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Week 4 - School Placement 1

  • Inspection Zoom call

  • Non-core lesson plans x3

  • Maths lesson plans x5

  • 15min Maths recorded lesson

  • Reflections x3


Well I've quite a bit of tidying up to do, furniture to put back in place and sleep to catch up on...but I'm finally finished placement!

I finished up around 7pm on Friday, after submitting my last reflection, and celebrated by sitting on the couch guilt-free and having a lie-in the following morning - the joys of celebration in the time of lockdown.

Aside from the usual submissions, this week has the added element of the virtual inspection. Virtual inspections are very new, in 'normal' times you'd have your inspector coming in to see you in action in the classroom, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. On Monday evening I started worrying that my inspector would have expected me to have made all the resources that I had referenced in my various lesson plans, and would ask to see some of them. Cue a very long night of designing, printing and laminating.

Needless to say, I was pretty tired come 10am as I waited for my inspector to join the Zoom meeting! So you can imagine my reaction when the meeting got rescheduled to the following day due to internet issues on my inspectors end. Definitely regretted my late night work, but it meant that I was even more prepared for it the following day...every cloud...

I was very nervous about the inspection, but once we got started I really enjoyed in. The course can be quite isolating, particularly doing it during a pandemic! I've a wonderful WhatsApp with my other classmates, but we haven't had the chance to meet in-person yet, and there's not always the opportunity to ask questions during lectures because there's another 200 people also with questions. So it was great being able to actually talk through my lessons etc with someone else! That being said, the officially 40 minute inspection definitely felt like an interview. I answered questions on everything from the structure of lessons plans, to differentiation, to classroom management. There was also a lot of reflective discussion, where I could point out things that I would change or do differently next time.

Once we had finished the official inspection, we both stayed on to chat for a while. My inspector was so lovely and very enthusiastic about giving advice and hearing how I've been getting on. The big takeaway from my casual chat with him, was to bring all my outside-of-teaching skills into the classroom on my next placements (assuming we actually are in a classroom...). He was particularly enthused by the idea of my bringing in my violin and ballet shoes!

I found it very hard to get back to work after the inspection, it really felt like I had gotten to the finish line! Fortunately both my non-core and core lessons (maths) were done quickly this week, I'm definitely getting more efficient at them. I had been worried about the Maths plans, but Maths actually turned out to be easier than expected. It's very clear cut in the curriculum about what should be covered, and the prior knowledge that the children will have. With the help of some practical ideas from the PDST, as well as Operation Maths, I at least knew I was on the right track with my plans. I even got my recorded Maths lesson done in a record number of takes!

I'm planning to collate all my learnings from placement into the one post, so I can reference it before my next placement. For now though, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my weekend before starting our Pedagogy 3 module tomorrow!


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