I know it's been a while since my last post, but the final year of teacher training has been overwhelming! However, here I am, on the eve of my first day in my final school experience! Tomorrow, I will get to meet the children and staff I will spend nearly the whole of the spring term working with.
So far, I've spent the day looking at statistics for the local area (what's the housing situation? KS2/GCSE attainment). However, I do so with some scepticism, although this information can help build a picture of the local community, this information too frequently uses negative words such as deprivation or barriers. While I appreciate that it is good to have an idea of the local area, where is the information that focuses on the good aspects of the community? My school this year is in one of the hosting boroughs of the London 2012 Olympics - surely there must be some 'Olympic legacy' still present? Sadly, by looking at the statistical information available, this doesn't seem to be the case.
Having lived in East London for nearly 6 years now, and with my final school also in East London, I consider myself more of a 'local' with my school, rather than an outsider coming in for an 8 week teaching practice. My local social hub is shared with my placement school, as are the local shopping facilities. Therefore, when I consider the statistical information, I can add a wealth of 'un-reportable' information into the equation. I love living in East London, and see it as a vibrant and diverse area of London that has a wealth of character, not somewhere that is 'deprived' or that has 'barriers'. I know that there are some areas of East London that can be challenging at times - but which part of the country doesn't?
So, with all this information and an emotional connection to the area, how am I feeling?
It's been a year since my last school experience (South East London), and I've learned so much since then, both pedagogical and theoretical. I am now very eager to get back into the classroom, and apply what I've learned, try out new ideas and innovations and continue to find myself as a teacher. Despite this, I am still anxious about tomorrow. Most of this anxiety is focused around the school's infrastructure, and 'remembering' how to plan/teach/assess. I am hoping that when I meet my class tomorrow, that most of this comes back to me.
Furthermore, I am keen to ensure the children see me as a teacher, and not just 'someone who has come to help'. The expectations in the School Experience G=guide do not expect me to be doing full whole class teaching until the 2nd/3rd week of the block practice (spring term). However, given how eager I am to 'get stuck in', I am hoping to teach during the initial placement days and establish my role and relationship with the class as soon as possible.
I already know, and am happy with, my journey to and from school. Additionally, I'm pleased to be teaching KS1. So overall, things appear to be very positive. However, these anxieties will continue to dominate my thoughts about school experience until tomorrow morning.
So, until then, there's an Ofsted report to read through!