Saturday, December 31, 2005

Goodbye 2005!!!!!! Hello the busiest year to come.

I am back and I must say that I have missed writing in my blog. I have not really had anything exciting to talk about in the past few, weeks seeing as I am on a break!!!!!! Not for long though.
I have an essay to do for University, and I have almost forgot how to write - but I am getting through.

Can I just thank David for my bar of Dairy Milk, that is the first thing I have won for a long time. For those of you not in my class, I won a bar of dairy milk for my continuing efforts with my blog writing, I was delighted!!!!! But would not have won it without all of your comments.

Seeing as its Hogmanny (New Year's eve to those not scottish) I am going to write a list of new year's resolutions.

1) Be more organised in my school work
2) Be more assertive both in the classroom and out (watch out people here I come).
3) Don't be affraid assert my authority, remember IAM THE TEACHER.
4) Work on my confidence in the classroom, I think part of the reason that I have difficulty in the classroom is that I don't seem confident, and the pupils pick up on this. Even if I am not, work on my acting skills.
5) Ease up a bit on myself. I give myself a tough time, and I should learn that I can only do the best I can.
6) Go to the gym more.
7) Eat less crap.
8) Talk to my friends more, and make more friends.
9) Enjoy Teaching.
8) Be more creative.
10) Enjoy being 24.
11) Stop day dreaming

Anyway, that's all for now folks. Lets see if I can keep up with these new years resolutions.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I'm a student teacher.......get me out of here.

Today is my last day of my first placement!!!! And boy I am tired. If any of my friends (who are not teachers ) comment that teachers have an easy life, what with all those holidays. I will have SOMETHING to say to them. Teacher's work really really hard, and I salute them for that.

Overall, I have enjoyed my placement at the school. I have had a really supportive department which was a huge asset to me. I know my areas that I need to work on, and I know what my strengths are. Hopefully I will be able to turn my weaknesses into strengths and my strengths into stronger ones. But, I still need to go back to university in order to learn more and prepare myself for my next placement (wherever that may be). I just hope that next placement will be good, if not better than the first.

I have accepted that sometimes kids just behave badly, and if you have a bad class - it is not necessarily your fault. You can help them in the best way that you can. I still need to work on 'being the boss', which I am finding it hard to do. My parents seem to think that this should be easy for me because apparently I am very bossy at home. What I have realised that I am only bossy when I am comfortable in a place, but as time goes on I will have more confidence in the classroom, so being 'the boss' should come eventually.

Anyway, I am about to have my last class here at this school. I am taking another teacher's class who is absen, so that should be fun. I intend not to shout, because I have developed that sore throat and cold that teachers seem to get this time of year.

I am off to London on Monday for a well deserved break with one of my friends (who is also doing her PGCE). We got a really good mini-break deal - and are going to see NOT 1 musical, but 2.(we are musical buffs). Billy Elliot on the Monday and Guys and Dolls (starring Nigel Harman) on Tuesday night.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Dairy Milk is the better option!!!

In response to David's last comment, I believe that Dairy Milk is more of a safe option. Opinion polls show that Dairy Milk is the favourite, and seeing as I am allergic to egg (and Mars Bars have egg in it) I would not give eggy sweets to the kids. This is more of a selfish reason really, because if they refuse to take a prize, I can eat it instead.

It is my last week of school this week, and just when you start to feel comfortable in a place it is time to leave. I have enjoyed myself in school, but I need a break. I also need to go back to uni to learn more. I have been to 97% of the lectures at uni, but this experiences has taught me that I should go to ALL of them. Did anyone see Teacher Teacher on BBC 1 last week? Well, one of the students said that he did not feel that he needed to go to lectures because they were all s**T . I totally disagree, I am not sure what Aberdeen University is like, but the majority of the lectures at Jordanhill are really interesting. Sure, some of the lectures are a bit dry sometime - but the majority of the lectures are very interesting and worthwhile. Saying that lectures are a big pile of horse crap is nonsense, and it's a rude really. For once in my life - I do not fall asleep at lectures!!!!!

