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    (Original post by Frankenstein)
    Hey guys,
    quick update!

    im a week into placement, I've got quite a challenging school, (primary) and I've taught 3 lessons already, absolutely love it! It's brill, I even started a new topic with them, considered different work levels and continuous provision, really enjoying it!


    We have a science week coming up, as I've planned lots of work stations for them, gonna be fab! My tutors at uni have given me lots of ideas, even asking peers and building on their thoughts if your stuck with the planning side of things, :-)
    work load atm is manageable, I'm on top of it, and that's how I hope it'll stay haha my advice for that is do it when you get it, don't leave it to build up for weekend etc and plan lessons as soon as you get the timetables in PPA time :-) I have a slot in school time to do work too, so I generally get most things done then x
    Three lessons in the first week is serious stuff - well done! I've been in a week as well and just observed. Gonna hopefully start teaching this week or definitely from next week.

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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Teaching my first starter on Thursday - well it may be more than a starter. It's a year 8 class I've been observing for a few weeks (my mentor's class) and last week they played a word game based on 'call my bluff' but it didn't go so well as they were messing about etc so I'm basically doing the same thing with them but going to try hard to manage the class so they get more out of it this time.

    I am excited but nervous - on the whole they're not a bad class but there's a handful of pupils that mess about and disrupt others from what I've seen. I'm also conscious that my mentor will be in the class with me and I don't want to undermine her but at the same time I want to establish myself and lay down the law a bit, even if it is just an informal chance for me to actually stand up and lead a class before half term so that when I come back after the break I've already done something and so getting into teaching a few classes a week won't seem quite as daunting.

    Wish me luck/ give me any tips you think might help if you've been in my situation before!
    Well, it went Okay.

    I wasn't sure exactly what the set up was going to be because my mentor is a bit aloof but it was really a case of the class walking in and I was at the front and it was my lesson. I felt a bit awkward at first and didn't know how to get the class settled as they are used to coming in to my mentor and just talking in groups, not sitting down at first, often messing about (from what I've observed the last few weeks). I just raised my voice and said 'ok can we sit down and look this way, can we have a bit of quiet'. It took a couple of attempts but they settled down a bit then.

    I introduced what we were going to do (the word game) and whilst most seemed to be happy with that, a select few started shouting out 'oh not that again, that's boring!' Which I felt a bit at a loss of what to respond with.

    Once I organised them into groups for the game they got on with it, I felt good saying things like '5 minutes left' and then a ten second count down but it then fell apart a bit when trying to get every groups scores written up on the board.

    People were shouting out, talking over one another, even getting up out their seats because that's what they're used to.

    I raised my voice several times and for some groups it worked but others didn't take a blind bit of notice. My mentor helped a bit but they don't even respond to her authority half the time.

    I managed to get the game done and then my mentor had to give them a homework task for the half term.

    I felt so drained after it - my throat was very dry from the raised voice. I felt I did a decent job with them but obviously I have lots to improve on.

    My mentor said for a first time it was very good on the whole but not to be afraid to show authority at the start of the lesson which I was because it was all new to me and I sort of got caught off guard because I wasn't sure exactly how the lesson would be (whether my mentor would introduce it or it would be simply my lesson) because it was an informal chance for me to lead an activity before half term.

    I feel very mixed right now. I've absolutely loved the PGCE so far - the Uni side of It has been great and my school isn't a bad first placement because it's challenging and I will get to develop my behaviour management a lot.

    Negatives are that my mentor seems like she can't handle her workload and I feel a massive burden to her. She cried in front of me the other week because she was finding things difficult. She's a nice woman but when I come into school she just says hello then walks out the staff room to her class room because she has so much work or doesn't want me to bring things up with her, I don't know. I don't really feel part of the staff room yet - there's a girl doing schools direct who's been there since the start of term and you'd think she's been there for years - she's pally with basically all the staff, seems to be taking loads of lessons and it makes me feel a bit like a child at times, like a fish out of water.

    None of the technical stuff was done for me either - I had to spend days and weeks chasing up the IT guy to give me my computer password and I spent my 4 weeks trying to get my finger ID you need to get in the building and every class room and the staff room but the guy is impossible to get a hold of - I finally managed to get him on the school phone and he did it for me but it doesn't work of course so now after half term I'm going to have to chase him down again whilst worrying about starting teaching proper.

    I guess it's just me being a worrier as usual but just those little things don't make me feel very welcome. I like to know exactly where to go, what I'm doing etc but my mentor is very vague. I asked her what my timetable would look like after half term and she was like 'oh well you could maybe teach one lesson this week then 2 the next and see how it goes' but my Uni want me to give my tutor a timetable ASAP so my tutor can come an observe a lesson in the coming months.

    I'm hoping once I start teaching a few lessons a week and get my ID sorted I'll feel more at ease but right now I feel like I'm just in the way!
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Well, it went Okay.

