Monday, 30 September 2013

Placement - Day 1

I've come home with paint on my hands, that can only mean one thing - I've thrown it in and become a decorator. Just kidding, I've been in school all day!
     So my fourth week of PGCE brings about my first day of placement in a medium size primary school, where I have joined a year 5 class. And there was no time like the present this morning as I dived straight into Maths, with the kids definitely teaching me as much as me them (except they didn't realise it). Then there was French - same situation. I listened to a group read, helped with Literacy and kept paint pots filled up during Art, hence the coloured hands thing!
     The rest of the day was mostly spent entertaining the children with the possibilities about my first name, after they'd worked out from my badge that it began with a 'J'. I was offered, amongst others Jack, Jaffa Cake and, obscurely, Sean.
     Tomorrow it's Harvest Service time in the local Church, so not much chance of getting into the rhythm of things, but it should be fun. On with the show...

Thursday, 26 September 2013


So after reflecting on my reflections and evaluating my evaluations I move on to creating three 'targets'. Never one of my strong points this is what I came up with (helped by the document they gave us):

1. Be motivated by a range of learning approaches and resources.

2. Aspire to plan stimulating and engaging lessons (as opposed to the opposite).

3. Write better targets.

I'll find out tomorrow what my tutor makes of them.

Friday, 20 September 2013

It's the weekend...

For possibly the first time in over four years I'm really appreciating the fact that it's Friday! This feeling will only increase I'm sure. Of course, I still have plenty to do, but after a solid three days in a row at Uni (yeah, tough, I know) I'm glad I won't be having Maths or English or any other kind of class tomorrow!
     Actually it's been a pretty good week. Things I learnt in Primary school are coming back to me, and the new stuff, like clever whiteboards that have many, many fancy features, are fun!

In other news, have you seen the Astronomy Photographer of Year competition photos? I don't care what you say, Space is cool and beautiful, and these photos are proof.

Check them out here:

The winner though, which was taken in New Zealand, is just stunning.

Guiding Light to the Stars by Mark Gee (Australia)

Titled "Guiding light to the stars" it shows the Milky Way seemingly coming from the Lighthouse on the cliff. On the left (middle and top), the two Magellanic Clouds, which are small satellite galaxies, appear as faint smudges in the sky.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Just another manic monday

It's 6pm, I've been working on and off (but mostly on) since 8am, and I think it takes some kind of disaster to end the day with more work to do than I started with. Of course I haven't really, it's just that I've spent the day (in the off periods, along with watching rain clouds and pigeons) discovering all the extra things I have to do that I didn't know about at the start.
     So it's welcome to the pgce course for me. There are two different English classes to prepare for (Pedagogy and Subject knowledge) and the same for Maths, then science and ICT. Plus the more obscure seminars called Teaching in a Diverse Society, Teachers as Researchers and Professional Studies (where we learn how to be professional (rather than amateurs) I guess). For each one there are readings and questions and forms and things to print off, which may or may not come in useful.
     However, I have also learnt/read some things today. Including a fair amount about Phonics ("A method of teaching children to read by teaching them to recognise and use sound-symbol correspondences." - But of course you knew that already). Most surprising was the sentence, "There are 20 or so vowels in English speech...", which made me wonder why only 5 have ever appeared on Countdown.
     Anyway, I should probably get back to writing my perspective on the "current debates surrounding the teaching of early reading". I didn't even know I had a perspective this morning.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The year begins...

So today was the beginning of my PGCE, although it wasn't as dramatic as it sounds. Merely an introduction day in which we were inundated with information, booklets and an excessive number of bags. These latter items came from the three Teacher Unions, who were all insistent we signed up. Of course no student can turn their nose up at the words, "It's free" especially when there are goodies in store. Along with the bags, I received sweets, pens, a year planner and a diary. Not a bad haul.
     We were sent to meet our 'Academic groups' - these are different from our 'Teaching groups', who we meet tomorrow, although I can't see why - and we spent most of the hour playing 'Get to know each other games', which I'm impressed to say almost everyone (in my group) threw themselves into enthusiastically. I guess to anyone else a group of twenty adults playing 'Dip Dop', or whatever it was, is either an odd party or time wasting, but it helped to break the ice I'm sure.
     All in all then it wasn't so bad for my first day of study in about four months (never again will my summers be so long, *sob*) but of course it'll only get tougher from here. Bring it on!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A new era

'Era' is a very small word for such a big term. It is also an anagram of 'ear', but I cannot think of anything insightful to say about that.
     Anyway, look at this, my blog is all new! Well it isn't, everything that was there before is still there, but it looks new. This is because I have now graduated from my degree in Creative Writing (2:1, thanks very much for asking) and am about to begin my life as a Primary School Teacher, hence the whole 'new era' thing. So I thought I'd give the blog it's first big shake up in nearly two years. Let me know if it looks bad, then I can block you and we'll all carry on. (Jokes). Seriously, if you can't read a word due to the font type, it would be nice to know, cause I'm not just writing this for my own amusement, no. It's for your amusement, when you've really run out of things to do, such as walking the fish or rearranging your DVD shelf into alphabetical order by Director.
     Brilliant, so now we've cleared that up. Welcome, or welcome back. Hopefully as a teacher I will have much to write about, and if not I'll just bash out anything that comes to mind, much as I have been up to this point. Hope that sounds good!
     Thanks amigos!