I was really embarrassed today too. My text message alert tone is of one of my friends saying "Two steps back man, two steps back" in a really deep American accent. (A Summer camp thing from two years ago -featuring a New York Police Man and a traffic cone)!!!! Anyhoo. It went off infront of all the staff when we were having coffee!!!!!! The think I am very strange was funny.

Speaking of Summer Camp that is a whole different topic, I actually might start a blog for that too...

Friday, December 09, 2005

What a different.

Ok, so those pesky kids who were really hard to control wednesday last period (for my crit) - were really well behaved today!!!!! Typical. Three of the kids were missing today, so why could they have not been missing from my crit? It was not really the behaviour of the kids that made my crit go bad ( it never really went bad) - it was more of my content, but it would have still been a little easier had them behaved. But what a different in the class, without those three kids!!!!!!

and where did the children's manners disappear to????????

I gave out 3 top prizes (Dairy Milks) to the winners of my competition, and (through the inspiration from a certain Computing Teacher at Jordanhill) gave out Fredos to everyone else!!!!! Only maybe 5 said thank-you. I have a real thing about manners - seeing as I was brought up with them - so I said to them (as they did NOT say thank-you) "Your welcome". Do they think that teachers get a budget for prizes or something????? They did not appreciate the time it took me to decide what prizes to get!!!!!!! I orginally thought that I would do individual prizes, so last week I went and bought: 1 big bar of Dairy Milk, 1 big bar of Sainsbury's own chocolate, and 1 bar of Sainsbury's value chocolate for prizes. But, the caring person inside of me said that it would be fairer to give everyone something, so I had to decide all over what to give them. Now, coming from the MOST indecisive person EVER, this was a rather lengthy task.

I felt really happy after my class today. I actually got them working in silence for 10 minutes. I told them I was giving them out a worksheet, but I mentioned the word "Sort of a test", and then were quiet. I think I may use "Sort of tests" a wee bit more. One pupil asked me if there was a prize for it!!!!!!!

Anyway, I must go and get my face on, because I have a well deserved Christmas get-together with all the other Business Ed students. This should be good. :)

Miss Kettles

P.S I have changed my preferences so that anyone can reply to my blog!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

One placement down........a life time of problems to come.

Phewwwwwww Glad that section of the placement is over (for this term at least). Today I had my last crit and I am so relieved that it is over.

I did not do as well as I hoped, but at least I passed which is the main thing. But it is really annoying and frustrating knowing that you could have done better. It was last period of the day, with a class that any teacher would have difficulty with. I am disapointed with my lesson content because I had spent ages on it and it did not go down as well as I had hoped. In actual fact, I thought it was utter crap and I am really disapointed with myself. On the positive side, my tutor did notice improvements in my behaviour management and ascertiveness, although they still need a lot of work. It is a good sign that I am showing improving, even although I never got any merits this time, it is always something to work on.

The things that I have learnt from this lesson are:

  • To be more explicit with my instructions. Even 13/14 year olds have difficulty following basic tasks, so make sure you keep things simple.
  • 13/14 year olds like competition.
  • Try not to incorporate too many things in one lesson. Stick to one context, because anything more just confuses them.
  • Keep them busy, idle minds makes chatty and distruptive children.

Another point today, my kids in a different class asked me my age. I lied and now have them thinking that I am a really young looking 29 year old. At least they think that I am much much older than them now. It really amused me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The night before.......

Tomorrow is my last crit of my first placement, and I am surprising calm. Although this morning I was full of nerves, but I think I was more nervous for the computing student that is in my department, than for me. I have all my materials prepared but I just need to get mentally prepared. This should in theory be easy for me, seeing as I use to be a cheerleader at university - but when it comes to pepping myself up, it's a little bit different. The class that I have for my crit tomorrow is really quite tough, the majority of them are boys who constantly talk. Here's hoping that the content should be interesting enough to keep them on task, and behave for their teacher. I am having a competition towards the end of the lesson, so this may bribe them into doing some productive work. We are studying the topic of marketing, and I have decided to do promotion with them. I am introducing examples of how IRN-BRU promotes their product, so this should give them something to relate too. Plus IRN-BRU has a fantastic website, which should keep them amused. I am having a quiz competition towards the end of the lesson, which I have called Miss Kettles's Slogan Challenge.