    I wasn't sure exactly what the set up was going to be because my mentor is a bit aloof but it was really a case of the class walking in and I was at the front and it was my lesson. I felt a bit awkward at first and didn't know how to get the class settled as they are used to coming in to my mentor and just talking in groups, not sitting down at first, often messing about (from what I've observed the last few weeks). I just raised my voice and said 'ok can we sit down and look this way, can we have a bit of quiet'. It took a couple of attempts but they settled down a bit then.

    I introduced what we were going to do (the word game) and whilst most seemed to be happy with that, a select few started shouting out 'oh not that again, that's boring!' Which I felt a bit at a loss of what to respond with.

    Once I organised them into groups for the game they got on with it, I felt good saying things like '5 minutes left' and then a ten second count down but it then fell apart a bit when trying to get every groups scores written up on the board.

    People were shouting out, talking over one another, even getting up out their seats because that's what they're used to.

    I raised my voice several times and for some groups it worked but others didn't take a blind bit of notice. My mentor helped a bit but they don't even respond to her authority half the time.

    I managed to get the game done and then my mentor had to give them a homework task for the half term.

    I felt so drained after it - my throat was very dry from the raised voice. I felt I did a decent job with them but obviously I have lots to improve on.

    My mentor said for a first time it was very good on the whole but not to be afraid to show authority at the start of the lesson which I was because it was all new to me and I sort of got caught off guard because I wasn't sure exactly how the lesson would be (whether my mentor would introduce it or it would be simply my lesson) because it was an informal chance for me to lead an activity before half term.

    I feel very mixed right now. I've absolutely loved the PGCE so far - the Uni side of It has been great and my school isn't a bad first placement because it's challenging and I will get to develop my behaviour management a lot.

    Negatives are that my mentor seems like she can't handle her workload and I feel a massive burden to her. She cried in front of me the other week because she was finding things difficult. She's a nice woman but when I come into school she just says hello then walks out the staff room to her class room because she has so much work or doesn't want me to bring things up with her, I don't know. I don't really feel part of the staff room yet - there's a girl doing schools direct who's been there since the start of term and you'd think she's been there for years - she's pally with basically all the staff, seems to be taking loads of lessons and it makes me feel a bit like a child at times, like a fish out of water.

    None of the technical stuff was done for me either - I had to spend days and weeks chasing up the IT guy to give me my computer password and I spent my 4 weeks trying to get my finger ID you need to get in the building and every class room and the staff room but the guy is impossible to get a hold of - I finally managed to get him on the school phone and he did it for me but it doesn't work of course so now after half term I'm going to have to chase him down again whilst worrying about starting teaching proper.

    I guess it's just me being a worrier as usual but just those little things don't make me feel very welcome. I like to know exactly where to go, what I'm doing etc but my mentor is very vague. I asked her what my timetable would look like after half term and she was like 'oh well you could maybe teach one lesson this week then 2 the next and see how it goes' but my Uni want me to give my tutor a timetable ASAP so my tutor can come an observe a lesson in the coming months.

    I'm hoping once I start teaching a few lessons a week and get my ID sorted I'll feel more at ease but right now I feel like I'm just in the way!
    Tbh it sounds like your mentor isn't up to the job. You should contact your uni. All that IT stuff should be sorted out by the school's student teacher coordinator. You shouldn't have to be chasing that stuff up at all.

    I didn't do a PGCE so other PGCErs can correct me if my assessment is wrong, but it sounds like quite a bad situation IMO.
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Well, it went Okay.
    Regarding the IT stuff... it shouldn't be like that, you shouldn't have to chase it, however, schools are so busy and have such tight budget constraints that things like that often do take a while and need chasing up. I certainly wouldn't take it personally... remember there are many things for schools to consider/organise regarding PGCE students so they are bound to need reminding about a few.

    Regarding your lesson it sounds like it went well to me too for a first time. They are going to be testing your boundaries and seeing what happens, for a while. Don't be disheartened when the behaviour is not great. I know having challenging behaviour in a class is very daunting (had some, though Key Stage 1, myself, and behaviour management has always been my biggest point for development!). But the fact that they actually got on with the work, and they settled after a couple of tries, to me sounds very positive. As they get to know you more they will see that you're the teacher when you're teaching, and they will see your expectations (as like you say it sounds like they aren't used to it). They need time to suss out what kind of teacher you are, what you expect from them - the most important thing is to be consistent! Make rules for yourself and stick to them e.g. never talking over them (other than calling them to attention) or whatever you think is appropriate. They will soon get the picture.

