A Rambly Sunday Update

Happy Sunday everyone!

I hope you’ve had a good weekend and are feeling positive about the week ahead?

I have to be honest with you, I’m writing this with absolutely no pre plan of what this post will be about. The title box is still empty, and the episode of Friends I have on in the background (The one with the evil orthodontist if you’re interested) is providing little inspiration. None the less I wanted to write something today…

So there are exactly 3 weeks until the summer holidays, and it’s feeling like a very strange time. I love my job as a TA, I adore the team I work with and feel so lucky to have received as much support and advice as I have done. I feel sad to not be going back and watching the little pupils take a big step up in the school (especially nursery who will be returning in uniform) However I am so excited to start my PGCE. So so excited! I’ve heard the horror stories. Just yesterday a friend of mine told me “It’s horrific. It’ll be the best thing you ever do, but I can’t lie, it’s horrendous” But I’m still desperate to get started. This strange in between place I’m in at the moment has left me feeling a little reflective, and I’m once again looking at how I can get the most out of the little time I have left with my school. Here are a few of the challenges I have to look forward to:

It’s ‘Stay and Play’ week for our little nursery gang, so their parents will be coming in and looking at their learning journals, and well staying and playing. I’ve done my best to keep up the high standard set by the teacher I’m covering, but I am slightly terrified as I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’ve been working off of a mixture of common sense and instinct, as well as asking lots of questions. That’s a sensible approach right ? Meeting the parents will be a good learning experience for me. Of course there’s very little pressure for me to talk to them and provide feedback, I’m still the TA after all! However parents are far more terrifying than children, so I’m looking forward to meeting a varied bunch, seeing what I might be up against in the future and observing the teachers interact with them. Wish me luck!

My second challenge will be to continue getting my personal life in check. I need to become far better acquainted with the gym to make my #MissGetsFit plan feasible. I also need to organise, de clutter, essentially put all of my belongings into a skip and start fresh…I’m sure you all know that feeling when your room at home is starting to overflow (The biggest downside to a career change is definitely waiting longer to move out! I love my parents but I do need more room)

Next I’ve potentially got two school trips to come. One is at a farm with a lovely KS1 class that should be an absolute pleasure. The second is with nursery and the logistics of taking 30 3/4 year olds out of school is frightening…at least it isn’t abroad!

Finally i’ve decided to volunteer back at my current school for the first week of next term (I won’t be starting my PGCE until the 13th of September). I’ve started thinking about getting my own class and I’ve realised that I have never experienced that settling in period, and that most people don’t until they get their NQT class! This terrified me. 30 little faces looking at me, with no routine in place! so I’m going to observe a few classes for the first week of term and see how the teachers get started. I’m actually so excited for this. I’m hoping I see lots of ideas that I can magpie in the future, and will definitely be sharing lots of thoughts on here 🙂

Well I guess this post has just turned into a stream of ramblings and some updates. I hope this has been somewhat interesting. I’ll be back soon to let you know if I survived Stay and Play week. I wish you all very successful last few weeks of term. If this is the end of your PGCE then congratulations! You did it 🙂

Please let me know your plans for the end of term in the comments. I’d love to hear them.

Until next time

Katie

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To France and Back

So I have a recent achievement I want to share with you all. I went on a school trip to France and survived! In fact, not only did I survive, I had the time of my life.

A very moving trip to a World War One Cemetery

Months ago I was asked if I would like to join the year 5 and 6 trip to France. I immediately agreed, thinking it would be an excellent learning opportunity (and a free trip to France) but as the trip drew closer I did become very nervous. We would be working a full week before and after the trip, as it ran Friday to Monday, and I was worried about burning out or losing my patience through sleep deprivation (good luck on my PGCE!)

I’m also a real homebody, and was a little bit nervous about sleeping in a foreign bed, and eating strange things (I’m one of those super picky eaters) However I’m pleased to report that the concern I had for my little troupe of students far outweighed my own needs. I was happy to dive in and try the food (which was perfectly fine) and told myself how silly I was to fear that hard, basic top bunk I was assigned. I did what I had to do to set a good example at mealtimes, and set my worries aside to focus on keeping the children happy. All in all, the trip was a total success and I’m actually sad it’s over!

The trip consisted of very little homesickness, two birthdays, archery, circus skills, a disco, the eating of frogs legs and snails, aquarium visits, lunch on the beach, sunsets, sing alongs, lots of french speaking, and finally some morse code wall knocking from the girls to send messages to one another in the night…so in other words not much sleeping! These were just a few highlights. The weekend was absolutely jam packed, including some incredible trips to WW1 monuments, museums and cemeteries.