Here's hoping I get "the buggars to behave" for me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Taste Testing......

First of all today, I felt really good about one of my classes. They were really focused and I never had to raise my voice once.

My taste test on the other-hand was not so well done. As it was 5th period (after lunch) and a Friday, the kids were very chatty and I had a hard time settling them and getting them to do work. What part of stop talking do kids not understand. I did try the whole positve behaviour thing, wherby I commented that the left side of the room were working extremely hard- and they know the meaning of the words "productive working". This seemed to work for 5 minutes or so. Then I did my blind taste test, which kinda back-fired.

I wanted to see if they could taste the different between Walkers Dorritos and Sainbury's own Cool Flavoured Crisps and was hoping that there would be mixed opinions. But they all voted for Doritos!!!!!!!! I was still able to generate some good answers from it though.

But, I am starting to get worried. This class is the class which I will have my next crit with, and they are a really difficult bunch to control. Hopefully having a tutor in the class, will make them be quiet.

Ahhhhh time for a glass of wine I think.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thankyou for all the help

Thanks for all the comments people have posted on my blog, I really really appreciate any help and advice anyone can give me. I shall keep on posting my events on.

Tomorrow I am attempting to do a "taste test "with my business management class.

Now that should be interesting

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Never discuss AGE infront of the kids.

Ok, second mistake. NEVER mention age infront of the kids. I was talking about Governments doing a census every 10 years, and one boy asked me how old you have to be to be to do one. I said over 18, then I said later on that I did one in 2001. Another boy asked me if I was 18 then, and I said that I was much older (even although I was only 19). They preceeded on telling me that I look really young, "Like 17 Miss".

I am coming up for 24, and so I am still quite young. But how do I give appear older to the kids? Or should my age be an issue. If they see me as being young, does this mean that they will have less respect for me. I don't want my age to become an issue, but apart from wearing bulky cardigans and nora Batty tights, I dont know how I can appear older. Or should I?????

OMG I am finding teaching a tough job, and I have only been in it less than 4 weeks!!!!! But I am enjoying it nontheless.

One of the kids asked me "what id santa bringing you" (A third year boy - trying to be smart) I told him that I wanted a break...........

a break...maybe for a week or so.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Never say the word sex infront of 3rd year boys!!!!!

That is my lesson for today!! When describing "Market Segment" I made the mistake of saying that a market could be separated by sex...... Mental note " MUST USE GENDER INSTEAD OF SEX. This must have generated some thought in some of the other 3rd year boys, as one of them (when we were looking at types of markets - came up with the market for Prostitutes).

As I don't really get embarased easily, I just shook my head, and said "not in the classroom". As the whole prostitute thing was a valid answer I just moved on.

Moving on......I really enjoyed myself in classess today. I had three lessons in a row and they were quite tought classess....but I enjoyed it non-the less. But DO YOU EVER GET TIRED OF THE SOUND OF YOUR OWN VOICE?????? Cause I am starting to annoy myself.

another 2 1/2 weeks to go.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Driven to quality Cava.

I decided that when I started teaching, that I would become T-total. I lasted until this weekend...I felt the need to consume a couple of glasses of quality Cava, and boy was it good.

After the week I had, I think I deserved a little treat. Still, I did not completely let my hair done, it was consumed whilst typing away at my laptop preparing PowerPoint presentations for First Years..

Thats all I have to say today.

More tomorrow

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Star???? OR DisaSTAR???

Pheww!!!! Glad that one is over.

I had my crit yesterday, and I am so relieved that the first one is over. It went well, but I know that I could have done better. I think in the first 15 minutes I was really nervous, and that kinda impacted on my mind, cause I forgot what I was suppose to be doing (questioning the pupils etc) so I felt that what came out of my mouth was just garbage, and at one point I think the kids were thinking I was on something!!!!!!!!

I was doing group work with the pupils, which was something they have not done before. For once, they were given the opportunity to talk and I have never seen them so quiet. The pace of the lesson was a bit slow, even I was boring myself at one point!!!!!

There was no major problems, I felt that I was more ascertive than usual- but then at other points I was not. That is one of the areas I need to work on, being them very excplicit. Other than that, I got quite a good report. My strengths were identified as:

-My creativity.
-My rapport and interaction with the pupils.
-My hardworking attitude and enthusiasm.