    Regarding your mentor... it does sound like she is struggling. I understand you feel sympathy for her, which is good, but you also have to make sure you're getting the support you need. My suggestion would be to contact your tutor/placement supervisor/whatever you have at the uni just to keep them filled in (not to take any action yet) and arrange a proper meeting with your mentor. Make a list of what you need from her e.g. dates and times of when you will teach, filling in of any paperwork, dates of when SHE will observe you, PPA time etc etc and go through the list in the meeting. Be direct and clear... mention 'The uni needs...' to be clear that it's a requirement but also that you are not trying to put unnecessary pressure on her, just that it needs doing. If she then continues to avoid being clear then contact your tutor again and go from there. They can advise you on how to approach it and do it in a sensitive and professional way and intervene if appropriate.

    Oh and also chat to people including your mentor about anything (TV, what you're doing at the weekend etc!), it's very easy to feel like an outsider when you've just come in to a workplace, especially with so many names to learn in a school, but if you just have a friendly chat you'll feel more connected and you can build relationships, which will help you feel you have more people around to go to.

    Lastly, remember, you aren't a burden to your mentor. She has to put some effort in yes, but you can also really help her workload as you get more in to the swing of it and be a valuable member of the team.

    Good luck!

    xxx
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    :hugs: steveluis10, I hope things get better for you. It does sound like you just need a proper meeting with your tutor to get stuff sorted! My mentor is new to this so I've had to do the same - tell her exactly what uni needs/what I need and she's been brilliant with it. Just set aside time for meetings with your tutor so you can get on top of things

    --------


    I'm teaching my first lesson on Thursday! Year 7's. So far I've felt kind of awkward teaching because I've just been doing starters and for some reason it feels slightly unnatural. I think it's because I know I'm sort of imposing on another teacher's lesson. I know starters/plenaries are something I have to do to get used to a class, but I must say I'm excited to have the whole lesson to myself!
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    Thanks for the advice people! If things start to get a real issue then I will inform my tutor at Uni but right now, whilst everything isn't completely smooth, I'm not freaking out and I'm where I should be in terms of documentation so I guess it's a case of seeing how it goes after half term. Right now I'm focused on getting work done and starting my assignment!
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    Read for the first time to my Year 5s today. Basically the teacher is reading this book to them and he does it amazingly well - the children are proper into the book. Anyway he had to cover a lesson elsewhere and told me if I could read it to them. I said 'no' as I didn't feel I could replicate his reading style. But in did read them a book and went quite well. Better than I imagined. Quite happy!

    Next week, planning and taking my own small group.

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    Just doing starters does feel really uncomfortable and stilted- it's far easier to teach a whole lesson! Things flow more easily and you don't have to worry about 'handing' the class back over.
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    (Original post by Mr Advice)
    Read for the first time to my Year 5s today. Basically the teacher is reading this book to them and he does it amazingly well - the children are proper into the book. Anyway he had to cover a lesson elsewhere and told me if I could read it to them. I said 'no' as I didn't feel I could replicate his reading style. But in did read them a book and went quite well. Better than I imagined. Quite happy!

    Next week, planning and taking my own small group.

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    Congrats! And it's awesome that you're reading to them regularly

    Xxx

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    Does anyone have some recommendations of resources for lessons for KS2 year 6?
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    (Original post by Meus)
    Does anyone have some recommendations of resources for lessons for KS2 year 6?
    That's super vague, which subject?! At my uni they said the best way is to start with the learning objective and then plan your lesson from there. The TES website has thousands of free resources
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    (Original post by Sarang_assa)
    That's super vague, which subject?! At my uni they said the best way is to start with the learning objective and then plan your lesson from there. The TES website has thousands of free resources
    Math, Science and English
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    That's still pretty vague! What topic within those subjects? (maths - division? shape? multiplication? weights and measures?? etc etc)

    TES is a brilliant place to start. For example if I was planning a Y6 maths lesson on decimals, I would log in and search 'KS2 decimals worksheet' or 'Year 6 decimals game' or whatever. There are THOUSANDS of resources available there. I often see things that I don't necessarily use 'as is', but I end up adapting them, or taking the general idea and creating my own version that better suits my needs.
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    Ahh, half term over; now the serious stuff begins!

    Just a question for previous PGCE students or indeed current (secondary school) how many lessons should you be taking after the half term? My mentor suggested about 3 a week at first but then other people say they have 10 hours a week teaching lined up? I'd rather do a bit more than 3 to be honest as I could see myself being very bored during my frees if I'm only doing 3 lessons a week or is this normal?
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Ahh, half term over; now the serious stuff begins!

    Just a question for previous PGCE students or indeed current (secondary school) how many lessons should you be taking after the half term? My mentor suggested about 3 a week at first but then other people say they have 10 hours a week teaching lined up? I'd rather do a bit more than 3 to be honest as I could see myself being very bored during my frees if I'm only doing 3 lessons a week or is this normal?
    I did 10 hours per week in my first teaching placement.

