Reflecting and the Future Me

Morning,

The end of half term is already fast approaching. How does it fly by so quickly? You’ll be proud to hear that I have been productive so far (well done me) but as usual I haven’t achieved as much as I’d hoped by this point…que a hard working weekend on the horizon!

Anyway, I have spent lots of time reading through some fantastic PGCE themed blogs, watching youtube videos of the same and skimming through articles to fuel my September excitement. One thing that seems to be a common thought on everyones minds at the beginning of their journey is what kind teacher they want to be. This is an interesting thing to consider, as all teachers have such different personalities, techniques and special qualities about them. I was once told that when on placement you find you adapt to the teaching style of the teacher you’re with out of necessity, but one day you will find our own unique style. So far this seems to make sense to me.

So, my idea is that if I give this some thought now, I can see how and if my opinion changes in September, and then throughout my PGCE journey. Cool right? Working in a school I’m interested to see how my opinion will develop even before starting my course.

So what kind of teacher do I want to be?

  • Creative
  • Motivating/inspiring
  • Caring
  • Resilient/Adaptable
  • Fun
  • Knowledgable

I won’t lie, I have saved a draft of this to revisit a few times before setting this live. I feel like I’m signing some sort of contract and I want to get this right, even though this is a work in progress (and so am I) For now this list feels right to me. I believe this is currently the teacher I am aspiring to be 🙂

If you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them, until then I’m ready to sleep for the rest of my half term, whilst somehow being productive…

Katie – The work in progress

 

 

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Feeling Oh So Positive!

Good morning,

So I have spend all morning sitting in bed reading all of the blog post entries from http://www.becomingmisssmith.co.uk, during her PGCE year. Yes, ALL of them. From start to finish and I now feel so inspired! I feel as though I really submerged myself in her journey, the highs and the lows, and reading how she come out the other side has given me a fantastically positive, ‘go-get-em’ attitude for the week!

It’s easy for me, working in a school already, to trick myself into thinking that it’s ok for me to be lazy on my holidays…I deserve a break right? Wrong! Time is passing me by, and this isn’t about what I deserve, it’s about what I want to achieve! I’m more excited then ever to start the course, (despite a mounting list of worries) and this week I want to be a productive, high achieving pre-PGCE student…yep, that’s me! 🙂

So here’s my ‘let’s achieve big things this had term’ plan:

  • I will soon be off to the gym. I’ve been on a health kick lately and I want to keep this up before starting in September, as I’m sure time for the gym will be a thing of the past! I’m a big believer that a healthy lifestyle can dramatically improve your mental wellbeing (give me some of that!)
  • I WILL finish reading ‘Private Peaceful’. I’ve not been enjoying it, and I now need to finish it. I’ll go into more detail in another post about my full opinion of it, because there are lots of positive things I can say about it. I think my main battle with it is due to me reading it as a child and disliking it then. I wanted to re-read it with a fresh perspective (as it’s on our reading list) but I don’t think me and this book with ever be BFFs.
  • Finish my desk. You may have seen my previous blog post about my plans to re-vamp my work space. This is still in progress, but progress needs to continue to be made!
  • Organise my prep work. I’ve been battling my way through it all since getting my list of things to do. It’s being going well but I still don’t quite feel as though I have a firm grip on everything. I think a good to-do list should sort that out.

I did mention I have a list of worries about September. All of these fall into the category of worrying for the sake of worrying. I do that. I know everything will be fine and will sort itself out in time, but none the less lets get those out in the open:

  • Will I run out of money? I have a great support system but I do not want to be borrowing from anyone.
  • Will I have enough time for friends, family or my boyfriend? I have heard from NQTs that the answer is no, and I’m sure this will all be fine, but I do worry slightly that my busyness may push away people I love…I guess if they care about me then this won’t even be an issue, as I’m doing something incredibly positive for myself and my future.
  • Will the commute be ok? Getting to the university will be peachy, but I do worry that I’ll be assigned a placement in Timbucktu.
  • Finally, will I be able to hack it? I know the answer will be yes, because I do believe in myself. But, of course there is always that worry that I won’t! Reading of Miss Smith’s successes today has given me a much more positive outlook though. If she can do it, so can I!

