This week was a week of ultimate highs. I was observed by my headteacher and given ‘good’ at the end, I was offered a job (although I felt unable to accept anything at this early stage. I have no clue what I want from a school yet!) and I was given a very good/outstanding by my visiting tutor! This week could not have possibly gone better.
I was terrified before my observation because I was teaching a Maths lesson. Maths and I have had a difficult relationship (to say the least), but luckily all went well on the day. A large part of this success is due to the level of support I’m receiving from my mentor, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. Placement two will be when I really find out if I know what I’m doing!
I know I was lucky to get the grade I did during my VT observation. It’s all a matter of opinion after all. I know this doesn’t in anyway guarantee success in my second observation so I can’t get complacent…I have to keep working!
I did however take an evening off to celebrate this success and catch up with friends. It was time well spent before being back on it (and spending a Saturday in the library…ugh)
My success was short lived, and although week 8 wasn’t a bad week by any means (I’m consistently getting ‘good’ in my observations, and I’m on top of my evidencing, phew!) It is becoming harder and harder to maintain this pace as the weeks go on.
I absolutely love the class I’m working in, and the school have been very supportive, but it’s coming to a point now where I need placement to come to an end. Going back to uni and facing my assignment will feel like a holiday after this, and it’s one I desperately need…three weeks to go!
One fantastic thing I have taken from this week is the power of exploration and experience in learning. I knew this already in theory, but experiencing these wow moments with my class makes them all the more powerful. This week year 5 have been learning about scaling in maths and one of their IPC topics is space. The teacher had them convert the diameters of the planets from km to mm, on a scale of 1km = 1mm. We then made the planets out of paper so that we could see the solar system more accurately, and experience the size differences from a planet like jupiter in caparison to earth. It was engaging, hands on but more importantly it was as close to real life experience as those children may get. They were floored when we cut out one massive circle and compared it with the size of our tiny planet. This is definitely something I hope to do with my class in the future, and it just hits home about how important it is to make learning relevant to their every day life. Children can’t always get stuck in, but whenever possible its important.
Excitingly, this exercise brought up so many questions from the group, showing their engagement and curiosity. I like the idea of possibly having a wall of curiosity in my future classroom, where we can add those amazing, mind boggling questions we come up with, and then add an answer during the week, as we get time to look it up. Some of the questions I’ve had so far are:
“How long did it take to paint the Sistine Chapel?” “How much did it cost him in paint?”
“How do they know the diameter of a planet? How could they have measure it?”
“How do they get gravity inside a space ship?”
So many questions like this are just experiments and activities waiting to happen!
It’s hard to keep up the pace now, but I’m not giving up. I have a week and a half until my second and final VT observation. If I can just recreate the success of last week I’ll be ecstatic…We shall see!