Hello there. I am in a weird state of limbo as my year two teaching practice has finished yet I’ve still got to endure a week at uni before my Easter holiday actually begins. But before I share my thoughts on all that, I’ve got to catch you up with some of the highlights of the week.
I taught two whole-class lessons this week, both of which were more ambitious than virtually every lesson I’ve done previously (bar the one I dressed up as Captain Cook last year). The first was a maths lesson which cleverly tied up various bits of maths the class had been doing that term. I said that a child had been eaten by a monster and there were eleven possible suspects. The children then had to do maths to eliminate suspects with task including looking at witness statements which said “monster A left his cave at this time” and they had to work out whether the monster could have been at the school in time to eat the child. Eventually ten of the suspects were eliminating, meaning the villain could be found. It was a lesson which engaged the children and tested them on their skills at the same time. Plus some of them genuinely believed the whole scenario, despite the fact the mug shots were obviously cartoons. Seven year olds will believe anything it would seem.
The second lesson involving taking the class down to the school pond. It’s wasn’t exactly ambitious in terms on content as it was just about observing things but I had to make it as engaging as possible and ensure the children were safe in an area where countless things could have go wrong. Fortunately I managed to achieve both these things as even the children who normally avoid doing work seemed pretty keen and I was praised for making safety issues clear and nothing went wrong at all. It’s quite nice to have some proper positive feedback after the knock in self-confidence I got after a tutor from uni observed a lesson last week. I know I need to improve greatly but I already feel that within a week I began to do so.
So that’s it, four exhausting but mostly brilliant weeks over. It ended with me and the other student in the class being presented with a huge card with a photo of the class on and an Easter egg each. A huge majority of the children said they would miss us and I was hugged countless times as the children left the classroom. It was all quite emotional really. I was only there for four weeks, it will be awful leaving the longer placements and at the end of a year once I’m teaching properly. I’m glad of the rest but I really am going to miss going to that school. It was such a lovely atmosphere and I felt like a valued member of the team, something which doesn’t always happen as a student in a school. The teaching was exemplarily and I would say it’s the best school I’ve ever spent any length of time in. I really am going to miss it. And on a less sentimental tone, it was nice to have something worthwhile to fill my time, to actually be doing some teaching, and nice to have some routine in my life as it’s otherwise very disjointed.
I wonder how much I’ve changed in these four weeks too. Physically I’ve properly lost some weight, though I’ll have to wait ‘til I have access to some scales to confirm that. But I think I feel more like an adult and have sort of found that purpose in life I felt I lacked for some time. Actually doing what I think destiny wants me to do is so brilliant and fulfilling and so much better than irrelevant and dull lectures and assignments. I can barely remember a time when my life didn’t revolve around school despite the fact I only started four weeks ago. To be honest the four weeks were the best time in my life for a long,long, long time.
Anyway, now my life returns to that of a lazing around and not really knowing what will happen next but going along with it. That’s probably the best way I can describe student life. Today myself and two friends went on a special trip for our history assignment, which involves making a presentation about how you could do a history trip to a certain place. We decided to go to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum as it looked quite interesting and could be easily linked to World War 2. Getting there was something of a pain as it involved doing the same train journey I’ve done for the past four weeks plus a bit more, a short trip on a ferry and then a ten minute walk. It was probably worth it though as it was quite enjoyable and very useful for the assignment. We’re full of ideas already. There was a “Horrible Science” exhibit which basically just showed the more gruesome bits of submarine life, like the bone saw:
There were a few typical museum exhibits which weren’t hugely engaging but the highlight by far was going inside an actual submarine. The submarine was the HMS Alliance, which was built towards the end of World War 2 and would have been very similar to the submarines which did see active service during the war. It looks pretty impressive from the outside:
It was pretty cool being inside it too. We saw the whole thing, including the torpedo room, the control room and the sleeping quarters. They played some sound effects out through speakers which made it feel even more real. One was what the engines would have sounded like and another was the sound of a ship passing above the submarine. The guy that gave us the tour had been a chef on various submarines and so knew exactly what it was like.
The Control Room
Some of the sleeping quarters
All in all it was great fun and really interesting. I learnt how submarines actually dive and how to escape from a submarine, a piece of information I doubt I will ever need but I’ll bear it in mind just in case. As we were planning a school trip, I was pretty much the resident child. I interacting with everything I could possibly interact with. This included diving through a practice torpedo tube, trying on various outfit, looking through various periscopes and testing out the model sleeping quarter beds. The photos of me the others took are all of me looking ridiculous. Same as usual then.
Well that’s it for today but as placement has finished I shall be back to my usual, more regular blogging schedule. The usual crazy stuff will continue!