Today

Today was a busy one. Who knew teaching could be so tiring?

It started off with an early start and a quick cover in a Computing class. What a lovely bunch of guys the students were, they were preparing for a Dragon’s Den style presentation tomorrow and had four innovative ideas to pitch. There were some fabulous ones too. They’d been tasked with getting into their respective groups and their project leaders heading up final check meetings so it was good to oversee and I think I  learned more than they did. I was able to input some ideas to planning and minuting meetings which was useful.

Then I had a tiny bit of staff room time during which I did some planning with my mentor, always useful time. Then I headed off to teach my Yr 1 BTEC Business class. They had been working independently on assignments all morning as it’s Stop the Tracks week when everyone has a chance to catch up on outstanding work and have a tutorial. So we agreed to put the lesson on hold for next week (which is great as I have observations next week) and to help them out with some 1:1 attention on assignments.

Eventually I ended up teaching a bit as common issues kept presenting themselves so I did some mini teaches which they found useful on  Employment Law and also on Staff Planning.

After that it was time for a quick lunch and then it was back to the classroom for teaching the Yr2 class. These were asked the same question if they’d like a taught session or some assignment time and they opted for assignment time after giving it some thought.

Both decided that assignment time would enable them to catch up and then start the new teaching of the new unit to commence next week.

Yr 2’s were working on a variety of assessments some chose to crack on with poster presentations so the floor was strewn with paper and cut outs and pens and glue. Some very good starts they made too. The others were in a variety of states with different assignments.

For the second part of the session we watched some banned TV ads (trying to be as PC as poss) just to see how sometimes companies and ad agencies get it terribly wrong. It led to some good discussion about how companies must waste millions when a multi platform campaign is banned. Then again we looked at that concept as being turned on its head by technology as now when ads are banned they receive more exposure on sites like You Tube than they would have as an ad on TV. That led us to talking about virals and why companies do such things.

It all ties in with product promotions and is worth knowing when putting a campaign together and it was something they asked to do so I indulged them.

It was quite a pleasant day today, very student led in terms of how they wanted to use the time and I like that sometimes the students do get to have a say in what they will do. It’s engaging for them and gives them some control over their learning and makes it a cooperative experience. As long as learning takes place and there is flexibility in the scheme of work to switch sessions out then why not? My mentor said that it showed maturity and confidence as a teacher to feel happy to make that decision and he said it was the right one to make especially as I made it clear we would do the planned sessions the next time we met. He said that sometimes there is a pressure within new teachers to feel they have to be teaching all of the time and sometimes its just as useful or even more so to give the students a breather and let them catch up on some work with a workshop especially at key times such as this week when we’re transitioning into new units.

It certainly helps to get to know the students that’s for sure and I find such times valuable for building relationships.

I also finally got my electronic registers assigned so I don’t have to remember to send round sheets of paper and I was really impressed with myself for remembering most of my new class’s names already.

I also got my specialist interview booked in for the end of March so that will be another academic requirement fulfilled. It was quite funny as when we had our team time today we kept talking about topics which I had planned for the interview and so we had to take a vow not to speak to each other again about anything important until the interview is over. I’ve had my consent form signed after designing it yesterday and have my approval to go ahead from my mentor’s line manager and I have my questions ready so it’s all systems go with that task.

It’s been a good productive day.

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