I have decided that the classroom management will eventually come, if I just work at it.

As Patch Adams said last night

"Never focus on the problem.........always focus on the solution"

Thanks for all the comments on my last entry. It is much appreciated.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I don't think I can do this.

I am starting to think that I am not cut out for teaching, because I am really stuggling to cope with classroom management. I know what I have to do, but I am still unsure of my boundaries and proceedures. Should these skills be automatically be there from the word GO, or do you learning about managing behaviour as time goes on. I love the whole teaching side, but I am really let down by my inability to manage the little bratz!!!!! Am I a lost cause, or do you think that I can be helped. I have my crit on Friday, and I am seriously worried about it. I have been wanting to do this course for 3 years, and now that I am finally on it am I failing?

OMG. "I get knocked down....but I get up again".

Whilst I was typing this blog, my teacher came in (she said some positive comments to me, and what did I do, I burst into tears. But she has picked me up again, and has faith in me.....all I need to do is get ontop of things....and be positive. I just don't like to fail!!!!

More later

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Under pressure......pressing down on me pushing down you.

Ok so I might have got the Queen words right, but the fundamentals are the same. I met with my friends from Jordanhill today, and we all feel "Stressed out" man. Although I am saying that we are stressed out, I don't think we really mean it. This is because we are all enjoying what we are doing, and I believe that is a really positve sign. We certainly are under pressure, but if we come up with the results - surely we are doing something right.

Anyway, yet another Saturday, and I find myself infront of the computer for the duration of the day. Thank goodness for Starbucks, that was my bit of relaxation for the day.

I bumped into a friend from Inverness funnily enough in there too, that cheered me up.

I aslo predicted that tonight on X-factor that somebody would sing a "Take That Song, seeing as Take that has been in the media for the past week. And Shayne sang it!!!!!!! How good am I????????

Friday, November 18, 2005

A sign of weakness??????

Ok, today I went and asked my PT if I could have a couple of extra periods free. I was asking this simply because I believe that I am falling behind on preparing my port-folio (for non-jordanhillers this is a file that we have to fill out, making observations and documenting our personal experiences). I know that come next year I will have about 17 classes to teach and prepare for, however we won't have the continual portfolio work to complete. I am working 100% already, and their is simply not enough time.

My PT was very understandable and allowed me the extra hours to take off, but what I am wondering is, will he see this as a sign that I am not coping???? Or will he appreciate that I asked for help?? I wish I had never asked now, because it seemed like I thought I was being hard done by., when I don't.

By the way, I recommend anyone doing a post graduate course in something else prior to completing a teaching PGCE. This time last year, I was totally busy doing my PG Dip in IT- and I thought I would never see my friends or get my life back again. The amount of work I had to do for that, is similar to the amount of work for this. Although I feel that this is more rewarding personally - that getting a program to work!!!!! Although that can also be satisfying.

Since Harry Potter is SOLD out, my friends and I are going to see something else at the cinema to De-stress.

Can't wait for a lie in (till 9am)/ Yippeeee

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Feeling under pressure :(

I have 20 periods a week(53 hour periods). Is this too much for a student teacher?

According to all my other friends who are student teachers, who only have 16 periods a week then yes. At the moment, I am not getting to do any work on my port-folio because I am in class. Ok, I don't need to prepare for every class as some of them are observational, but I believe that my time would be better utilised planning and doing my port folio.

Does anybody think that I am complaining over nothing?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

As Yazz sang "The only way is up..."...

Yesterday I felt really deflated after my lesson, and thought I was a hopeless case. Today, my lesson went well, I felt a lot more in control of the children sorry pupils (still obviously to work on lots of things). Part of the reason that the lesson went better was the fact I was more prepared. I stayed up till 12.30am to make sure I had everything organised. I feel that my confidence is growing each day and I am enjoying it a lot more. I suppose in teaching, you will have your good days and bad days- but what I like about it, is that every day is different.

Today in class I was able to experience what the teacher does in case of pupils being under the influence of alcohol. There was no big scene or eruption in the class, the teacher discretely took the pupil out of class and then delt with the matter. I am starting to believe that shouting at the kids and ranting and raving does no good, it makes things worse.

