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    (Original post by pillinois)
    For things like positive relationships, see if there are any comments your mentor makes during an observation - if there's a comment about good atmosphere, professional relationship I would interpret those as contributing to a positive relationship - photocopy the observation record and highlight the comments made
    Thank you - at this particular placement we don't have a school mentor like others so not getting written feedback - but I may ask the CT nicely if she's willing to put something in writing before I leave.

    Can't believe that the half-term is over, and that in 4 week's time I'll be in a 'real' placement teaching full lessons.

    BTW what do trainees normally give to the school/ class teacher/ the class when they leave? I'd like to give them something nice but don't want to overdo it either.
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    (Original post by hana&feather)
    Thank you - at this particular placement we don't have a school mentor like others so not getting written feedback - but I may ask the CT nicely if she's willing to put something in writing before I leave.

    Can't believe that the half-term is over, and that in 4 week's time I'll be in a 'real' placement teaching full lessons.

    BTW what do trainees normally give to the school/ class teacher/ the class when they leave? I'd like to give them something nice but don't want to overdo it either.
    I gave my first mentor some chocolates and a card.

    Second mentor is now one of my good friends and I got him a book he'd been wanting for ages, some chocolates and some wine.
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    (Original post by S27)
    What do people mean when they say "support for learning"?
    Anything you do to facilitate all pupils to get the most from the main. Basically, differentiation with a few bells and whistles. At least that's how is interpret it.
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    What exactly is a dynamic lesson?
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    Really feeling it today. Trying to juggle buying a house with being a teacher and it's starting to actually take everything out of me.
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    (Original post by sunfowers01)
    What exactly is a dynamic lesson?
    In what context are you seeing/hearing it? To me it wold be any lesson that actively engaged pupils - I.E. not a chalk-and-talk lesson.
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    (Original post by tory88)
    In what context are you seeing/hearing it? To me it wold be any lesson that actively engaged pupils - I.E. not a chalk-and-talk lesson.
    The teachers I work with commented that my part of the lesson isn't dynamic enough. I do the English conversation part with large classes.

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    To be dynamic it should have a start to grab their interest and enthusiasm, and then various activities so that they remain engaged. The start is vital...if they are engaged and activities varied the dynamics will be there. Hope that helps a bit.


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    (Original post by sunfowers01)
    The teachers I work with commented that my part of the lesson isn't dynamic enough. I do the English conversation part with large classes.

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    It sounds like it's all about engagement. Begin the lesson with a hook - why is this lesson worth being in - and vary your activities and delivery styles as much as possible. Get people up and moving.
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    What kind of a hook would you use with a class who can't be trusted to follow instruction? I have a very challenging year 4 class who just don't listen to a word I say.

    If I have objects or pictures on the smart board, they just crowd around them and ignore me asking them to sit down.

    If I start with some kind of "imagine..." they just all start talking immediately but not in a productive way.

    What would you do?

    I want to be able to do fun things and have a laugh and a good time with this class, but if you give them an inch they take a mile. Even my tutor took 8 weeks to get them to a decent point and she still finds that the only thing which works a lot of the time is sanctions.
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    You need to follow the lead from their regular teacher. She is there to support you. It is important to establish respect and discipline before "having fun".




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    (Original post by JoannaMilano)
    What kind of a hook would you use with a class who can't be trusted to follow instruction? I have a very challenging year 4 class who just don't listen to a word I say.

    If I have objects or pictures on the smart board, they just crowd around them and ignore me asking them to sit down.

    If I start with some kind of "imagine..." they just all start talking immediately but not in a productive way.

    What would you do?

    I want to be able to do fun things and have a laugh and a good time with this class, but if you give them an inch they take a mile. Even my tutor took 8 weeks to get them to a decent point and she still finds that the only thing which works a lot of the time is sanctions.
    You have to earn this right to do this, if that doesn't sound a bit severe. You are not there to entertain them. You are going to have to establish yourself as the boss and the fact that you may be prepared to unbend later is a reward for their good behaviour and, in a way, for your success in nailing the basics. It can't come first.
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    How is everyone finding their PGCEs/schools direct teacher training at the moment? I am currently exhausted and I am only teaching about 6-8 lessons per week but that includes planning/marking then all the evidence I am having to collect for my file, plus I have had observations from my mentor and University tutor. Finding it crazy at the moment to have an evening to myself!
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    (Original post by Grant2007)
    You need to follow the lead from their regular teacher. She is there to support you. It is important to establish respect and discipline before "having fun".
    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    You have to earn this right to do this, if that doesn't sound a bit severe. You are not there to entertain them. You are going to have to establish yourself as the boss and the fact that you may be prepared to unbend later is a reward for their good behaviour and, in a way, for your success in nailing the basics. It can't come first.
    I realise this, but it seems like I spend literally all my time telling them off. And they still ignore me. Even my AT can't maintain control of them. I'm really not sure how she's meant to support me when she hasn't found anything that works consistently.

