Thursday, November 06, 2008

New students... old problems!

Just spent about an hour and a half chatting to students online. They are almost a week into their first full teaching placement and I think the chat can be summarised as follows:

    Amol asleep reading
    Originally uploaded by quinn.anya
  • Everyone is exhausted.
  • All are finding lesson preparation time consuming although different students have experienced different amounts of teaching on their own (from no periods on their own to six periods).
  • Views on differentiation range from "It's tricky" to "It's impossible".
  • There was concern about getting the information for their portfolio tasks.
  • Challenging.
  • Variable.
I think that's about it although there was nonsense and cheeky comments too. (Can't say who was responsible for most of the cheeky bits!)

Does the experience of this group of students match up to your own memories of starting as a teacher? Any sage words of advice... or failing that, cheeky comments?


Mr Jones said...

I remember an old codger at my first placement school telling a gathering of student teachers "it doesn't get any easier" and "if you aren't absolutely exhausted at the end of a school day you are doing something wrong". Neither of these things are true :-)

Joe said...

When I was at Jordanhill doing one year PGCSE there was gulf between theory and practce - what we needed to know and what happened in schools. It was a bit like generals in first world war we were sent into trenches with lots of jingoism and jargon and not a lot support with lesson plans and or role plays to deal with the most disruptive situations. I remember being lectured about group work and being set exams on continous assessment - unironically.

We were also never really told until we encountered it how many teachers didn't want to be in teaching. We all came back from our first placement having been cornered by well meaning cynics urging us to consider a different career.

It was hard to get job at end of it most of my peers headed to London or south where there were golden hellos (twenty odd years ago). Those that stayed in Scotland used supply to build up enough experience to get full GTC Registration it took me three years but I taught all over west of scotland and I ended up in working in further education.

You get out of teaching what you are prepared to put into it - I have worked in schools, further education,adult and community education, overseas and even a bit of HE teaching - the world's your oyster - and with this technology there has never been a better time for learning and learners - you will see more change in what schools are and do in next 20 years than there has beem in last 150 yrs - but if you are just in it for the holidays for the sake of your learners - leave now ;-)

Lynne said...

In the immortal words of Victor and Barry, "Ye have tae love or ye'd greet!"

It is tiring, but ultimately very rewarding.

Andy McSwan said...

One of the main things about the first teaching practice is that you enjoy it, getting to know the kids helped.

don't be afraid to try something new. If it doesn't work there will be someone in the school/ or out of school that can help for next time.

David said...

Hello Mr Jones

How long to you become an "old codger"? :-)

Hello Joe

Glad you finished a bit more upbeat. I was a bit worried for a while. :-)

Hello Joe and Lynne

I think some students are surprised just how hard teaching is! Not the easy job with long holidays that they were expecting.

Hello Andy

Glad you talked about enjoyment and experiment. And I'm glad you seem to still be enjoying yourself... and stil experimenting. :-)