My Last Placement Day

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It was just as traumatic as you can imagine it being. We were at the school with our class for 2 months, getting to know the children in-depth and building great relationships with them. There was tears, lots of hugs, and lots of gifts (most of which were given to the children from us!).

The children were given gift bags full of glow sticks, sweets, toys, personalised certificates from us and personalised bookmarks from us, which they all loved! Even the most shy and non-responsive children gave out hugs! We were genuinely upset at the thought of leaving and it was truly an honour to be working in such a fantastic class and school, especially on our first placement.

We received all kinds of notes, drawings, and presents that were all incredibly touching. Admittedly the hardest thing about our placement was leaving! But it truly is a privilege to be involved in the lives of so many children at such an impressionable age.

Observations

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I am lucky enough to be able to share with you my experiences of observations, one of which is positive, another not so much. I think it’s beneficial for me to able to look back on both of them and for me to build on myself and how I respond to feedback constructively. It also will give you an idea of what to expect from your observations whilst on a Primary Education (with QTS) course. All Universities will go through the process and layout differently, however again I can give a rough guide as to expectations.

Two of my observations were carried out by the Class Teacher on our placement-the commuicatiion between all of us was very effective and easy and so giving and recieving feedback was a positive constructive experience. From my perspective, being observed bvy the Class Teacher is also best because they know their class and the style in which they are taught.

On the other hand, the external observations from our University Tutor for that same reason, were difficult to take feedback from. In some ways we found ourselves justifying why we disagreed with the feedback because the UT didn’t know the class or how they responded behaviourally. In others, we realised that although we didn’t necessarily agree with the way it was expressed to us, that all of the facts were still true if we were to have taught the lesson to a different class in a different school. We did however feel like some of our feedback was entirely negative with no positives despite the positives being passed on seperately to our CT who just so happened to relay this information to us. But yet again I have to counterargue in that when we are qualified or in future placements, we must get used to being more robust and receptive when it comes to feedback from external sources, and for that, we found ourselves growing professionally.

In terms of what was observed in our first year, there was not much expected of us. The idea was for us to get used to the environment and what the job partially entails to see whether it was right for us. We were expected to be able to put into practice our behaviour management, our ability to plan effective and creative lessons, and to assess.

Each time we were observed against the Teachers’ Standards and the feedback is all very useful in terms of how to move forward not only in that moment, but in future placements and classes.

Having so much time in your class before your observation and having a good line of communication with your Class Teacher can mean you are more comfortable when being observed because you’ve already had the opportunity to iron out any creases.

I wish you all the best with any observations you may have!

New TES Bundle!

Animals, including Humans

I still have one more post left to write about my school based experience. I’ve been super busy juggling a few things including a job-which I am very grateful for considering Student Finance doesn’t drop until late September. And so I’ve focused my effort these past couple of days on creating a bundle resource on TES.

The resource is for the Animals, including Humans topic for Year 5, I thought I’d better start off small with the bundles. It includes 2 lesson plans, 2 PowerPoints, and a variety of worksheets and activities. It complies with the National Curriculum (DfE, 2013).

Feel free to take a look by clicking here, leave a review, give feedback, I’d really appreciate it-positive or constructive!

A Heartbreaking Contradiction

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It’s unfortunate that I’m having to write this but it’s something I feel I need to say, and something I feel strongly about.

As a teacher there is nothing more heartbreaking than trying to teach children British values, acceptance, equality, and respect for people of all cultures and beliefs, whilst at the same time having to have so many minutes of silence and discussions about some of the things that are happening in their own country that contradicts everything we’re teaching and promoting.

Prejudice is learnt, and preventing it’s teaching is long overdue. The best we can do is start with ourselves and those around us.

Finally, and most importantly, we should not shelter our children, it is crucial to educate them at the appropriate level through making them aware of what is happening and how we in turn should respond individually and as a society. To do this appropriately I highly recommend Newsround, it has been ideal in the classes I have been in and have found it to be very beneficial and educational for the children.

I would like to give my condolances to all of the families and friends of those lost in recent disasters and hope that all victims find peace.

 

My First Placement

 

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I am fast approaching the end of my first placement, and I couldn’t be more devastated. I have adored every minute and I could not have asked for a better class, class teacher, or partner to be on my placement with.

The school itself is a Church of England school and it is heartwarming to see so many children getting involved-including those from different faiths. I couldn’t be more pleased to see that none of the parents excluded their children from the RE or worship lessons, it really gave the school a unified, diverse feel. The behaviour of the children is impeccable, and the staff are fantastic. My first impression of the headteacher really set the tone for my whole placement, never before have I seen such an active role being taken, even down to menial tasks such as photocopying. I sense genuine passion from the headteacher and being a part of the school for two months made it clear to me that this filtered down to all members of staff. I also have to commend the teaching assistants, the work they do goes above and beyond any other assistants I have seen-they are truly invaluable to the school and their classes.

As for the other student I was on my placement with, I couldn’t have wished for better. It is so lovely to feel so comfortable in a school with a person just as eager as you are to do the best for the children and to bounce creative ideas off. We discussed everything from the education system, politics, Pinterest, and our love for what we are going into. Having somebody beside you to split the workload, offer help any and every time and to be happy to do the same for them is really great, especially on your first placement.

The children come from a variety of different backgrounds and I feel privileged to have been a part of their education even if only for a short time. Their personalities are absolutely at their peak and no two children are the same. If I could give any advice with regards to the children it would definitely be to talk with them and really get to know them-this helps when it comes to guiding their behaviour, knowing how to engage them in class, and where to place them in mixed ability groups to benefit everybody.

