this week’s gone fast. i haven’t been able to post much else but i’m getting closer to school, day by day, and the pressure is mounting. i passed my ICT skills test on saturday (seriously, give it a go). so far this week its been writing assignments, art, maths, re and ar & r. i gave my notice so to speak about teaching re and am hoping to get out of the xmas unit of work for it too. if only they’d let me teach norse…
 science on friday
forgot about that. it was only half a day really. in the morning we did experiments using forces, our group came up with the idea of moving toy cars using opposing magnetic forces up a ramp. it was pretty good and was quite educational but i fucked up the presentation and was cut off before we got to the good stuff. we came up with a lesson plan where kids would learn all about magnetism. other groups did parachutes (gravity) balloon helicopters (wind) and a couple of others i can’t remember. in the afternoon he said we could basically go once we finished our subject audits – rating ourselves out of 4 in our understanding of things like electricity, space, photosynthesis etc. i stayed for a while afterwards and got one of my guided tasks done, write about a side of a4 on my understanding of ‘saving energy’.
this was okay, but pretty pointless. three hours of ‘what makes a good assignment’ (again) and talking about a couple of different aspects of the formative. we looked at each others 300 word introduction homework and gave ‘positive feedback’ etc. i got some ideas about what i didn’t have to include and am making quite a lot of progress on the thing itself, much to the annoyance of the rest of my table. my ‘i’ve done 1000 words of my literature review’ dance might not have helped, but i’m happy at least. we have to write about the impact various education theories have on our studies and luckily for me, most of these guys were long gone before interactive whiteboards came along: piaget, skinner, bloom and something about constructivism. i did do a nice critique of piaget and how his formative operation level had no impact in an ICT rich environment -zing.
we painted for three hours. it was okay, but i forgot how hard it was. we reverted a bit to school behaviour so when she took out the georgia o’keefe, ahem, ‘flower‘ prints i had to bite my lip and most people were laughing. some of the paintings done by my fellow trainees were amazing, some real talent there. if i get a chance to see them again, i’ll take some photos. we messed around mixing paints and doing glorified colour wheels but it was a nice break from theory all the same. i feel confident i could get an infant class to sit down and paint quietly at least.
maths all day tuesday
with adrian. most of us were dreading it because he is quite a boring teacher. i can’t blame him and he’s very intelligent but the material is so dull. going through work books about multiplication and division. someone asked him a question about one of our guided tasks and he gave a ten minute response. i don’t really remember that much to be honest. in the afternoon we did common misconceptions about maths which was interesting, why kids think certain numbers go in certain places (place value) and things like ‘add 8 oranges to 3 oranges – we can’t, we’ve only learnt apples so far’ etc.
zomg. this woman pissed me off. it was basically an hour lecture stretched to three. we spent the first 45mins discussing ways we could praise a child for good work – literally ‘good work’, ‘well done’. she had written on the board ’50 ways to praise’ so naturally i thought she meant something religious. she walked past our table just as i was explaining that a few hundred years ago we used to “praise” god by burning catholics alive at the stake. my bad. i was in a foul mood most of the time because she kept going off topic and showing us videos like this. after it finished she said it had no religious connection but “you were laughing”. i assure you – i was not.
after watching a clip of america’s funniest home videos entitled ‘babies poop’ (i’m not joking) i was struggling to keep from smoting something. some other ‘highlights’:
she told us she spent her ast budget (a specialist teacher budget) on a new widescreen mac laptop. for herself. and the kids, of course.
she didn’t know that the cross on the english flag was religious (after someone pointed out the islamic symbol is on the cypriot flag and she thought it was strange to have religious iconography on a flag – i had to point it out)
she told us that re is a core subject. its not. we all know this. it says it in the national curriculum, its clearly not. its alongside geography, pe, art etc as not being a core subject. english, maths, science are. she said she wanted us to have a ’rounded view’.
she said she’s “not so sure about buddhism” ie, her knowledge of it. and she said “islam isn’t a subject that i teach often”. despite the fact that last time she told us she teaches the six main world religions.
she got some pretty bad videos of islamic tradition ‘off youtube’ and i pointed out you could probably get some education material from the muslim council of great britain that would be suitable for infants. nope, no idea who they are.
she asked which way mecca was and gave one of the most appalling demonstrations of how prayer is conducted ‘you touch parts of your body, i can’t remember which’ (paraphrase).
i could go on but i think you get the point. i won’t even talk about the drama ‘freeze frame’ we had to do involving a reworking of the nativity with elvis as an angel and foxhunters as the three wise men. i wish i was making this up. i hope you understand why i said that i wasn’t going to be teaching re.
ar & r
shit sandwich again. i was so bored, but did the best doodles i’ve done the whole course. i wish i could scan them in i’m so proud. we did three hours of marking and assessment and had to grade pupils work. i learnt that a 4b grade (the highest grade in year 6) can be obtained by spelling watching ‘whatching’ and not using full stops. i learnt that i should lower my standards, we all did.
tomorrow its emotional welfare and something to do with child abuse. friday, science.