First Placement.

I cannot believe that I only have two more weeks left of my first placement as a trainee teacher here at Edge Hill University. The time as flown by without me even realising it.

I want to use this blog to talk about my experience of placement so far. There is A LOT to talk about but I will try and keep this as condensed as I can.

My First Week

5:45am, my alarm blares. Time for my first day at my placement school and to be honest, I was far too tired to even think about the day ahead. It wasn’t until I got in the taxi and began talking to the other girls on the same placement did the excitement and nerves start to kick in.

When we arrived we were greeted by the deputy head teacher and he took us for a tour around the school and introduced us to all the teachers, staff and some of the children. After seeing the school and learning a little more about the ethos, my excitement grew and my nerves calmed.

We then were introduced to our classes. I, along with another student, was placed in a year 3 class and they are the BEST children ever (not biased in any way). The teacher and classroom assistant were so welcoming and they made sure to make us feel comfortable.

The first week consisted of observations and it was so interesting to see what we had been learning about in lectures be put into practice.

As the days continued and the first week came to a close, I was so comfortable in the classroom and was beginning to know each child individually. It now seems like ages ago since my first week.

6:45, waiting for my morning pick up to school!

My First Lesson

My first lesson was to teach a maths starter on the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. I was beyond nervous but thankfully I was team teaching with another student and we were able to help each other out.

We began by using a chant to ensure that the children had a sound idea of what the multiples were and once we went over them a few times we played a game of Number Bingo which they loved! It was so heart-warming to see the children understand the work they had been set and engage in a lesson that I had helped create.

Now that I am further on in my professional practice, teaching mental and oral starters come naturally and I am now teaching full lessons of English and Maths and more recently a topic on caving.

It feels so natural standing up in front of the class and talking to the children, using behavioural techniques and asking them questions about what we are learning. Most importantly, I absolutely love doing it and I am always so excited to create lessons and think of new ways to develop their subject knowledge.

A small example of one of my first maths starters on angles. The children loved guessing the type of angles and writing down how many they got right!

General Feelings

As I said, I could go on for ages about my experience of professional practice but I want to save the details for a later blog.

At the minute, I am planning full lessons for English and Maths and I will soon be planning a religion lesson after the mid-term break! It all sounds very scary at the moment but I am also so excited to get back to school and teach the children again. There is no part of me that gets nervous to teach because of how well I know the children and I know what they are capable of and who may struggle.

I am so thankful and grateful for being placed at the school I am for my first placement as a trainee teacher. They have given me so many opportunities to expand my knowledge and build on what kind of a teacher I aim to be.

Thanks for reading and look out for the next part of my digital story all about my first observation!

Coping with change.

Hey everyone, and welcome to part 3 of My Digital Story! I am currently on placement for my first year of being a trainee teacher and I am loving every minute of it so far. In part 4 of My Digital Story, I will go into more detail about how I have been finding it and what I have been getting up to!

For this part, I wanted to add in something that I struggled with the most when I first started this journey and how I overcame it as I believe it might help anyone else who has dealt with it. Enjoy!

Starting the course!

When I first came to university, I was obviously so scared about the drastic change that would inevitably happen. I knew that it was going to be different from what I had been doing my whole life, however I didn’t know how to deal with it. It took me a long time to settle into a routine which was not easy to find and that is one piece of advice I would give anyone who is struggling with change, take your time.

Luckily for me, in my first term, I had so many people to help me settle into the change of direction and new journey of my life. And so, when I did find my feet and routine, I had a whole group of people to help me cope with assignments, lectures and I could help them in return.

After I had settled into the campus and the course (after a good month or two) I was so happy and enthusiastic about going to lectures, seminars and as weird and nerdy as it sounds, completing assignments, simply because I knew what I was doing!

Before Professional Practice began…

Now, after going home for almost a month during Christmas, my routine went out the window! I had a new routine at home that was completely different to what I had at university; getting up and going to lectures, coming back to the flat or going to the catalyst to work on assignments was what I knew.

When I returned back to campus after Christmas, I knew everything was going to change which, knowing me, scared the life out of me. As a result of this, I was very stressed and almost made a decision that would change this journey.

After annoying my mum on the phone for a very long time (sorry mum), I realised that this was exactly how I felt before starting university in September and that all I needed was some time to settle into my placement school and find a routine that works for me and my professional practice.

And again, I had such amazing support from my friends and family to keep me on track so that I could continue with my journey of being a teacher.

Now: Week Three of Professional Practice

At this point in time, I am on week 3 of Professional Practice and I could not be happier with where I am in terms of not just placement but mindset and my journey.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have settled in really well again to living in halls and travelling to school everyday.

This post might not relate to a lot of people, but it is part of my personally journey as a trainee teacher and I thought it was important to share all the ups and downs of it as I know I will look back at this and be thankful for how far I have come as teacher.

See ya next time, Lauren Fitzsimons, 1D.