Wowie, what a week! Few weeks of my life have been quite as intense as this one. It was my penultimate week on placement in school and the pressure was really on.
I was a little down at the start of the week as several of my lessons hadn’t appeared to work that well and the children were still struggling with things. But then on Monday and Tuesday I taught two pretty good English lesson which were both engaging and effective. My self-confidence reached a decent level again. Then on Wednesday someone from uni came to watch me teach a lesson and give formal feedback. The lesson was much worse than the previous two and the woman told me lots of things to improve. In fact she told me that the bit I need to work on is the teaching. Well isn’t that pretty much everything then? Being told your not very good at the thing you want to spend your whole life doing is pretty hard to take. I haven’t really told many people about it as I feel really embarrassed about it. I’m sure the majority of people on my course received gleaming reports but mine was average at best. I really was devastated.
Looking back at the report, things probably aren’t as bad as I first though. Half the targets are things I know I can do and have done in other lessons. The main thing though is the use of my voice as I was told I was a bit monotone and also to be assertive. It’s tricky though, I am a quiet and shy person, it’s just in my nature. It was a particularly bad lesson compared to others and I would have acted much differently had I not had another student, the normal class teacher, a teaching assistant I barely know and the observer all in the room with me. I shouldn’t try to make excuses though, it’s clear that something needs to change. Fortunately I’m only on the second of a four year course so there’s still plenty of time. It just feels like the one thing I was confident about in myself has been taken away from me and that hurts.
Unfortunately I couldn’t do much teaching after that this week because the school was being inspected. British schools are usually inspected every four years. The school was graded as satisfactory but has improved hugely and I know full well it should go up to grading bands and be outstanding. The teachers and staff were all very passionate about this and have been working immensely hard to be the best they can be. They’ve all been panicking though and there was some very stressed teachers and a lot of emotions flying around. I’m an outsider really but I could still feel the stress and the lovely atmosphere of the school changed into something quite horrific. It looks as if the school will be awarded “good” status which is both an improvement and a disappointment. At least the inspection is over but it really was horrific. I was cornered by an inspector at one point and quizzed about phonics and it was really horrible. I just didn’t want to let the school down by saying the wrong thing. Hopefully I did a decent job replying but I didn’t exactly feel very confident after my report from the day before.
So I am very glad it is now the weekend and my unpleasant week is over. A week where I lost my confidence and dealt with immense pressures. Next week can only be better. Still, the early wake ups and the daily commute have just become part of life now. Getting a free paper and reading it on the train every morning is quite pleasant and H is good fun to travel with. We get on the same carriage, sit at the same table and see the same people every day. I love having a routine like that, it’s really very satisfying. The format of the free paper is something like this:
- Main story that all news is covering
- Gruesome story about a horrific murder
- Silly story like “Man Fired for Eating Grape”
- Reviews which say “this was good as expected” or “this wasn’t”
- Horoscope: Due to some made up astronomical happening, you will now be rich/poor/single/in a relationship/dead.
- Dull business stuff
- Sport stuff: Someone scored more somethings than someone else. This is in someway good.
It’s essentially that but with a few more stories in.
I have become addicted to a documentary series about the London underground called The Tube. It’s a great thing to watch before bed as not much really happening and you see lots of trains moving along. It’s quite relaxing but weirdly interesting at the same time. Who’d have thought underground trains would be so fascinating. It’s just the immense scale of it all really, with millions of people travelling everyday and some many possible problems to contend with. Few places have the atmosphere that the tube has. I shall be watching the few I haven’t yet seen very soon. It’s so good!
I think that’s it for now. I’ve got a pretty good weekend planned actually which is unusual. Tonight I find myself going to the student union with a group of people I normally wouldn’t go out with. I’m not quite sure why I decided to go and I shall probably be exhausted by about 11PM as I’ve been up since 6:30AM. No dobut I will end up drinking more than I intend to and feel dreadful tomorrow. We shall see. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon-ish!