So sad to say it’s finished :(

Well yesterday was my final day of prac. I was really sad to see the end, I had grown quite attached to the children, even those one’s who drove me a little crazy with their constant behaviours! lol I had such an incredible experience and learnt so much from my mentor, much more than any Uni subject could ever teach me. I was able to  gather several great resources over the 3 weeks which I will definitely use in my teaching and saw so many wonderful teaching strategies.

This group of 3 year 1 teachers work collaboratively and I really hope to experience this when I am out teaching for real, they all took me out for a coffee and cake when we finished yesterday to celebrate and gave me a lovely little teachers gift with a card which had some beautiful words on it.

Overall I had such an amazing experience and am hoping my next 2 pracs before I finish are just as amazing 🙂

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Week 2 of Prac!

Well another week done and dusted, time is flying and I’m definitely going to be sad to finish. As I am now teaching at least half the days lessons I am completely positive that I have chosen the right career in teaching. I have been recieving some lovely feedback from my mentor as well as the team of year one teachers. I met with my liason officer on Friday and she said my comments were very impressive especially as this was my first real school prac 🙂 Even though I am almost in my 4th year I had previous study in childrens services which gave me credits for this degree 2 which were school pracs. I have certainly learnt that no subject can teach you what a prac situation teaches!!

One thing that has impressed me s the way the group of year one teachers at this school work together collaboratively. They have assured me that unfortunately this is not the case with every school or even every year at this school, such a shame because it has so many wonderful benefits. The 3 year one teachers including my mentor invited me in over the school holidays to watch how they plan for the semester, they then broke it down into parts and shared it out. So if one teacher got given the maths lesson for flexible partitioning for example then she was responsible for getting all the resorces for the 3 teachers for that lesson. Not only does this help with such a big workload that teachers have but even the principle commented that he loved the fact that he could walk into any  year one class and see what they were teaching and know that the 2 other classes were learning the same concept. Each teacher still has their own pedagogical style but I think it is a great way to work in collaboration with each other.

The principal came into observe one of my lessons this week, quite daunting to say the least! I was teaching a maths lesson in group style on the floor using concrete materials so it was quite engaging for the students. He pops into all classes at least once a week to watch for around 10 minutes and as he does he sits there and writes his comments on his laptop and sends he feedback through almost straight away. As my comments were quite posisitve I printed this out and added it to my prac folder 🙂

Only one week left and I really will be sad to finish, roll on this time next year as I will graduate and be out there doing this for real!!!!

Week One of Prac!

Week one of prac was exciting, eye opening as well as fun and alot of hard work. I have a lovely mentor who is a fantastic teacher, the children respect her and she’s quite calm but certainly doesn’t put up with any nonsense! There are about 5 behavioural issues in the classroom with four of those being boys, they are not major issues but they are constant, so keeping them engaged is a key element for a successful classroom.

The class has a diverse group of learners, 28 students many from multi-cultural backgrounds. There is about 3-4 very low learners, around 20 average and only a few above average. Overall they are a great bunch of children.

Everyday I am in awe at the teaching strategies my mentor uses and am just soaking in as much as I can, constantly taking observations and making notes. My first lesson went fairly well, it was English. I felt myself stumble  little when speaking but my mentor said I did great and very quickly got myself back on track. The area is quite a low socio-economic area and most children have no access to the internet o own a computer. Needless to say their eyes nearly popped out of their heads when I gave them each a turn on my ipad as part of a literacy rotation group when I used the app from Starfall  😉

Looking forward to next weeks teaching as I am doing sequential English lssons focusing on procedural text with hopefully some fun engaging ICT to keep the kids interested!

Reality check….

Well once again as I begin my search for appropriate lesson plan ideas to teach whilst on my prac, I am amzed at how little I really do know. Over my years of uni I have certainly learnt alot about the pedagogical practice of teaching, but in reality I have learnt next to nothing about how to teach certain elements which are key apscts in a child’s learning. Should we have been taught this or should I just know it???

My mentor would like me to teach a literacy rotation group on my first day focusing on phonics – comparing short vowel (CVC) to long vowel (CVCE) I’m a little embarassed to say but I realyl didn’t have a clue how to teach this? Thank goodness for google is all I can say!

