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)

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