So what have I learnt from the trip? Well I’ve learnt I have patience that lasts far longer then I predicted. I was still calm and focussed after 3 nights of minimal sleep (well done me) I’ve learnt that I can look after a group of 8 children in a French market without losing them (although the stress of achieving this was unreal) And I’ve learnt that children will go to every length to spend all of their pocket money. Gift shops beware, our children will clear you out!

Although this wasn’t a huge undertaking in hindsight, I did fear the unknown of the dreaded school trip abroad. I’m very proud to report this little success to you, and now feel I have a much better understanding of the logistics of planning a trip like this. However I am in no rush to put this knowledge to the test in my teaching career. I salute all of the teachers out there who plan over night school trips, especially those in another country!

I hope this was somewhat interesting for you! Let me know if you’ve had any awesome school trip experiences 🙂

A triumphant (but tired) Miss x

3D Shapes, and My Expanding Waistline

Afternoon!

I write this, sitting in my bed, looking a mess after a long day at school, and eating sweets. I feel I am going through a lazy stage that I need to seriously nip in the bud. When I was at University I was a super productive, proactive, to-do list queen. However since graduation and being able to enjoy my free time, I have developed a habit of enjoying it a little too much!

Anyway, more on my laziness towards the end of this post! I have just come home after a fantastic afternoon in Year 1, who were learning about 3D shapes. The lesson was very interesting and fun, and I thought for my own development I thought it would be good for me to reflect on what I’ve learnt.

So the lesson began with a talk about what we already knew about 3D shapes. The class had lots of ideas which was fab. We then talked about our objectives briefly before cracking on with the work. The group I was working with were to explore the school looking for examples of the 3D shapes we were discussing on the carpet (cube, cuboid, sphere, cylinder). We were then going to record the shapes by drawing them onto the worksheet provided. This excited me no end! I wasted no time telling my group that we were ‘The Shape Explorers’ and that we had a very important job to do in the school (of course I also explained that this special job also involved being sensible and using indoor voices)

The reason I found this lesson particularly interesting, was because when the teacher explained the plan to me I thought wow, foolproof interactive learning experience! I was ready for action, and in no way pre-empted any of the issues we encountered. Firstly the group were very excited by the exercise. They were very well behaved, but moved on so quickly! All of their drawings were rushed and unrecogniseable as the objects they had identified. Also although they were able to point to 3D shapes and match them to their sheets, they struggled to recall the correct names.

I think the lesson was good, and I do think the children got a lot out of it. They used their independent exploration skills to find the shapes. They were able to see a clear link between their learning, and everyday objects. They were also able to effectively work within a team, helping each other to find and identify shapes. However, I would have liked their work to have been more thorough. I felt as though they moved through it too quickly, without taking everything in.

Things we could have done differently:

Photography: As well as drawing pictures the children could have used iPads to photograph the 3D shapes they found. I could then print these for the children to stick into their books. This would hopefully help them retain the connection between the objects we discussed, and the shapes we found when identifying the photos back in class.

Collecting objects:  If we had of collected the objects we found around the school (where possible) we could have brought these back to our classroom to do detailed observational drawings of. I think having the shapes back at their table would have encouraged them to take longer drawing them, rather then being extremely excited to move on. This would also create the opportunity for discussion on the features of the 3D shapes. Why did you pick this object? How many faces does it have?

3D Shapes Display: As an ongoing project we could set up a classroom display where children would be encouraged to bring in a 3D shape from home (i.e. a ball, a box, dice, a can)


Whether these ideas are good developments to the lesson or not I don’t really know. I think they are, but at this stage I would need more experience to make that judgement. I’m definitely still learning and trying to reflect as much as possible, but I thought this was an interesting lesson to think about.

As previously mentioned I am getting a bit lazy. This has also started to affect my eating habits. Now, I am a healthy weight (just) but I do not want to let the stress of life and my PGCE impact on my health. I am considering starting a Miss Gets Fit section on my blog where I try and incorporate a healthy lifestyle with my teacher training, and share ideas and progress. Let me know if that is something you would be interested in reading, because either way I need to make some changes to my diet and exercise regime (or lack of)

So that’s all for now. I’m off now to hopefully be productive and not eat any more junk! Wish me luck…

Miss Unfit