Today I did a presentation on what it is like to go to Oxbridge to the highest achievers at GCSE who have just entered Year 12 and the goal was to inspire some of them to think about applying to Oxbridge and to try to stamp out the idea that people from Wigan don’t go to Oxbridge and that they wouldn’t like it. At the end, about 45 of them had ticked that they were interested in Oxbridge. Also, 2 of them had noted that I did Law at Cambridge and came to me at the end and said I’m thinking of doing Law at Cambridge and asked me a few questions! I’m looking forward to hopefully hosting a question and answer session for them all.
On Wednesday last week I took my first full lesson. It was a Year 9 class and I was teaching them multiplying decimals – not the most exciting of topics…
I made it interesting by discussing Formula 1 and where decimals can be found in the race cars and stats about the next race this weekend. We worked with track length and number of laps to find total distance travelled etc. It was a really positive lesson and the pupils really enjoyed it.
What I’m most proud of is that on Monday this week a fellow WWLCSD trainee was teaching the same pupils about sport in her MFL lesson and one of the pupils from my class started telling her how he was learning all about F1 in Maths with me. It was really nice that even after the rest of the week and the weekend that my lesson had stuck with him.
One week into my teacher training year and I want to already thank WWLCSD for a great start to the course. When I was interviewed in December last year I was asked the question “Have you ever embarked on a PGCE course previously?” I replied honestly (as it’s best not to be untruthful in an interview!!) that I had and that a few weeks into my first placement I had some rough circumstances at home and failed to ‘keep all the balls in the air’ and ended up dropping out.
During the introduction and start of this course I have thought about that time (I often regret having dropped out thinking I could be a teacher by now – although even with hindsight the circumstances at that time for me were pretty difficult and I still feel I did the right thing at that time). Anyway I think about that course compared to this one and can honestly say that WWLCSD is excellent in comparison! I feel like I know what I’m supposed to be doing, I know what’s expected, I feel completely supported, basically I’ve been given all the tools to give me every chance to become a great teacher. Even though we’re only a week in, I don’t feel ‘bogged down’ or stressed or worried about anything. I know there will be challenges. I fully expect it to get more intense as time goes on – but I feel that it’s very ‘do-able’ and the support will continue throughout. Thank you.
One of the reasons for training to teach was to show pupils the opportunities that lie within the art and design industries. One of my first lessons in school was to teach typography and logo design to a yr 10 graphic art class. I decided to show them a technique that I’d used in a graphic design agency to quickly draw up a range of logo ideas. I talked through the task and at the end, as I explained that if they worked in a design agency as graphic designer, this is how they’d work, I heard a little “wow” come from the back of the room.That moment really made me feel like my reasons for teaching were valid and even though pupils have chosen art and design subjects at GCSE they are often unaware of the career paths that it can lead them to.
I teach two Y7 classes. In one there’s a pupil who has autism and diabetes and another who is also autistic. I have found the best successes come when I get them involved in the lessons.
I ask one pupil to stand and choose things on the whiteboard and act as my assistant choosing other students for answers and ask for answers that I know they knows to boost their confidence. I then get the biggest smile which instantly changes your mood … but you can’t help but think you’re doing a good job when you see that smile 🙂
WWLCSD has provided me with many fantastic experiences and opportunities that have built my confidence and allowed me to develop my teaching practice in the classroom. During placement one, I had the delight of teaching an enthusiastic year seven group amongst other years.
One particular moment that stands out to me is when I first started teaching that year seven group; hearing my students say, ‘Are you teaching us today Miss?’, and cheering when I confirm that I am really reaffirms why I went into teaching. Being able to make pupils enthusiastic to learn maths not only makes my day, but also pushes me to become an outstanding teacher.
After a worrying start to the course where I was unsure of myself, I was gifted a wonderful year 8 class who were all engaged and wonderful throughout. After teaching them for a number of months, they had all progressed in both their verbal and written skills and their test scores. When I was leaving at Christmas they all brought me cards and presents to say thank you and that they would miss me. What an amazing feeling!
At two points during my first placement my subject mentor asked if he could use my resources in his lesson. This gave me a real boost because I felt I was producing lessons that were the standard of a real teacher!
I have come to teaching later after working elsewhere previously and it was a difficult and scary decision as to whether to make the change. There have been a few moments that have made me very glad I did, but today is the best moment yet.
I moved to my second placement early and took on an interesting class with lots of personalities and problems. They have been really challenging at times and I have not always had the easiest lessons and given them a hard time about deadlines and effort. Today was my last day on my current placement and the students bought me a present and a card with lots of lovely messages. I also received one card from a student who has been struggling with anxiety in my lessons who I have been working closely with to try and help her to overcome it. The message from the student said that I had helped her to overcome one of the most difficult times in her life. It absolutely took my breath away that I could have made that impact with such small gestures. There are not that many jobs that you make that level of difference and I have without a doubt made the right decision.
I began to really see myself as a teacher when pupils began to come and find me in the classroom and came to ask me questions as opposed to the other art teacher in the class. Additionally it has made me feel proud of myself and the practice I have developed when I have seen my subject mentor use strategies and resources that I use in my own classroom.