    Meanwhile my uni keep going on about positive relationships, rewards instead of sanctions and doing fun activities and hooks.

    I feel I can't win with this class. I'm constantly being firm, trying to balance rewards and sanctions...and they're barely better than if I let them run riot.
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    (Original post by katie543)
    How is everyone finding their PGCEs/schools direct teacher training at the moment? I am currently exhausted and I am only teaching about 6-8 lessons per week but that includes planning/marking then all the evidence I am having to collect for my file, plus I have had observations from my mentor and University tutor. Finding it crazy at the moment to have an evening to myself!
    Have to say that I'm really enjoying myself! I started SD with a lovely class, and started fairly gradually. Now I'm teaching a fair bit, and marking all of it. My teaching evidence file is almost full (think I'm going to have to get another one soon!) with all the stuff I've collected... I'm loving the training, and I'm really starting to see a few positive developments in my relationships with the class. I don't have a huge amount of time to myself, but I thrive on having things to do, so even though I work every evening and at the weekends, I take an hour or two out here and there for fun things. My first uni assignment has already been handed in, and I'm now onto working on the second one.

    (Original post by JoannaMilano)
    I realise this, but it seems like I spend literally all my time telling them off. And they still ignore me. Even my AT can't maintain control of them. I'm really not sure how she's meant to support me when she hasn't found anything that works consistently.

    Meanwhile my uni keep going on about positive relationships, rewards instead of sanctions and doing fun activities and hooks.

    I feel I can't win with this class. I'm constantly being firm, trying to balance rewards and sanctions...and they're barely better than if I let them run riot.
    This sounds horrible! My class (upper ks2) are a chatty bunch, and there are a few difficult children in there with attitudes that make me really frustrated. Last half term they were hard work at times, because they took time to get used to me as a teacher. As time went on and I took charge for a couple of days (no teacher in the room, just me and the LSA), we started to get the hang of things together.

    I agree with the idea that fun lessons come when respect is being shown from both sides. Sometimes, sanctions were the only way I could get through to my class - to the point now that when I even take a look at my watch, they settle much more quickly because if they waste my time, they lose their break/lunch time. I think the thing that really helped with my class was that consistency - they do something I don't like, I react in the same way and the same sanction applies. Would that help you in any way?
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    (Original post by JoannaMilano)
    I realise this, but it seems like I spend literally all my time telling them off. And they still ignore me. Even my AT can't maintain control of them.

    Meanwhile my uni keep going on about positive relationships, rewards instead of sanctions and doing fun activities and hooks.

    I feel I can't win with this class. I'm constantly being firm, trying to balance rewards and sanctions...and they're barely better than if I let them run riot.
    Yes, there are always classes like this, alas. When I was a mentor, it did rather irritate me how much of a fantasy world the university lecturers were clearly living in, most of them not having been near an actual classroom or real child for many years, and in some cases having taken the HE route precisely to ensure that this happened.

    You are only a beginner. It is only the first part of the school year. You are not going to get it right from the first term, and probably not the second, third or fourth. It's like learning any skill. In many ways, I think the old method of apprenticeship got it spot on: seven years learning how to do it, seven years doing it and seven years doing it well enough to qualify to teach others. As you may know from reading this thread, I've just retired after more than 30 years doing the job, and I think I was probably pretty crap for the first seven or so. There were still classes which got on my wick even in my last year, but by then I had built up a bank of wily and crafty ways to deal with them. You will have to do the same. You simply can't put an old head on young shoulders and everyone's methods are different. It's all smoke and mirrors, teaching. What have you got, other than the force of personality, to stop them running riot? Virtually nothing. BUT you are older, wiser, in many cases smarter, and altogether more savvy than they are, and you as the adult can win the game. However, learning the skills and the tricks of the trade does not come overnight. In the meantime you will fail, and fail often. But in teaching there is always a new audience coming along in a year's time, and you will be that much better and that much craftier by then.

    I think PGCE students and NQTs have been set impossibly high standards by universities and grading. I think it's very hard emotionally to go from being 'outstanding' on teaching practice, which is in so many ways a totally artificial situation with far more support than you will ever get in the real world, to 'just about keeping it together' on a daily basis in real schools. I don't think expecting to be outstanding is in any way realistic. No one is, not all the time, and when you've been around the ball park a few times you'll be able to spot that those in promoted posts aren't always there because they are outstanding, but quite often because they have been strategically moved to get them out of a situation they are failing in. Smoke and mirrors once again.