My placement has taught me a lot about different children, my opinions on the education system, what to expect from a great school, and most importantly myself. I have found what I am supposed to be doing, and I have found my purpose. If you have read my previous posts you will see that I have recently rejoined my long desired path of teaching, and following my heart was the best thing I have ever done. I could never imagine loving or finding another job as much as I do this one. I’ll be honest when I’m lying in my warm, comfy bed I remember how much I hate early mornings, but as soon as I’m on my way to school I am filled with nothing but excitement and positivity thinking of what the day will bring.

If you have any feelings/stories from your own placement or teaching experience or have any questions please feel free to message me privately or comment. Feel free to follow my blog, and my various social media accounts: TES, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest.

In my next post I will be discussing cheap and easy gifts to make or buy for your 30 surrogate children for the end of the year, and gifts for teachers/teaching assistants as a thank you (if you’re a student teacher).

Maths Resource Set!

Year 6 Geometry

First of all I’d like to introduce you to my latest TES resource upload: Year 6 Geometry-Properties of Shapes. This resource comes complete with the lesson plan (with learning objectives and outcomes, starter, main activity, timings, worksheets/task lists and differentiated worksheets/task lists). This set can be found here.

There is also a free ‘taster’ of the activity itself here, the worksheet/task list does fit best with it’s differentiated counterpart as well as with the lesson plan, however it could be used on its own if given the right context.

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Another TES Resource Uploaded!

How and with who you work bestWhat you'd like your teacher to knowYour favourite genre and things to doWhat you'd like to achieveWhat you need most help with (1)

I have today uploaded my 8th TES resource. This most recent resource is much like the previously uploaded Rainforest theme resources in terms of the detail. The resource is made up the lesson plan itself (with learning objectives, outcomes, materials, activity description and timings, links to other areas of the curriculum, new vocabulary, and science process skills). The subject is Science and the topic is Uses of Everyday Materials, the Year Group this resource is for is Year 2.

Please feel free to follow this link to purchase and download it (currently there is a TES sale so it’s cheaper than the original price), and there are also a variety of other resources (some of which are FREE) of mine that can be found on TES here. You can also just type in ‘amy092’ into the search bar.

I would greatly appreciate any and all reviews on any of my resources that are currently up and on there, so if you could find a spare minute to leave a quick review I would be very grateful!

End of Term!

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We’ve reached the Easter Holidays and I have officially finished my pre-placement. After we return for the start of the new term we begin our block placement and teaching one lesson a day.

First and foremost I’d just like to make a point of how lucky I am to have been placed with somebody so similar to myself and that’s so easy to work with and as enthusiastic as I am. This will only make it all the more easy when it comes to having to teach and having her as my TA and vice versa when she teaches.

I’m also glad that we don’t have a perfect class, but we also don’t have a class that is off the chart with bad behaviour. It gives the right balance to be able to thoroughly enjoy the class and every single one of their personalities, whilst at the same time having the opportunity to practise behaviour management. My only slight issue with that is due to the intelligence of some of the children in that it is very hard not to make a comment relating to behaviour, and be met with smart answers which draws me in to having a conversation and argument almost with them. I need to take time to stand back, remember my role, and not put myself in that position-I’m just grateful that I’m seeing and learning this now in my first placement to make changes.

We will soon be receiving the Class Teacher’s medium-term plan for this first upcoming summer term after which we can adapt those plans to implement different techniques and styles of our own for us to use to teach. I begin by taking all of the Literacy sessions, whilst my partner takes the Numeracy lessons (both in the morning), and in the second week we switch. It will be quite nice to have all of those lessons each day for the whole week for us to be able to see the progression and the start and end of a topic that we have taught and developed with them (also giving the perfect circumstances for us to assess their learning, as well as our performance).

We have had targets set already based on the teaching standards, and have been filling in a School Based Training Booklet filling out practical information with regards to the school (health and safety, safeguarding policies etc.), observations of lessons and weekly review sheets that need to be filled in when we begin our block placement. It’s all fairly straight forward and once you know what you’re doing and are familiar with the booklet it doesn’t take a lot of time to fill in. We’re also gathering as many worksheets, resources, lesson plans, and pictures of wall displays as we can to put into our PDP folder (Personal Development Profile) that contributes to our final QTS at the end of the three years. We’ve been lucky enough to have had an incredibly helpful Class Teacher who has helped us with everything we need, as well as arranging a variety of teachers and year groups for us to observe. So far, we have observed a Nursery class (although there wasn’t much observing being done, it was more a practical morning to say the least),  a Year 2, 3, 5, and a Year 6 class, all of which were incredibly beneficial in terms of how to teach children of different ages and abilities, as well as behaviour management.

Overall, I have had an incredible two weeks, and I could not have asked for a better experience. I am thoroughly embracing the two weeks off already, but I can’t help but find myself missing the class and wondering what they’re doing. It is rather strange to go from being around 30 children 5 days a week to all of a sudden not have any idea what they’re doing or how they’re getting on for two weeks. And I have no idea what I’m going to do when we finish our placement. It wouldn’t be possible to keep in touch in any way nor would it entirely be appropriate, but it is an incredibly hard pill to swallow thinking of a time when I will have spent so much time with those children and watched them develop and progress, and to never know how they get on or what they grow up to do or be like. I guess that’s something I’ll have to adjust to, and hope that during my teaching career at least a few reach out again to give me some solace.

If you have enjoyed reading this post please like/comment and follow my blog to keep up with my teaching journey! 🙂

 

Another FREE Resource!

Get to Know Me

This resource is simply a sheet to get to know your children. It can be used at the start of the year, or even at the start of a new term. It encompasses getting to know your children and their personalities, and how and where they work best.

All of these things are key for tailoring activities to suit their personalities (where you have time and it is appropriate to do so), and rearranging your classroom set-up or seating plan to aid your children’s learning.

If you do decide to download the resource please leave me a review-I would really appreciate it!