So that’s where I stand today, eager and excited, but starting to feel slightly nervous about silly things that will no doubt work themselves out. So far this blog seems to have had the theme of mini-successes, something that I try and focus on frequently. With training to teach being a long and difficult road, focussing on the small successes feels right to me. On that note, here are todays:

  • I ordered some Julia Donaldson books for my collection 🙂 I know I don’t need to order books, but I have been picking up a few favourites here and there. I love building up my own collection that will (hopefully) one day follow me to a classroom.
  • Did I mention I was going to the gym today??
  • My horrible cold is passing now…children really are ever so germy!
  • Reading about other peoples journeys into teaching has made me feel totally fantastic.
  • We received our timetable for September, hooray! It all seems real now and to celebrate I have laminated it (no I am not joking)

Well that’s enough for now! Hopefully later today I’ll be able to add to that list of successes that I got lots of work done 🙂 Fingers crossed!

‘Miss’ over and out.

Writers Day and Hello Half term!

I hope your half term has gotten off to a lovely start (despite the weather) I really cannot believe that we are now approaching the countdown to the summer holidays, and my last 7 weeks as a TA. Time flies! The realisation of this has given me such mixed emotions. I’m more excited then ever to start my PGCE, but of course I am still working through my course preparation (yikes) I’m also feeling very sad to be leaving my current school. It’s been a fantastic second home to me, and all the staff have gone out of their way to help me learn as much as possible in my short time with them.

Anyway, this past half term has seen me step up my game! I’ve now taught a whole class twice (it sounds insignificant but I’m very proud) and I was recently asked to escort four of our students to an able writers day at another school. This was a workshop for young talented writers from schools in the area, where we would meet a poet and learn more about writing poetry.

I felt so honoured to be asked as I feel it shows how much they trust me to represent the school well, and to take good care of our pupils. We had a lovely day and the pupils were fantastic. They worked very hard, wrote some amazing poems and asked excellent questions. I was especially proud when the poet leading the day asked the children what acrostic poems are (My first lesson to a whole class was on acrostic poems, and two children at the able writers day were in that lesson) My head shot round to see two eager hands straight up in the air 🙂 Result!

Despite the day being a big success I spent it constantly head counting (1, 2, 3, 4…1, 2, 3, 4) As I didn’t want to let my group out of my sight, I also didn’t have a chance to visit the toilet or get a glass of water. However it’s all worth it when you hand four happy children back at the end of the day.


 

A lovely quote :)

A lovely quote 🙂

I have a long list of to-dos this half term. I really want to feel on top of everything before we go back to school. With the summer holidays looming I no longer feel as though time is on my side!

Once back at school I’ve got a few more milestones to overcome, which will be very exciting and hopefully successful:

  • I will be working in nursery to cover a member of staff who is having an operation. Because of this I’ll be taking on a third of the classes daily observations and learning journals. A new challenge indeed! I’m hoping to do a good job, but I know it’ll be a steep learning curve…especially learning to organise my day and fit in everything  that I need to achieve.
  • I have been asked to accompany year 5/6 on their trip to France. As exciting as this is I am slightly nervous! However I am very grateful for the opportunity to see how a trip like this is organised and conducted (I’m sure more constant head counting will take place)
  • I’m hoping to take a full class a few more times to get me as used to it as possible before September…however whilst typing this I am telling myself “be careful what you wish for!”

Well, I really do hope that I start my PGCE knowing enough to do well and to pass the course. However, I guess they wouldn’t have offered me a place if they didn’t think I could do it. After all my mini successes I am feeling good though, like I’ve turned corner! I can definitely see progress in myself between when I started my job and now, which is fantastic.

I hope you’ve got some lovely half term plans, and if you’ve had any mini successes recently do tell me! I’d love to hear them.

Katie

p.s. I bought a laminator! 😀


STATUS
3 months and 20 days until I start my PGCE course (not that I counted or anything)
Currently working as a full time TA in a primary school.

