My classroom is still in desperate need of decorating. I have made a start by buying this poster from dftba.com. I would also like an Oatmeal grammar one if I can find one that is appropriate.
In my classroom, I have a limited about of space for displays as we are only meant to use the proper boards and mine are tinywee. I am completely lacking inspiration and the quality of the work produced by my classes thus far is not wall-worthy. I need to get my awesome year 8s doing something pronto.
Today is my last day on placement. We have just one day tomorrow in University and then I am qualified and finished. I feel quite calm. I am a bit sad to be leaving here because most of the staff and pupils are lovely to be around. My Year 10s made me feel a bit wobbly when they gave me a card and gift.
It feels quite odd to think that I will be doing this all for real come September. And by odd, I mean terrifying! I am going in to my new school to help with some Year 10 assessments in a couple of weeks and I am both excited and nervous. It’s been a long time since I have been the new girl.
I am already anxious that the summer (which will extended this year because of our early end) will fly past too quickly and I won’t be able to appreciate it. I hope that I get lots of information from school about the classes I will be teaching next year so that I can get properly prepared. I have definitely learned that getting on top of your planning is the one thing that will save your sanity. The moment you are panic planning every lesson, it becomes impossible to think of any ideas.
We have a week away from Saturday and then I am looking forward to reading, sorting out the rest of my evidence / files, organising my resources, writing and most of all, spending time with my Baby Girl.
I have not written here nearly as much as I would like. It doesn’t matter how many people told me what the PGCE year was like, I had no concept of how much work it entailed. I know the NQT year can be worse (although I am choosing to believe the maxim that those who have a hard PGCE year have an easier NQT year!).
I will try to continue to share my experiences of Becoming Miss.
The start of PP2 definitely did not go how I had expected or planned. Where I was left with little to no mentoring on PP1, suddenly I had someone who cared, who was very particular, who was very detailed focused and who was a bit of a control freak (aren’t we all?!). Suddenly, I had forgotten how to teach. Worse: I had forgotten how to plan. By the time Easter was looming, I couldn’t think of a starter to save my life.
As I fell into the holidays like an exhausted clubber falls into bed, I decided I needed to do something to recharge my creativity. The first step was simple – rest. Forget work for a bit and recharge the batteries. Second, I needed to meet up with people who would inspire me. I would read books. I would organise myself. I did all this (the latter to a lesser extent than I would have liked!) and by the time I was back at school for the summer term, something had clicked. Something had changed. I was no longer fazed by the prospect of planning. Instead of eschewing advice and starter ideas, I starting putting these ideas into my lessons. I was like a different teacher.
Looking back, the fog that I was in before Easter was the ever-increasing panic that I might not be able to actually do it. At no point in the five years doing my OU degree, nor in the time before applying for the PGCE did I ever entertain the notion that I might not be able to do it. It sounds like the most horrendous arrogance to say that it just never occurred to me that I might fail. At some point last term, I was faced with not failure necessarily but the prospect of being severely mediocre and that was terrifying to me.
I have had a slow return to school since Easter due to illness (first my daughter, then me ugh) but I feel so calm and in control. I was just thinking of my resolution to be ‘tough’ – this still stands. I need to take the criticism and not let it get me down. I need to stare that panic down when I am stumped for ideas. My confidence is back and I really, really hope I can cling on to it until the end of the course because it really makes this whole thing a lot easier.
I have a lot to be getting on with. Some of this stuff is big stuff (find a job, write two essays) and some is a bit smaller (learn about SMART board software, read Macbeth). I wish I was built to work steadily and consistently whenever I had spare time. In the past hour, I have blogged to my Tumblr, tidied by desk, read a bit about behaviour management (I will tell you about the awesome Pivotal Behaviour conference I went to last week at some point) and starting writing this blog post. None of these things were on my to do list (although tidying my desk was a prerequisite for getting anything else done so I’ll give myself a break on that).
I think part of the problem is that my to-do list is so large that it makes me balk and then hide my head in the internet. I have read enough productivity blogs (because how else can you be über-productive but by wasting hours reading blogs?!) to know that I ought to be picking out my three most important things and concentrate on those first. Three things is a lot more palatable than twenty. So my three things for today are:
- Make resources and plan starter for tomorrow’s Macbeth lesson.
- Write at least 500 words of my PDP assignment essay which I have not yet started and which is due on 15th of this month.
- Finish reading Macbeth.
If I get more done, great. Nothing else on the list has to be done by tomorrow so I will not worry about those items. For now.