without anxiety however, as you would expect, the memory of the discomfort passed immediately upon the announcement of my success.

So many things to now pull together in lieu of my final assessment in a couple of weeks. Then it will be completely official. Teacher. Who would have thunk it! It seems a bit surreal that I am now fulfilling my late Grandmother’s desire for me to ‘get a profession’ after so many years.

I truly believe that the process of working through my degree with Anglia Ruskin and the insights that this has provided to my practice has been instrumental in shaping this success. I will take some of the credit obviously but equally some must rest with the @Ultraversity team.

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First Files Fixed

"File Under So. Co., Waiting for...,"

(Photo credit: origamidon)

I have just had my Uni core subject files reviewed and I am pleased to report that all was well. It would seem that I have demonstrated a good level of professional engagement with the subjects and reflected effectively on content and reading. Next step will be final moderation which involves a lesson observation followed by a discussion with another University tutor. The finish post is nearing quickly. Oh yes and I need to find a job. Back to my job applications then. Any tips would be appreciated. I have already scoured the TES website for hints and tips and am currently using their ‘Executive Summary’ approach. Hopefully I can put this one to bed quickly.

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A Corner Turned

One of the anxieties coursing through the GTP cohort since September has been the Numeracy and Literacy skills tests that all training teachers must pass. The tension is evident not because of the pass requirement but as a result of the penalty for failure. Three strikes then you’re out for two years before you can re-sit again (some might say reasonable given the future role).

The content of both tests is perhaps a pre-cursor for what teachers will face on a day to day basis in role. Numeracy was very data focused and

Three sets of data plotted using pie charts an...

required not only reasonably quick mental aerobics but the ability to make meaning of data presented in a variety of ways. Box and whisker diagrams, scatter graphs, standardised data and bar charts over time. Literacy involved trip up spellings and grammar that would fit with letters and communication between school and parents. For that reason I think they are completely relevant and offer a good flavour of what is to come.

My advice to anyone who has yet to sit them is work through the practice papers as many times and with as much support as you need. The format is identical to what you will face so familiarity will help. Yes it is a test but it is not a test designed to trip you up. Keep calm and like me you’ll pass first time. Be positive.

Have a go and practise using the links below, even if you are not a training teacher, and surprise yourself with how much you know.

Numeracy practice

Literacy practice

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2nd becomes 1st

Having an absolute blast in my second placement. Didn’t anticipate how much I would enjoy teaching this age group. the workload is similar however the shift is much more towards resource preparation.

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One aspect that I like a lot in this particular setting is the use of self assessment employed at all levels and across all learning activities. Success criteria are presented in child friendly vocabulary and children are guided to comment on their attainment and possible next steps.

This is possible as the activities consist of small teacher led focus groups with between 5 and 7 children in a group. The opportunity to offer prescriptive, diagnostic and developmental intervention is therefore immediate.

Taught an ICT lesson today and it is amazing the confusion the right and left mouse click can cause. A very prescriptive didactic approach was used as time was a major constraint. Memo to self – not to be repeated.

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2nd School Placement

Week one of  a brief foray into an alternate Key Stage (student age group). Further adjustment to practice is required although I am beginning to feel more comfortable in my own skin. My curiosity still remains and I am revelling in the new learning that I am encountering on a session by session basis.

Pencil crayon

From sxc.hu (ID: 1167352 )

It is interesting though how quickly one adjusts to younger students though possibly because the principles remain the same generally. One key difference is the behaviour management strategies that are employed however the most dramatic adjustment to my stance is the whole school (infant/elementary) delivery of teaching and learning. Immersive, topic centred and child led in the main with a very prescriptive level of teacher input. Carousel activities in operation throughout all year groups (Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2). Lots to learn (for me!)

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ICT in the classroom

Today was a good day. It was session where I realised how much technology I use already in my practice and how I can expand this further. Comic life. iMovie, Garageband, QR codes and blogging are a few of my favourite currently. It was good therefore to encounter some iPad functions that I had not seen before.

befunky – drawing pad – phoster

Using all 3 apps we were able to create this tribute to a lost icon of the science world who passed on recently.

I also learnt how to take a screen shot on the iPad by clicking the home button and on/off button simultaneously and releasing quickly. I can see me using this frequently when gathering evidence.

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That Friday Feeling

I am fast discovering that teaching and the enjoyment of teaching is an emotional roller coaster. I have been all around the circuit this month starting with the slow ominous ascent into the planning clouds of uncertainty followed by the free fall terror of the lesson (s) that lost direction and got away. Once the ride has started though there is no turning back as the pace is unrelenting and building all the time. Barely time to reflect before the direction of the track changes yet again with everyone clinging on with blind faith.

That is how the story sometimes ends… (on a Friday)

Occasionally however you encounter part of the ride where you can see where the track is headed, accurately gauging the pace and camber, resulting in the lessons and the students aligning and moving as one. It’s at that point that you experience the perfect loop the loop resulting in passengers and driver/operator beaming with exhilaration in the realisation that all is right in the world.

That is how the story sometimes ends… (on a Friday)

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