Does anyone out their have any suggestions for me to silence the class or make them work silently, without raising my voice.

The only way is up,baby for you and me now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

How do I NOT be nice?????

Ok, I am not a person who likes to shout, nor do I like confrontation, which is why I am finding it difficult to control the class. I am in control when I am talking to them, and getting them to copy down slides into their jotters- but at what level of noise is acceptable? In my class today, the teacher came in towards the end of the lesson and had to shout at them. I am not trying to be nice to them, but I am just feeling it challenging to tell them off and make them listen to my directions. They say that a teacher should really not need to raise her voice, but how can I get this to work for me. Part of the reason that I feel, is that it is not really my class. I kinda feel under pressure to be totally strict with them, because the class teacher is really firm with them.

Any suggestions to getting over the fear of being a voice of authority in the classroom? My 'crit' is coming up soon, and I don't want them to walk all over me.

Although my lesson did not go to plan, I still enjoyed the 'teaching' part of it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Thank goodness for the.......student teacher.

I had my first experience of a 'please take' this morning, or rather 'take', when the teacher in my class that I was only observing had to go an deal with an important issue. It was Standard Grade administration and all I had to do was go over a sheet of office duties. The blank faces that sat infront of me either did not have a scoobie about what I was talking about, or they were bored stiff. I reckon it was a mixture of the two. Anyway I battled my way through the sheet trying to come up with examples etc to try and make it a wee bit more interesting. It just shows you that if you are not prepared for a class, things can be dreadfully tedious - for you and the pupils.

I am learning to paddle in the shallow end now!!!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Teaching is a 9am-3.30pm job.....yeah right!!!!

Saturdays should be spent out with your friends, shopping, or socialising shouldn't it???? You would think. From 9-4pm yesterday, I was working on my computer preparing worksheets for spreadsheets, and I still have more work to do on Sunday, and marking that my class teacher gave me to do. Don't get me wrong, I signed up for this...but I am just wondering how much it will get worse before it gets better??????

Will I get my Saturdays back?

I hope so.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Dancing Queen......

Today, I decided to join the senior Choir.. extra brownie points for ME....We sang "Dancing Queen" and westlife's new song "You raise me up", it was great fun. I definitely recommend a student to join a club or take part in extra curricular activities, does wonders for taking your mind off marking.

I had first years today, did I really look that young when I was in First year? I thought that I was really old1!! They actually listen to what I was telling them.....won't last for long I don't think.

Thank goodness it's friday that is all I can say.

I survive my first week of teaching!!!!! Yipeeee. Bring on my salary

Senior pupils...a little scary!!

Today, was more of an observation day but I did have experience of being in a Higher Accounts class. My PT said "how do you fancy taking a couple of lessons soon". Again, I felt the nerves from head to foot and I said that I would see how things go. He then gave me the opportunity to go around the class and help them with questions, and I surprisingly did good (in my opinion). This was the first day that I really felt like a teacher, and I totally enjoyed being in with senior pupils. I was able to explain the concepts to them, without even thinking. Since it had been almost 3 years since I have done any accounting, I was amazed how much I actually remembered from my degree!!!!!!! The senior pupils were more focused to their work, and in general I felt it was a nice atmosphere to work in, and I look forward to being involved in more Higher classes.

I also shared the concept of Blogging today with another student in my department, and maybe she will be the next blogger.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My fiirst lesson....arrrghhh.

First week of my placement

When the class teacher told me yesterday that I should start a new topic with the class, I felt the nerves travel from my head to my foot. A day to prepare. Yikes!!!!! My previous preparations involved a couple of days. That was the gym out for me last night.....

I was nervous about doing it, but I had to realise, that was what I was there for, and the sooner I get in their the better. When I said to my Dad when I told him I thought that I was being thrown in at the deep end, he told me that "I would just have to get in the water and swim", and he told me "you are a pretty good swimmer". That gave me the confidence that I needed for today.

I got on fine (I think). I appeared confident in my lesson, however my classroom management needs a lot of work. But, I have only been in charge for 1 hour, so I know that I can improve on this.....

To Probation year......and beyond.