It's been nearly a month to the day since my last post and there have definitely been some developments since then. I'm now half way through my 8 week final teaching practice. The four weeks that have passed have been emotionally fuelled, with some great lessons, and some not so... At the start of the placement I was confident in my teaching strategies and what I wanted to do and implement. However, these ideals, are just that, they didn't take into consideration the practicalities of day-to-day operations in any school, and did lower my confidence level to begin with. For example, I was very keen develop the teaching of science on placement, and run an after-school STEM/science club. However, the structure of the afternoon's activities restricted the amount of whole class teaching for science, or indeed any subject other than English or mathematics, and the outsourcing of all after-school clubs has removed any opportunity for me to run any clubs. However, these are things I can address in my first teaching post.
Overall, my final teaching placement has been a positive experience, I have been teaching on average 70-80% of lessons and have begun to develop good relationships with the children. My behaviour management techniques have been constantly developing, and I am more confident in developing strategies for low-level disruptions. Finally, I have had three observations to date (2 by my class teacher and 1 by my link tutor). These observation notes have been crucial in developing my practice and I have learned a great deal from them. In particular, I have re-focused my teaching on the use of modelling in a range of ways to ensure I cover the main learning styles in the class.
Now I am 4weeks into the placement, and with 3 observations under my belt, my confidence level is rising. I am aware there is still a lot to learn, but I feel as ready as ever to lead the remaining 4 weeks and teach 80% of the week after half-term. In discussion with my class teacher, and the deputy-head, it has been agreed to for my class teacher will spend less time in the classroom to allow me to take the lead during the day, and deal with all the transitions and 'added extras' that come with the job. I am excited by this, and am ready for the challenge. Ultimately, I am applying for jobs, and intend to do this from the coming September, so the more experience I can gain now, the better prepared I will be for my first teaching post.