Rounding Off a Great Experience

As we all come to the end of what seems to have been a long 3 weeks, I can finally say, I have totally enjoyed my Professional Experience. When I contacted my school (return placement, and the school I am aiming to work at when I graduate), I immediately panicked when I found out the class I was in. After working in the disability field for the past 9 years I already know a lot of the students at the school I am completing my prac at and when I read who was in the class…….OMG!!! The class consisted of 7 teenage boys all with A LOT of teenage attitude to boot! So I arrived on my first day and they pretty much ignored everything I said and on reflection, this was just the processing time they required to get used to having a new person in THEIR class. As the days and weeks went on I noticed them responding more, and by the beginning of the third week, they are now initiating conversation and listening and responding to directions… GO ME  🙂 After starting this process in a panic, it has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable professional experience placements I have completed. My mentor has been nothing short of amazing and has really boosted my confidence by throwing me in the deep end…. A lesson that I will never forget!

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File Folders

Whilst I have been on professional experience this time, I feel the most I have learnt has been around resources and the importance of starting to collect and create them now! My mentor teacher is an absolute whiz when it comes to this and because she has been teaching for so long, he has an abundance! It has been great trawling through her tubs and looking for ideas on some resources I can start creating now. One of the best tubs I found was for File Folders. These resources are FREE and can be easily just by printing, laminating and sticking on some Velcro! They are great to have in the classroom for early finishers and to pull out if you have a spare few minutes to fill in! I recommend you having a look at the link above, there are so many free resources to be had!

I am off to start downloading 🙂

What a Relief……..

I spent the first 2 days of week 2 with 2 different relief teachers and it was an interesting experience let me tell you! Like Jess I had the opportunity to step up and kind of take control of the class for the day. Its kind of awkward at first as I think the relief teacher thought I was supposed to be teaching full time and he was asking me how the class ran and what the go was, like I had been there for months. Luckily for me, I know the lay of the land in the classroom and I could fill him in. To my surprise he just sat back and left me to it! It was such a confidence boost as I felt like it was my classroom and I got the sense of what it would be like to have my own class…… I LOVED IT!! I cannot wait to have my own classroom 🙂

Let Week 2 Begin….

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Well here we are at week 2 of professional experience and I have survived the first week! I felt so anxious during the first week but luckily I have an AMAZING mentor who is very encouraging and supportive! I spent hours upon hours planning engaging lessons for the students whilst trying to enhance their learning through the use of ICTs, which has proved to be a little tricky. Don’t get me wrong, I am not totally stuck for ICTs but I am pretty much limited to an Interactive Whiteboard (not so interactive anymore) and iPads (2 in the classroom). So I got planning and delivered a Maths and English lesson on day 6 and…… the students loved it!! It was definitely a confidence booster! Speaking of confidence, I thought I would share this article which gives tips on boosting confidence as a new teacher.

Cough Cough… blurrrggghhhhh

I have always been fortunate enough to never be sick during Professional Experience….. UNTIL NOW!!!! At the end of day 3 and  time for bed, I could feel my throat progressively getting worse and worse. Oh no, this cant happen now, i think to myself, and will myself to PLEASE feel better by the morning. Morning came, and the pleading somewhat worked. I felt alive and slightly better than the night before. So Thursday I made a mad dash to the doctor to get some antibiotics to try and stop it in it’s path; along with Neurofen, Cold and Flu tablets….. that should definitely help…right??? Umm, wrong!! I now, along with Skye have the flu!! I am determined to push through it and sweat it out over the weekend so I don’t have to make up the days. Whilst trawling the net for fast ways to stop a cold in it’s track I came across this site which I thought I would share; seems I am kinda doing all the right things (apart from relaxing; what is that when you’re on prac????) so hopefully I can get rid of this feeling before week 2 begins. Good luck keeping germ-free everyone 🙂

A big pile of sick. by uberculture, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  uberculture 

First lessons taught…. CHECK!!

