So my first year in teaching has come to a close and this post is an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learnt and recall some of the key experiences that I have had.
Lesson 1 - There is a lot of work to cover
The amount of time I took over the first topic in maths was unnecessary and I quickly learnt to keep things moving. This is where effective mid term and long term planning come into play and I hope to plan more effectively over the long term next year.
Lesson 2 - Christmas is chaos
I didn't notice during my PGCE because I had a year 3/4 class who had to learn some songs to support year 5/6 but little else. Last Christmas I had to try and get every learner up on stage saying a line, dancing, singing and by the end of it I felt like Andrew Lloyd Webber! A fantastic experience and lots of good learning opportunities but my plan's were ripped to shreds with the Christmas related activities being completed.
Lesson 3 - The MEP is hard work (really hard!)
I think everyone who started the Masters in Educational Practice was under no illusion that it would be a lot of work however the amount of time that you need to devote to it is greater than expected. It is key to manage your time effectively and prioritise however the content has generally been interesting and the professional development is good.
Lesson 4 - Join a union
Although I joined all the unions during my PGCE I saw them as sort of an insurance policy in case things go wrong. This is not the case they are so much more giving members an opportunity to discuss and bring to the media and governments attention issues in education. They are also a great source of professional development and networking. The ATL conference I attended over the Easter holidays was a great learning experience and gave me the opportunity to talk about pay on stage in front of at least 200 other teachers and teaching staff!
Lesson 5 - The summer term is not a breeze!
My previous experience of summer has involved sports day's, trips out and playing rounder's in the sunshine. Although all of that happened again and was as always great fun this year I also had reports to write! These took at least 30 minutes each for 29 learners and seemed to hang around for ages as we added in attendance and results from the LNF tests. I enjoyed writing the reports it just took a long, long time to complete!
The Past Year
Star: - The highlight of this year was the Christmas Skype with a school in Florida the learners were really engaged asking and answering questions and it was amazing seeing the Americans swaying to our learners singing Ar Hyd y Nos and them then singing Jingle Bells for us!
Wish: - The main wish this year is to have more effective planning especially in the mid term and long term. My planning has definitely improved over the year and I am looking forward to planning with closer reference to the LNF next year.
The Year Ahead
One year ends and after plenty of golf, a holiday in Girona and some rock climbing it will soon be time for another year to begin. Goals for next year are to set up an Etwinning opportunity with at least one other school, run an adventure club and introduce new ICT opportunities for learners.