Well, it's been a while since the last monthly update! I did post about my placement though, which happened finished in March, so you can read about that here.
So, if not updating the blog, what have I been up to these past few months?
Well the main thing, on the college front, has been the Pedagogy 3 module and assignments (Religion, SPHE and Early Childhood Education). To teach in Catholic patronage schools, you need to have a Certificate in Religious Studies, this requires 50 contact hours as part of the PME. So there was a particularly large amount of Religion Webinars and 'Face to Face' days (still obstinately referring to them as that, despite them all being done via Zoom!). You can read more about this certification here, but it's worth noting that just under 90% of Primary Schools are currently under Catholic patronage - so you want to have this certification.
In April we had two weeks of Gaeltacht, all done through Zoom - what isn't these days! It started at 9:30am and finished at 1:30pm/4pm every second day. Personally I found the quality of the course quite poor. Zoom isn't the best medium for conversation at the best of times, so couple that with twenty people who don't know each other, 4-7 hours of sitting at your laptop and a solid dose of Irish grammar...If nothing else it's really hit home to me how important it is to make language learning engaging and fun!
I started subbing in April and that's been a really beneficial experience. It wasn't long after I'd registered with SubSeeker that I started getting emails and was booked in for a week with 3rd class - eek! You really are plunging into the unknown, but between SNAs, fellow teachers and the children themselves you've a lot of support. I've since also subbed with Junior Infants and Senior Infants, and would love to have gotten experience with all the different classes by the time I graduate in April!
Speaking of Senior Infants, I've organised my second placement this September and I'm heading to an absolute dream school! It's an Educate Together school in a really lovely area. I think, given how stressful it was finding a school for my last placement, the universe owed me this one!
So that brings us up to the present! I'm currently at virtual Gaeltacht 2, and again finding the quality of it disappointing. This time though I opted for the evening course so I could study during the day for our upcoming Irish Exam - it's at the end of the month, so knuckling down into study for it now. Heading off on holidays to Kerry as soon as the exam finishes, so at least there's a nice reward at the end!
There's no let up with Hibernia over the two years, there's always something hanging over you and I think it had me a bit burnt out around the year mark in May. I definitely went through a patch of feeling very unmotivated, not about teaching but about constantly striving for perfection in the assignments. In reality you can't operate at 100% all of the time, so I'm focusing on going a bit easier on myself! At the end of the day, I'll be qualified in April and, if subbing has taught me anything, that's when the real learning will begin!
Best of luck to those of you that are preparing for PME interviews! Hopefully by the time of my next update I'll be finished the Irish exam and will be writing to you whilst looking out over the Kerry landscape - I'd even dare to hope that it might even be sunny! 🤞