Placement

I thought I’d write a little bit about my placement today and have a bit of a shared reflection on it instead of keeping it brief and private in my teaching file.

It was a good day today, weather was bright and sunny, not too cold, everyone was cheerful. Maybe the Christmas spirit is beginning to set in.

I’d had a mentor meeting earlier in the week and set a bit of a plan for the next term and ironed out a few issues, mainly  my eagerness to teach more. I saw one of my fellow trainees today and she was also saying how she just wants to teach all of the time and her ‘day job’ is not cutting the mustard for her anymore. I understand that feeling too well, I just want to teach all of the time too.  These are good signs for sure, I’d much rather be feeling like this than sitting in a corner rocking wondering why I chose this career and trying to figure a way out of it, that wouldn’t be good times.

So today I was with the year 2 class, 16 of them turned out to class today which was good, nearly a full quota. They are engaged mainly in ensuring their assignments are up to date and were uploading CV’s as part of the recruitment and selection unit. So I was flitting around giving advice and helping out or helping them to get started.  It was great to hear that one of the students had finally found a job. Last week she was despairing of ever finding anything and I’d urged her to keep on trying, to ring around and ask why she was being turned down and to just not give up. So it was rewarding to be able to congratulate her and see how much of a confidence boost it had given her.

I was also discussing revised units for next term with my mentor and working out which areas I would teach, it was good to have input at this stage and to discuss the benefits of the change of units. I like the flexibility of the course, where even at this late stage it’s possible to alter units to suit the needs of the students.

I’m also going on my first field trip so it was good hearing about that and I’m going to get myself trained up as a first aider, it’s about time I renewed that so hopefully that will be done before the trip and hopefully I will not have to use my updated skills.

The class was so much better behaved today, they’re a good bunch of young people, very ambitious and I wonder if it’s finally sunk in that they really need to push themselves now to get to where they want to be next. They were certainly very keen to take a look at grading criteria and consider what they  need to do to secure distinctions rather than merits or passes.

It’s strange how quickly you form an attachment to your students, I never anticipated being as bothered about them, caring as much about their individual triumphs and feeling that I had something to invest in their future. It’s a good thing, just not something I thought would happen. I imagine it will be even stronger when it comes to teaching my own class from beginning to end and I can’t wait for that opportunity.

I’m going to be teaching year 1’s from January too so I’ll gain another perspective on the course and face some new challenges and triumphs.

I can’t believe it’s been a whole term since I started, walked into the classroom terrified, wondering if I was cut out for this as much as I thought I was and scared witless at the thought of being responsible for so many people at such a crucial stage of their development. It’s been a steep learning curve, not only have I learned theoretically about being a teacher I’ve learned about it in practice and the two have stood me in good stead to move on next term with more responsibility, more teaching time and more autonomy over elements of the course. I’m really, really looking forward to it and know that I have definitely made the right decisions to bring me to the right place for me at this time.

Someone said it’s the hardest yet most rewarding career there is and I’m beginning to see that they were maybe right.

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