It's been a while since I've had a chance to do an update - needless to say things have been busy!
This was the first year since my own school days that I got to look forward to counting down to the mid-term. However that countdown was definitely outshined by the fact that it was also a countdown to the end of the teaching period of placement!
I started my second placement, and first one actually in school (thanks lockdowns...), at the beginning of September. It feels like an absolute age ago, and is quite surreal to be at the other end of it now. Unsurprisingly it was very busy, very stressful and very little sleep was had. When I got home from school on the Friday of mid-term I could barely muster the energy to pack up for my weekend away to Wexford, choosing instead to lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling for an hour...
All that being said, I was unexpectedly emotional with it being my last day with Senior Infants. I didn't enjoy the paperwork, late nights and 'box ticking' that go with placement, but I very much loved being in the school and working with the children.
I spent most of mid-term catching up on sleep, and then I was back into the school on a 'Developing Practice' week. I was lucky to have a brilliant Principal who did up a timetable for the week, and had me scheduled to work with lots of different SNA's, SET teachers and getting to see different class levels throughout the week. It didn't quite work out that way, as I ended up being asked to sub for two of the days but, most importantly, I didn't have to write any lesson plans so the week felt like a breeze in comparison to the weeks on placement!
I'm still in the school, having subbed everyday since finishing up in terms of college requirements. Every week I think that next week will be the week that I catch up on my to-do list, and every Friday I get asked to come in for the following week. I don't mind too much because subbing is really great experience, plus it's nice to have a bit of money heading towards Christmas! Although we do have our Pedagogy 4 (Science, History & Geography) assignment due in just over a week, which I've barely started, and all the subbing has meant that my office remained in it's 'post-placement' mess for a quite a number of weeks...
It really does feel like we're entering into the home straight of the Masters, even though there's a lot to be done between now and April. Once I submit Ped 4, that'll be our last ever assignment submission done with! Next up is 10 weeks of Advanced Placement starting in January. I'm extremely lucky to be doing it in a school that's a 5-minute walk from my house, and I'll be doing 5 weeks with 4th class and 5 weeks with 6th class. Once we finish placement, on March 18th, we have three weeks to submit our thesis (yes, this does fill me with sheer panic!) and then we've an Irish oral to finish off the Masters!
In other news, we had our first ever in-person lecture, so I finally got to meet my classmates - a nice change from the past 18 months of getting to know each other via Zoom and WhatsApp... That's it for us though, we don't seem to have much more Saturday lectures left on the course and all lectures have been moved back online anyway!
It really does look like I'll have completed the whole of the Masters with having to deal with covid and all the extra difficulties it creates. At this stage I'm starting to even cross my fingers that we get an in-person graduation next year...
For now though, I've an assignment to do, thesis chapter to write, placement to prep for...not to mention in teaching 2nd class tomorrow!