MOOD
Feeling so much more prepared since my first blog post. A lot has happened and I’ve had much to reflect upon. I’m so excited and I’m feeling positive about how much more progress I’m hoping to make between now and my start date.


 

Teaching a whole class, for the first time!

Hello you lovely people,

How has your week been going? Today I come to you feeling very chuffed with myself…today was a milestone!

So I’ve been a teaching assistant since November 2014, but as you probably know teaching assistants often work one on one with students who need extra support, or with small groups. Yesterday afternoon a teacher broke the news to me that she would like me to teach the class for two hours, while she took out small groups for maths assessments. Two hours does not sound like a long time at all, but when she told me alarm bells went off in my head. I replied calmly “yeah sure, no problem…sounds great…yes of course” whilst having a little panic internally! I was so excited to conquer this everest of mine and to have the opportunity, but I was scared none the less!

As she’s fantastic and an NQT herself she went over the plan very thoroughly and gave me lots of advice about what to do if we ran over with the first activity, what to do if we finished early…So today I got up, went in, and considering I don’t really know what I’m doing I think it went ok. We completed pretty much everything we needed to and the children were great on the carpet, very responsive with lots of ideas. Behaviour was also very good (although they are a well behaved class)

Obviously I can only do my best, and as someone who is about to start teacher training I’m sure there are a list of things as long as my arm I need to do differently or improve, but this has still given me such confidence! I can maybe, actually do it! I feel so enthusiastic and excited to start my course and start learning and developing. If I’m not all that bad now then hopefully I’ll make a jolly good teacher one day *fingers crossed*

Aside from being a big confidence booster it was also a wonderful opportunity to learn tips and tricks that I had never even considered before:

  • Planning is KEY! As is timing, although it is easy to run over the time planned. This is something I’ll need to work on, as well as being flexible when a lesson does run long.
  • Technology isn’t always your friend. Today everything cooperated, but I did have a fear that the powerpoint (my only salvation and guidance for the lesson) would vanish into thin air. I think when I’m teaching in future I will try and have a backup plan in case something does go missing, or electricity stops working…it could happen! 
  • Keep a camera handy. Today we had a funny situation where I was to make sure the children planned their poetry on a whiteboard first, before writing it up. However when we moved onto phonics we had to wipe them clean to reuse them. Some children that had been out for maths assessments didn’t have time to write their work up, and the only iPad that was in the class was out of battery! If I could go back I would have made sure it was charged, or taken a camera so that I could record the work of those few pupils.
  • Behaviour incentives are the best. This particular teacher uses a marble jar for her class. Before she left she promised them the reward of marbles if ALL pupils worked hard and listened well. This was a big motivator for the students and I was able to refer to it when reminding about behaviour throughout the session.

There is definitely so much more that I can take away from this, but that’s enough for now! If you’re interested in going into teaching I really do suggest spending as much time in the classroom as you physically can before starting any kind of training. Opportunities like this are incredible. I’m not being assessed, and yet I’m learning so much.

Also, not even a year ago today I was in a completely different profession and I HATED it with a passion. I quit my job, and since then I’ve achieved so much. Today really made that clear to me. Whatever it is you want to do go for it!

Never Give Up

From a proper Miss! (almost)

Happy Friday

Have you had a good day? 🙂

I certainly have. It was long, tiring, stressful at times, but full of successes and reasons to be grateful. Year 2 had a fantastic pirate day, where we designed, built and raced boats. During this exercise we thought about what we could do to make each boat sail successfully, following on from a sink or float lesson last week. It was fantastic to part of such a creative day of learning and fun, and to experience the logistics that went into making it happen. I’ve learnt such a lot from their class teacher and definitely feel lucky to have this time in school before starting my PGCE course.

Tonight there’s a pizza with my name on it and i’ll be doing some serious relaxing! But it’s not all cheesy toppings and chilling, this weekend I’m hoping to hit the gym and make some more progress with my university prep work. Onwards and upwards eh.

Anyway I hope you’ve all ended this week on a high note. I wanted to share my favourite TED talks teaching video. I’ve watched this countless times and it always leaves me feeling inspired.

Happy Friday you lovely people.

Katie