sunday night means school tomorrow. and yes, its the same feeling the second time around. once again a busy few days, a mixture of boredom and excitement. i’ve had: behaviour management, re, literacy planning, numeracy planning, science and design and technology.
this one featured a couple of unexpected things. firstly, we found out what schools we’re going to be based at for the autumn/spring terms and who our mentors are. this term i’m going to a nice little infant school teaching year 3’s i think – the school only has 80 kids in it and i’m going to be the only male teacher there (and no there isn’t – i checked the photos on the website). i’m really looking forward to it, i was hoping for a nice one after some of the horror stories i’ve heard about the city schools. they have a pirate ship in the playground too.
my spring term is spent in a school that has a reputation for trouble. a specialist school for kids with behavioural/social/emotional problems e.g. one of the kids stabbed his mum – when she was pregnant. despite the fear i’m looking forward to the difference and i hope it’ll make me a better teacher at the end of it. its year 4’s there i think. worst comes to worst i’ll shave my head and grow my beard back and intimidate the crap out of them.
the lesson itself was odd. it took shit sandwich 35 minutes to start after mentioning that ‘someone’ had complained about her swearing (me), she also pointed out that she feels she’s not connecting with ‘everyone’ in the class (me). what can i say, i love rocking boats. the next few hours were okay, it was a better lesson without the swearing and although she spent far too much time talking about herself and her school stories, we did get to talk a lot about ‘extreme behaviour’ e.g. a kid in her class crapped his pants before school, pulled out the bookcase in the classroom and smeared his shit all over the wall. oh, and she showed us the bite mark/bruises on her arm from the day before – a 6 year girl.
i was looking forward to this because i have particularly strong opinions on religion and how it should be taught in schools. my feeling is, every kid should know as much about every religion as possible – ie islam, judiasm, native american spirits, thor, christianity, druids etc etc. i was looking forward to a ‘heated debate’, or at least ask some awkward questions. but she didn’t really take questions and the curriculum is lame. it features only the big 6 (xtianity, islam, judaism, hinduism, sikhism, and the other one) and is heavily centred around xtianity. she made a point of saying that she encourages children to believe in something and doesn’t discuss with kids that its okay not to believe. now this pissed a few people off, and our table was in agreement its biased. then she said we could opt out of teaching re if we felt strongly and i kinda turned off to be honest. during the activity (something about teaching kids what belonging is) our table mucked around and we were the only group that she didn’t come over and talk to. our bad.
god this was boring (see what i did there) and badly taught by shit sandwich. in short we had to learn about how to plan our literacy lessons, but the guidance was so complicated she couldn’t even explain it to us. i had my laptop so i got a couple of episodes of house and read some feeds. i’m a pro at timing my head turns away from the screen, looking straight at the lecturer and giving a few slow head nods of agreement.
one of the longest afternoons of the course. the lecturer laura was nice and helpful but the content was so dull. a lot of time was spent rolling eyes across our table and looking at clocks. planning sucks ass and by all accounts we’ve got to do fuckloads of it. some of the lesson we played online games (about maths) and most of it was going through her exhaustive powerpoint presentation about how to plan a good lesson. it was interesting talking about marking and good techniques to encourage children. but as she admitted, she could ‘talk for england’.
another friday with ron. he was on top form and the lesson was about electricity. we spent ages playing around making circuits and understanding why a circuit will/won’t work and fun things to try with kids. he also gave a very good example of how to put kids off playing around with electricity at home. towards the end of the class i was getting pretty annoyed with people messing around with buzzers though. and yes, they were doing the ‘de de de-de-de, de-de-de de, deh deh”. i learnt a lot again and he gave us confidence to keep a class interested in electricity.
the afternoon was one of the best lessons so far. we were playing with lego and electricity. we followed some worksheets making cogs and simple machines and then he brought out this big box of lego and asked us to build something with our machine. ours was basically a small cog to big cog thing and as soon as i saw the giant wheels in the box i knew we were going to make a car. we came up with the idea of connecting the cog to an axle. it was a great afternoon and we made a car that actually moved forward with a battery and even attached a light. the rest of the class made pretty boring things (fairground ride, windmill etc) but ours was clearly the best. we took a photo so i’ll post it when i get it.
i’m meeting my mentor this week, a headteacher apparently.