Today I overcame my first hurdle today and taught 2 lessons; swimming and English. So here I was, little old me, with 7 ginormous teenage boys and I felt like I was herding cattle across the road, but to my surprise, they actually listened to little old me! We had a great time at the pool and they all responded really well, I think they are warming to me, thank goodness! So we swam, then returned to the classroom where it was time for English. Yay, a subject I could write a lesson plan for, and incorporate ICTs. We focused on character descriptions and I was able to incorporate ICT by using the Interactive whiteboard and an awesome program called Communication in Print. From the cited website, Widgit aids understanding and communication for people who find reading text difficult. Widgit Symbols add visual support to the printed word, giving easier access to information and separating it from the challenge of reading. Symbols open up the world of information to those otherwise excluded from it.

My class has a variety of curriculums in which the students work from which means about 3 times the prep work but it is awesome to see them actually ‘get it’ and answer the questions in a way that is best for them!

First Day Done and Dusted!

Well….. here we all are at the end of our first day, and from what I can gather, everyone survived!!! I felt quite fortunate as I had previously met the teacher and knew some of the students but that did not stop the day 1 jitters! I arrived early an to my surprise (not really), my mentor had been there since 6am!! And so then the day began, 7 young men in one room – hormone central! The guys greeted me, and one of the students who is non-verbal came up and touched my shoulder, which according to the teacher means I have made a connection with him (yay!). I feel a little more comfortable now (still feeling under te pump tho) and was able to sit with my mentor at 4.30 this afternoon (after a curriculum meeting) and have a look at some lessons I can teach! Only snag with this is…. I am in a seniors class where skill development is a high priority and so they participate in many more vocational activities than academic lessons… this next 3 weeks will be interesting trying to find opportunities to incorporate ICTS’ into my lessons but I know, with the teacher’s support and also many of my peers’ support on the Facebook page for this subject,  I will get through!

ICT……….. WHAT ICT?????

I was fortunate enough to meet my mentor and students a couple of weeks ago and to my surprise (not such a nice surprise) the classroom is SERIOUSLY lacking ICTs, a position which I know Maree is in after reading her post It’s Gonna Be A Hard Drive. I am totally feeling the strain as I try and rack my brain for ways I can teach with ICTs when the classroom consists of….

an interactive whiteboard……………….. that is not so interactive anymore

1 iPad that belongs to a students to aid his communication

2 desktop computers

To say I am stressing a little is a MASSIVE understatement and as usual I have left everything to the last minute…. when will I ever learn????

Does anyone have any tips on what they type into their search engines to try and find ways to integrate ICTs?

Getting Sorted……

Well it is just on small week away from Prac and it is time to get organised! For me, this will be a week of panic, anxiety and late nights trying to get everything sorted and ponder on the next 3 weeks of placements htat are going to be filled with continuous behaviour management!  And this does not even include looking at Assignment 3, which we should supposedly have already started (queue blank stare!) I like Lucas’ post Prac Safety Kit  where he has kindly listed what he has gotten organised…. a list that I will check against in amongst all the forms and resources we need to get together!  So, I best go looking for all these forms and start motoring along to get organised…….

And Now For The All Important…………….. Teaching Standards

Now that I am on the downhill slide of my degree, I am wondering why it has never been drummed into us about collecting evidence for the teaching standards! This semester, as Tanya mentioned in her post APSTs and Evidence this is the first subject that it has really been mentioned in! this is clearly something I need to start looking at so it is not a mad dash effort to gather evidence when I really need it, which is usually my style, HOWEVER, I’m sure that is not a stress I will be needing when applying for jobs!! I want to ask you all out there….. What do we use to demonstrate our knowledge and proficiency of the standards??

Any tips any of you out there that have would be GREATLY appreciated!! If anyone else is feeling like ‘what the hell’, here is a link to the   Australian Professional Standards for Teachers which outlines each one and how they can be demonstrated.