The Creative Teacher Project

An NQT Bringing Creativity to the Classroom

Practicum: Week One

2 Comments

Slightly fatigued after my first week!

 

It’s Friday afternoon, my mentor teacher has gone for the week and I’m sitting at what is my desk for the period and looking out over an expansive oval outside my window. It’s been a pretty great week.

I was apprehensive about starting practicum as I didn’t feel as prepared as I would have liked. Luckily day 1 was a staff PD day, which was a great introduction to the school without the pressure of being chucked straight into classes. I’ve been allocated 5 classes to teach and participate in: 1 year 7 class (age 12), 2 year 8 classes (13 years) and 2 year 10 classes (15). They are all rehearsing for an upcoming variety night showcase, and so I wont get to get my teeth fully into teaching them for another two/three weeks.

So far I have enjoyed:

Being welcomed to the school by the Principal on Day 1. Being introduced to staff members and having other staff introduce themselves to me out of the blue. It might sound like a tiny thing, but as a prac student, I am definitely on the back foot and it’s the sum total of these tiny acts that make me feel included and welcome at the school.

I’ve definitely enjoyed being around the students. This is a girl’s school, something I’ve never experienced before, and to be honest I was worried that they might be a little aloof. I couldn’t have been more wrong. These kids are not only totally delightful, but passionate about drama and so want to be there! It feels like such a treat.

This week has challenged me because:

I feel like a bit of a fraud, and it seems like all of my drama knowledge has evaporated out of the window, and I don’t know what to teach. As I sat in our IT induction I had to remind myself that everyone feels out of their depth, and that everyone feels like they don’t know what they’re doing (at least) half the time. Deep breaths, Sam. It will come. I just have to stay calm and be ready to do some research. No biggie.

I have also struggled with a bit of shyness this first week, although again, I think that’s pretty normal. Just have to pluck up my courage and talk. I learned a great strategy from my mother’s partner, who said that people really actually want to talk about themselves, so if I ask a lot of questions, then it wont be long before people open up and chat my ear off! it seems to be working….mwah hah hah…

Something I’ve found interesting:

Early in the week I found myself circulating around groups in class because I felt as though I had to, but then about Thursday morning I realised that I wasn’t taking the opportunity that was right in front of me! When I’m observing a class, I don’t need to be the one that is making sure they’re getting on with their work, I should take the opportunity to learn more about the student! I should ask what work they like doing, what work they absolutely hate, and what they like about their teacher’s strategies. Use it as a time for market research! It’s a great opportunity to workshop ideas as well, and see if I can’t come up with a few week’s worth of lessons that they will find engaging.

 

All in all, it’s been possibly the best week I could have hoped for. I’m sure there will be difficult days ahead, and that not all lessons will go to plan, but hey, that’s life. I’m just relieved that it has gone so well so far.  I’ll keep in touch!

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2 thoughts on “Practicum: Week One

  1. I’m so glad you’ve had a nice start to your practicum! Ease yourself in as best you can, but ask questions- it’ll make you feel comfortable quicker. They ARE all there to help you and answer your questions so you feel confident in your teaching.

    I’m very anxious to hear about your experience in an all girls school. I was offered a job in one but, like you, had never been to one. I’m sure it will offer many wonderful and unique opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Danielle – thank you so much for commenting! I’ve tried really hard this week to get stuck in and ask lot of questions, and I think it’s paying off. It still feels a bit like a new job, trying to impress people but also trying to get along with them. I think that’s pretty normal though. The girls have actually been totally delightful – I think they were hesitant at the beginning, but now that my face is becoming a bit more familiar they have definitely warmed to me. I went on an excursion as well, which I think helped! There has been a little bit of apathy from some girls, but again, pretty normal and nothing that can’t be overcome. I was really nervous about teaching in a girls only school, as I guess I think boys are often easier to win over, but to be honest I’m having a great time here!

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