Placement Wk 3: Teaching Poetry

A quarter of my placement has now been completed. I can’t even believe it, but here I am. Surviving, teaching and still socialising. I didn’t expect those three words to go together at this stage in my PGCE…but I’m certainly not complaining.

This week I tackled a sequence of lessons on Cinquain poetry (something I dare say I am now an expert in) It was terrifying, but fantastic seeing the children’s knowledge progress over the lessons, and seeing the finished poems at the end. Definitely a proud teacher moment. I was also thrilled to get great feedback from my mentor… Of course I have lots to work on, it wouldn’t be any other way at this early stage. However there were also lots of positives in my preparation and delivery for me to feel proud about, and that feels like a big achievement.

Anyway, here are a few things I noticed during my week of teaching:

  • When children write up their work in best, you will NEVER have enough sheets. 40 copies? No you’ll probably need more.
  • You can never model enough. Never. You’d expect year 5 to know that they need to put their names on their sheets wouldn’t you… You’d be wrong.
  • If you spend all evening making a really amazing powerpoint you WILL forget to put it on your memory stick and have to stick something under the visualiser, last minute.
  • You know when an activity has run too long, because at least half the class will be wandering aimlessly around the classroom.
  • Never underestimate the chaos that can ensue during an argument about who’s turn it is to be ‘it’ at lunchtime.
  • …and the power of “I’m so disappointed…” Que awkward pause, tears, and disapproving stare.

As always, a new week brings new challenges. This coming week I’ll be teaching two maths lessons on prime and square numbers…yikes. I’m trying to ignore the mathematically anxious student within me to try and stay positive. I can and I will (or maybe I’ll just hide under the desk?)

I’ll leave you with a Cinquain poem…

A maths teacher?
Anxious multiplier,
But what’s the worst that can happen?
We’ll see…



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