    Actually, it was a 2-week timetable, so I did 10 hours one week and 8 hours the other. I did my full timetable for the whole 8 weeks of teaching placement (after a few induction days and a week of observing) but I know some people in other schools started by teaching just their Year 7s and then the Year 8s in the 2nd week, etc. and other people did parts of lessons rather than the whole hour/50 minutes.

    It really depends on what you and your mentor want to do and you need to discuss it.
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Ahh, half term over; now the serious stuff begins!

    Just a question for previous PGCE students or indeed current (secondary school) how many lessons should you be taking after the half term? My mentor suggested about 3 a week at first but then other people say they have 10 hours a week teaching lined up? I'd rather do a bit more than 3 to be honest as I could see myself being very bored during my frees if I'm only doing 3 lessons a week or is this normal?

    And in addition to what myrtille said (good advice) what your uni wants you to do. My uni (although primary but I suspect they organise secondary in a similar way) like to very much phase you in week by week. Don't worry too much about comparing yourself to others, certainly not on different courses, just make sure your uni and mentor are happy and that you feel comfortable... and don't be afraid to ask to change, say you'd like more challenge so can you do more, you're finding it too much so can you cut out one or two lessons for a week and phase them back in, etc.

    xxx
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Ahh, half term over; now the serious stuff begins!

    Just a question for previous PGCE students or indeed current (secondary school) how many lessons should you be taking after the half term? My mentor suggested about 3 a week at first but then other people say they have 10 hours a week teaching lined up? I'd rather do a bit more than 3 to be honest as I could see myself being very bored during my frees if I'm only doing 3 lessons a week or is this normal?
    My uni's said we have to do at least, but not much more than 6 solo lessons in this entire placement, and be involved with (observing, teaching bits and pieces of lessons) between 6 and 12 lessons per week. Which doesn't seem like a lot. My school want me working up to taking 6-8 full lessons per week by the end of placement.. Not sure who to go with though
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    During my PGCE I never taught more than 10 lessons a week- even at the end! I wasn't on my full timetable until late November, I distinctly remember. This was a 12 week placement that I had started in mid October. My first placement I taught 8 hours in a week.
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    (Original post by Aleeece123)
    My uni's said we have to do at least, but not much more than 6 solo lessons in this entire placement, and be involved with (observing, teaching bits and pieces of lessons) between 6 and 12 lessons per week. Which doesn't seem like a lot. My school want me working up to taking 6-8 full lessons per week by the end of placement.. Not sure who to go with though
    If you can manage it, I'd go with your school's expectations more than the university's minimum requirement.

    Your school mentor will be writing your references for any jobs you apply to in the spring (before you start your second placement and use your mentor there instead) so it's good to show you're willing to go the extra mile, within reason.

    Also, the point of the placement is to prepare you for working as a teacher. Next year, in a full-time post, you will have up to 24 lessons per week to plan and teach (if you have 50 minute lessons, obviously less if your lessons are 1 hour) and whilst obviously doing that as a student is impossible (feels it sometimes as an NQT too!) doing 6-8 lessons per week will prepare you by giving you responsibility for a few classes so you can get to know them and build on previous lessons you have taught rather than doing one-offs.

    Maybe build up gradually - if at 5 lessons per week you feel that's enough, you can remind the school that the university only expects you to do 6 lessons in the whole placement, so you're already doing plenty. And if you feel up to working up to 6-8 then it's all good practice.
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    (Original post by Aleeece123)
    My uni's said we have to do at least, but not much more than 6 solo lessons in this entire placement, and be involved with (observing, teaching bits and pieces of lessons) between 6 and 12 lessons per week. Which doesn't seem like a lot. My school want me working up to taking 6-8 full lessons per week by the end of placement.. Not sure who to go with though
    (Original post by myrtille)
    If you can manage it, I'd go with your school's expectations more than the university's minimum requirement.

    Your school mentor will be writing your references for any jobs you apply to in the spring (before you start your second placement and use your mentor there instead) so it's good to show you're willing to go the extra mile, within reason.

    Also, the point of the placement is to prepare you for working as a teacher. Next year, in a full-time post, you will have up to 24 lessons per week to plan and teach (if you have 50 minute lessons, obviously less if your lessons are 1 hour) and whilst obviously doing that as a student is impossible (feels it sometimes as an NQT too!) doing 6-8 lessons per week will prepare you by giving you responsibility for a few classes so you can get to know them and build on previous lessons you have taught rather than doing one-offs.

    Maybe build up gradually - if at 5 lessons per week you feel that's enough, you can remind the school that the university only expects you to do 6 lessons in the whole placement, so you're already doing plenty. And if you feel up to working up to 6-8 then it's all good practice.
    Plus make sure you look closely at what the uni has asked you to do i.e. make sure you aren't neglecting other tasks which have been set such as observations or preparation for assignments. And take full advantage of making observations as they are so so valuable!!!

    Xxx

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