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Week 2 - School Placement 1

  • Non-core lesson plans x3

  • English lesson plans x5

  • 15min English recorded lesson

  • IFD for next week's lessons


Oh how I miss last week's painting and resource-making!

It's been a couple of months since we last had to write any lesson plans, and heading into this week we hadn't received the results from our English Pedagogy module. That meant that not only did I feel a bit rusty, but I also had no idea if I was doing my English plans correctly!

I started off the week tackling my non-core plans. This week I chose to do one Visual Art lesson and two Drama lessons - I made up a spreadsheet for the whole placement to ensure that I have an even enough spread of non-core subjects over the few weeks. Got the plans submitted a day early, and was pretty happy with they turned out - even managed to make up the few resources for them (though it's not needed for our submissions). My theme for this week was 'The Rainforest', but the content of the lessons were similar enough to some of the ones I had done for my Arts Pedagogy assignment.

It was great being able to look back at those lesson plans, I could see ways to improve them and it was a nice reminder that I am learning and improving as I go through the course!

The English lesson plans were definitely slower going. English has always been my strongest subject throughout my education. When I was in Primary School I used to write stories and scripts for fun, that carried into Secondary School and right through my degree. Needless to say, I'm really excited about getting to teach it - particularly narrative writing.

However, all of the above doesn't mean that I found it easy doing this week's plans! I find the Primary Language Curriculum not nearly as helpful as the curricula for the other subjects. I can see the rational for a language learning curriculum to have more open learning objectives, but as a student teacher who's trying to figure out what level is suitable for children and what sort of things should be covered in lessons...well, let's just say we have a complicated relationship!

I hummed and hawed constantly over whether the lesson was the correct strand (oral language, reading, or writing), whether what I was covering was too basic or too advanced for the class level, if I was structuring the lesson correctly and just generally doubting everything I was doing.

Wednesday night, with our English plans due at 3pm the next day, we received our English Pedagogy results. I had done fine, but not as well as I had hoped. The main feedback I took from it was to think about letting children write in pairs. It sent me into a bit of a panic and I started rethinking all my plans...cue some late night lesson planning, until 2am. I ended up completely changing one of my lessons, which I'm glad about now but I definitely wished I was asleep in bed at the time!

I got the plans submitted just in time on Thursday afternoon, and then it was straight into working on the recorded English lesson due the next day. I decided to do the lesson on synonyms, and I'm glad to report that I'm finally able to pronounce the word!

I went from being very excited about the recording, doing up my backdrop and writing a song for the lesson, to standing in my kitchen at 3am declaring to my Mum that my whole lesson was a disaster. Turns out recorded lessons are harder than I thought! A (somewhat) good nights sleep was enough to solve it though. I woke up the next morning and immediately knew what I needed to change. Cue spending the rest of the morning recording the lesson again...and again...and again. Then just when I thought I had the perfect take, I had a mind blank in the middle of a tricky key change....14 minutes into a 15 minute lesson. See below for the exact moment of realisation that I'd have to start over again.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with how the lesson turned out! I was completely exhausted after submitting it though, the back-to-back late nights of little sleep had truly caught up with me. I took the evening off, got myself celebratory takeaway, then it was onto the IFD for next week's lessons.

I find the IFD's tricky because it's often not until I start writing up the lesson the following week that I realise that the idea isn't quite right, or that I don't actually want to cover that strand. I might have thought English was tricky, but I think I'm going to be missing it a lot next week once we're in the middle of our Gaeilge plans!

Until then, time to get some sleep before week 3 starts tomorrow.

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