When I was on teaching practice during my PGCE I had to write weekly reflections. I usually sat down on a Saturday morning while the house was quiet and thought for an hour or so about my week, my lessons and what the children had learned. Given how busy this week has been, I doubt I’ll have time to regularly write reflections for my NQT year. I’ll still be reflecting on my practice, probably even more so than before, just not in writing. I discovered on my last teaching practice that in fact I probably reflect better when I’m talking :
For various reasons I have had less opportunity to discuss my lessons with my mentor or LSA this week. Looking back over the week, I think that this has led me to reflect less on my teaching and the children’s learning. When I have my own class next year, I realise that I will need to seek out my NQT mentor to discuss my teaching regularly. I have found that talking my lessons through, even quickly, really does help to move me forward and develop further
Fortunately, I have plenty of support to help me do this, from my mentor and colleagues at school to long-suffering friends and family.
However, I couldn’t let this week pass without marking it online. Whilst setting up my classroom I realised that I really was starting at the beginning and just learning to teach. What a massive understatement! A quick summary of what just some of what I’ve learned this week:
- Being in the last class at the very end of a long corridor means I need to get fitter to make sure I keep in touch with the rest of my colleagues!
- I like systems and being organised, so not having planning sorted out well in advance sent me into a blind panic mid-week. I need structures in place so that I can quickly review resources needed for the week and organise my LSAs in advance. My mentor has already helped with this and I have my first literacy and numeracy units mapped out. I’ll map the next units quickly to start me thinking about where the children will be going next.
- Behaviour management is really hard when you don’t know children’s names! On teaching practice I always had a chance to learn names before I needed to be in control of the class.
Aims for next week:
- Focus on behaviour management now that I have names sorted out and a better feel for the class. Continue to set expectations for behaviour and levels of noise when working and in transitions.
- Get routines for guided reading set up
- Think about managing teaching time and transitions more effectively.
- Observe how groupings for numeracy work out this week, think about altering the seating plan for ‘home’ tables.
- Worry less about things being perfect and just get on with stuff! I’ve so much to learn, and the only way to do it is to try it and then think about it afterwards.
Of course, I couldn’t last long without setting up a class blog. I’m taking it slowly, because there is so much other work to do and I know I will get distracted easily with technology. We have a Google Apps Education account for the school, but setting that up properly will take some time, so to start with I’ve made a ‘teacher’ account for myself and used it to create a class calendar (this only has the days we do PE on at the moment!) and there is a public school calendar we can use for the new school website. The blog is only enabled for me to post at the moment, children’s accounts will come later. Some children have already been asking for web links to use at home, so this will be an easy way to share them in one place.