Tag Archive: university

One week down – stress levels up

Well, that was the week that was… interesting. And a little, um, rushed.

It all started well, with an “inset” on Monday which saw me once more assuming a default position – in front of a computer! Tuesday went relatively smoothly – I had to cover story time at the end of the day, which went well (discipline is a lot easier at this level).

Wednesday was in college; a truly depressing lecture on applying for jobs. Basically, I need to be applying now and, in Nottinghamshire at least, the competition level will be high with some applicants being last year’s batch of NQTs. Eep!

Thursday started well enough, the literacy lesson was okay (I missed out a section, but the children won’t know as we covered it all in the plenary anyway) but the day ended with a particularly dreadful migraine. Ugh!

Friday was okay, I guess, with me actually managing to see my class teacher teach all morning before I then led the next literacy lesson and a further story time in the afternoon (as my class teacher had a review to attend in her role as SENCo).

So next week the fun begins in earnest!





Another day, another lecture

Today was a college day (we’re on the “one day per fortnight” routine, now) with a fascinating lecture on counting (and how hard it is to teach) from KD in the morning and then another fun and interesting one on how children learn DR in the afternoon.

Apparently counting is actually rather hard to teach, because it’s hard to imagine not being able to count. So, for example, how can you imagine how a pupil feels who struggles to remember which way around to draw a “3”? Well, it turns out that a reasonable way is to have someone make you learn a new set of (patternless) names and symbols for representing the digits 0 through 9 in about two minutes, then test you on them. I, for one, got at least one symbol upside down… which does engender some form of sympathy with children having similar problems learning our own (patternless) numerical symbology.

The afternoon kicked off in a most depressing way – with a video from a Panorama report of 1999 regarding children who have, to all intents and purposes, disappeared from the educational system. There was a happy ending, though, as we considered just how important it was (in terms of learning, at least) to have safe, stable relationships with adults (read: teachers, at least).

A great day of lectures – I’m really starting to feel like I’m getting a handle on things.


Post Collegial Blues

A couple of days of lectures ended the week nicely. A bit more on planning (which, actually, did help – and provided some useful outlines on what to put in a lesson plan), followed by what was possibly the most tedious ICT lecture I’ve ever had the misfortune to attend (and stuggle to remain awake for). At the risk of appearing in any way to be suffering from “professional snobishness” the lecturer was a classic case of the self-taught “expert”, ie they’d dabble with computers from when they first hit mainstream, then his initial interests and requirements had been met by various bits of software… which they still use. For starters, having a presentation prepared on Microsoft Word (as opposed to, say, Microsoft PowerPoint) and not even neatly paginated, to boot! I mean, I ask you!

Friday’s lectures more than made up for the drab end to Thursday, however, with an introduction to a series on numeracy by a truly inspiring lecturer – honestly, we all had fun doing some fairly elementary mathematical games. Well, I was inspired and that’s what counts most for me. Then our final behaviour management lecture (a series I’ve enjoyed and which I find especially relevant given the “challenging” nature of some of the pupils in my clas) and a rather fun (more of a workshop than a lecture) session on voice management rounded us off nicely.

Ready for next week? Not ‘alf!


Oh… where to start… where to start?

Well, I guess the very beginning is a popular place to start 🙂

Following a couple of INSET days (in which, amongst other things, we constructed a “snow den”, for two small children to use, out of some bin bags, a bag of old newspaper and a roll of sellotape), we had some initial training in college. This included a cracking session on “Design and Technology” which culminated in a practical session using cardboard to build various mechanisms along with several introductory sessions on planning, behaviour management and what to expect from the primary experience as a whole.

Then, after a weekend to recuperate (hah!) it was time for some actual classroom experience. Monday was… let’s call it entertaining. I’m training in a class that’s… well… let me quote my head (and GTP mentor) when I call them “squirmy”. But I’m getting my head around things, slowly. I think I’ve managed to learn all of the children’s names, now (first name, at least) and I’m starting to get a firm grasp of the challenges ahead – now all I need is a little more of a grasp on the strategies I can use to meet those challenges 🙂

Three days in school and we’re back in college for a break… *ahem*… for further training. More news from there over the weekend (hopefully).