I think this prac is certainly going to teach me alot, but it is also going to highlight how little I really ‘don’t’ know at all 😦  I currently work in  a school with Kindergarten age, for terms 1 & 2 this year I was working with years 4-6 and loving it and felt like I got so much out of it. I don’t know how students doing their Bachelor of Education and not currently working in a school environment will go as their seems to be so much we need to know that we aren’t being taught……

David put a great link up to inspire us on our lesson plans…….be warned you can get lost once you start as there are so many great ideas, you just want to keep reading an reading 🙂

Feeling a little bit frustrated…..

As mentioned in my previous post, yesterday was my first day of prac. One of the things that stood out to me the most is that I feel the majority of or Bachelor of Ed subjects are not hands on enough 😦  I don’t mean that we need more pracs, god forbid, it is hard enough taking all this time off and losing wages while still trying to support a family (I understand this is a necessary component of the teaching process, but I really feel the government needs to look into subsidising us students for loss of wages) anyways what I mean is that I feel alot of the subjects aren’t really teaching us enough of what we need to know to teach as such, especially the English subjects.

After watching my mentor yesterday teaching English, I thought wow I don’t know any of this, it has not been covered in my subjects. When I did Maths as much as I hated it, it was truly the only subject that has really taught me how to teach that subject. When I finished I really felt I could of walked into a year one class and taught them the concept of halves, or fractions for example. This ICT subject has been great in teaching me a myriad of ways to incorporate ICT and I am excited to use it in my prac, however after this semester and providing I pass, I will only have 8 subjects left and just don’t feel I know anywhere near enough. All these unit plans and lesson plans we have to do in so many subjects really feel a little pointless to me if teachers are actually given all this info already via C2C etc. As my teacher explained to me yesterday, they get given these, then the group of teachers from that year level will sit down and go through it, cross out what they feel is irrelevant to their learners and adapt also to suit the needs of their learners in regards to their abilities, seems smart to me!

So basically I wish the Uni would focus more on the tasks we need to know, such as teaching hand writing, teaching us about various texts etc and a little less on lesson plans and unit plans! I’d be interested to know if anyone ele feels the same?

First Day of Prac!!

Well yesterday was my first day of prac, seems a few of us will be doing our pre make-up day this week. I have been blessed with a really lovely mentor, which I feel is half the battle over!  She is young an enthusiastic and remembers what it is like to be in my shoes, which is great 🙂 Yesterday was a very cruisey day as the end of term nears and the children (and teachers) are all getting tired. The morning was spent with the children getting to know me and vice versa. They had each decided on an interview question for me as a follow up to an English task, and they asked some lovely and funny questions from me.

The next part I took each reading group out, not necessarily to teach any literacy skills but more for a chance for me to get to know the children, their names and where there up to in their reading levels. This was a good opportunity for me to also quickly work out any children with behavioural issues,there is about 5 in the class so I will be kept on my toes! My teacher expects alot from them in regards to being respectful which is great!

The next session of the day was for “Rewards Day” so this was very relaxed but another good opportunity for me to get to know some children better. It was then time for second break, afterwards we spent the afternoon doing a bit of reflective writing in regards to their Fire Fighter visit from the previous day, then it was a bit of health, then finished off with some dancing as they are being assessed on keeping a rhythym.

All in all a fantastic day, my mentor has already shared quite a few resources with me and loaded my usb stick with all the units of C2C I wil need to focus on, I am going to be doing my lessons on Maths, English an Science. She is more than happy to communicate with me over the holidays if I need to ask anything and she will be sending me more resources through via email. So overall a great day, feeling a little less anxious, still nervous to teach but feeling very blessed to have scored such an amazing mentor!!

Hope everyone else has been as lucky as me, it will make all the difference!

The joys of technology!

Last week I had to submit an English assignment that was way more like an ICT subject! Part of the assessment was to upload a multimodal video I had made onto youtube then upload that onto my Mahara page……………aaaarrrggghhh is all I can say.

The multimodal element turned ot to be the easiest part lol, I had to sign up to youtube to get myself an account but once doing that I had to verify this account through an email I would recieve. Well do you think I could retrieve that email?? After requesting it 9 or 10 times I was starting to panic, no emails to be found. Time was ticking and I was thinking this assignment was not going to be submitted 😦 then the penny dropped……………..perhaps the email was in my spam? Sure enough 9 verification emails were waiting for me!!!! Doh all that stress for nothing, after that I was able to successfully upload to youtube then to my Mahara and felt quite clever in doing so!

Seems I’m not the only one finding technology stressful as my fellow blogger Donna writes of her account! LOL