Well it’s the day before I start the rest of my career. I’ve done my degree, I’ve done my stressful GTP year, and now I’m being let loose on my own class. “Nervous” does not even get near describing how I feel about this week! I’m really looking forward to the year ahead and to getting started with my own class, but I’m extremely nervous too!
For the past 4 weeks, I have very consciously put school to the back of my mind. My GTP year was a lot of work, and I often spent the holidays during the year working most days, so I wanted to make sure that I was fully relaxed and ready to go back to work. I sorted out my classroom in the first week of the holidays, so it’s ready to welcome my 24 Year 5 children on Tuesday morning.
What do I want to achieve this year? That is a question that I have been asking myself for the past few days, yet I’m struggling to come up with a definitive answer. There are a lot of things I – like every other teacher – would like to achieve, like ensuring that the children in my class are happy, learning, working to the best of their ability and discovering new things each day. I would like the children in my class see me as a role model and someone that can be trusted if they ever need to speak to me about problems they may be facing. Of course, I would like the results at the end of the year to show that the children have learned something through my teaching. However, these are things that almost all teachers wish to achieve. What would I like to achieve on top of these?
I am very lucky to work in an extremely creative school, where I am given a lot of freedom to teach creatively, rather than sticking rigidly to the curricula. I would like to develop how I teach creatively. At the moment, I am not sure how I’m going to do this, but I will be trying out new ideas throughout the year and blogging about them as I go. Some of them will work, some of them won’t, but if I don’t give them a go, I will never develop my creativity, nor that of my pupils. I have spent the past year, my GTP year, ‘learning on the job’, and that is how I intend to continue. I’m not going to start off the year with brand-spanking new ideas for everything. Tried and tested methods work for a reason, so I will be introducing my new ideas slowly and as I feel my class are ready for them.
This first week is only a four-day-week, as we have an INSET day tomorrow. I have a bank of activities ready for those four days, with a rough idea of when I’m going to do each of them, but I’ll go with the children and introduce each activity as and when I feel they are suitable. In the scheme of things in the Initial Teacher Training world, I was quite rebellious on my final 7-week placement last year by not working off tediously long and detailed lesson plans, instead working off my weekly plans, altering/scrapping them as I saw fit. Almost all of my lesson observations on this final placement were graded as Outstanding, rather than the ‘Good’ and ‘Average’ scores I’d had when I spent ages preparing each minute of each lesson. I have found that this style works best for me and allows me to be a more creative and responsive teacher, so I plan on continuing in this style.
This post is becoming longer than I wanted it to, and not at all about what I wanted to address, but then I suppose getting my thoughts out is what blogging is all about.
I know that most schools in the country have already started back, but for those that haven’t, here’s a message for everyone that I spotted when I was in France last week:
‘Happy back-to-school to all pupils and teachers’