    I guess what I mean to say is that you mustn't be too hard on yourself. Kids, bless 'em, are just not mechanical monkeys that perform when you find the right key to wind them up. They don't all respond to the same things, and in some cases, they can be so damaged by what has happened to them outside school that you haven't a hope in hell of improving their lot in a couple of lessons a week. You need to do the best you can with the tools you've got and then walk away. You can't be Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, Einstein and Mary Poppins all at once. You can only do what you can do, and if their normal class teacher can't handle them, then why are you blaming yourself for not being able to after a couple of weeks?

    Sorry for the essay. Got a bit carried away there....
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    (Original post by Grant2007)
    To be dynamic it should have a start to grab their interest and enthusiasm, and then various activities so that they remain engaged. The start is vital...if they are engaged and activities varied the dynamics will be there. Hope that helps a bit.


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    (Original post by tory88)
    It sounds like it's all about engagement. Begin the lesson with a hook - why is this lesson worth being in - and vary your activities and delivery styles as much as possible. Get people up and moving.
    Turns out there is no IWB in the class I have tomorrow so won't be able to do some of the activities.

    Feel burnt out and ready to give up.
    Teachers aren't supportive at all.

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    Don't be tempted to give up, and don't worry...just re think your lesson and adapt. I am not sure which age you teach though so can't really help any further. Maybe some whole class intro, group work, sharing group work with the class...?


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    (Original post by JoannaMilano)
    I realise this, but it seems like I spend literally all my time telling them off. And they still ignore me. Even my AT can't maintain control of them. I'm really not sure how she's meant to support me when she hasn't found anything that works consistently.

    Meanwhile my uni keep going on about positive relationships, rewards instead of sanctions and doing fun activities and hooks.

    I feel I can't win with this class. I'm constantly being firm, trying to balance rewards and sanctions...and they're barely better than if I let them run riot.
    Everyone has classes they really struggle with, and that they find really difficult to get a handle on. My best piece of advice is just to keep trying things that you think might work - what some classes respond terribly to, can work incredibly well for other classes. I'm not a fan of the "putting minutes on the board" method of behaviour management, but with a bottom set year 9 class with a horrible reputation in my training year it worked a charm. With another class in the same school it had no impact at all, but throwing pupils out of the room did.

    Lots of trainees are shielded from really difficult classes in their first year. I wasn't. As a result, I felt much better prepared for a terrible class I'm grappling with as an NQT this year. You're just getting to the experience earlier than some, which whilst not ideal will probably benefit you in the long run. Don't get frustrated - be consistent, set high expectations and try anything you think might work; eventually, you'll see that they have got better (even if they're miles away from perfect).

    (Original post by sunfowers01)
    Turns out there is no IWB in the class I have tomorrow so won't be able to do some of the activities.

    Feel burnt out and ready to give up.
    Teachers aren't supportive at all.

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    I'm really sorry to hear this - lack of support is a horrible thing to have to deal with. Try to adapt your existing activities into something workable, and don't worry too much about it. Teaching is full of unexpected surprises, and dealing with them is part of the fun (and horror) of the job. With regards to support, try to find an NQT - they remember what it was like, so can often give the best advice.
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    Sorry for the essay. Got a bit carried away there....
    No, that was so helpful and reassuring! I've actually only been teaching them for a week now so you've really reminded me that I'm absolutely being too harsh on myself. It's so easy to lose perspective, especially when I seem to have a much more challenging class than a lot of my friends so I feel so crap when they're getting Goods and I'm Inadequate.

    Theyre known as a tough class through the school. They had four teachers last year (Year 3) and three during Year 1. And they're very low ability in general, and way behind on the curriculum to boot. So it seems an odd choice to put them with me. I don't mean that as in "poor me getting a tough class", but thinking of whats best for the kids. They've had a lack of stability and are playing catch up big time on the curriculum- is it good for them to have a trainee teacher right now? I really don't know.

    (Original post by tory88)
    Lots of trainees are shielded from really difficult classes in their first year. I wasn't. As a result, I felt much better prepared for a terrible class I'm grappling with as an NQT this year. You're just getting to the experience earlier than some, which whilst not ideal will probably benefit you in the long run. Don't get frustrated - be consistent, set high expectations and try anything you think might work; eventually, you'll see that they have got better (even if they're miles away from perfect).
    This is a great way to look at it, thank you. My behaviour management will be strong by the end of this placement for sure, even if it isn't perfect. I'm only on this placement for six weeks so I'm not going to let it break me or expect the class to be angels, but hopefully I'll see some improvement
 
 
 
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