Surviving a Primary School Placement

Posted on 14th September 2009 by Andi Wilkinson

Time to read: 5 minutes

Well, I’ve just phoned my local education authority. I wanted to know if they could help me find primary schools for a school placement. Thankfully they were nice and they did have someone that deals with newly qualified teachers.

She isn’t in until tomorrow. I have to ring back then and get an update. I’m also supposed to  read my training plan but my PC needs a good sort out so Im going to spend the next hour sorting out my files.

Trying to get on a school placement was harder than I thought

A few days later, I continued trying to get a placement. Blackshaw Lane looked promising and They said I could do a school placement, but they were waiting. I phoned every day for two weeks. Eventually  I got an email from St Gabriels, which is local to me, inviting me in to see them. They said subject to references I could do a placement in January.

Christmas came and went. It’s hard to think there was even a tree up. The weeks have passed in a blur really. I passed my approvals board, I stayed up all night preparing a portfolio. It went in on the 21st of December. Nothing to do but wait till Jan 5th. Claire said it would be ok, but I always feel that something will somehow go wrong.

January 5th came and went. Approvals board was cancelled or postponed at least. A new tutor took over from the old one. I don’t like change!

Three sucky hours of sleep

On the first day of primary, I had 3 hours of sleep. When my alarm went off I just switched it off till 8. I got in school for 8.40. Today I would be spending the day with year 5. Tomorrow with year 6.

I slept for three sucky hours. Wondering how I would face the day, and what type of behaviour and attitude to expect from kids this age. It felt like Maria on her way to the Von Trapp’s. Next, the teacher introduced herself.  She had been teaching at that school 8 years.  The teacher ushered in thirty kids. I was impressed the skill it takes for a teacher to concentrate when being spoken to by a million kids.  It was definitely a fine art.

Being Voderman.

The day started with numeracy. The teacher pulled the interactive whiteboard out and accessed some website complete with pre made resources. This is brilliant, why didn’t FE think of this? it was like magic! the starter activity was countdown. Like countdown you have 30 seconds to make the target number. One pupil got it straight away. It amazes me because I ran it twice and I didn’t even get it. Children are so quick on the uptake. Mind you, I’d only had three hours sleep to be fair and  I’m not Carol Vorderman.

Next the tutor introduced number sequences. They were very simple ones like add 3 or add 5. After twenty minutes it was assembly time and so I managed a tea break. After assembly, we moved on to literacy. The teacher read a short story from the Caribbean. It was about a lazy animal who would not work for his own plantains. The greedy animal cheated his friend out if his. She asked the kids to analyse it and think of a new ending and decide on a moral. I think the moral was “If you let people mooch off you, your’e stupid and you deserve to be robbed”.

Before lunch they practiced colours in Spanish. Pupils had to shout out a colour in Spanish. Two pupils at the front swatting the colour first on the whiteboard with a kind of fly swat. It seemed like the teacher hadn’t stopped talking all morning. She literally utilised every last nanosecond.

No Yellow Pens!

After lunch there was a lesson observation. The session was about healthy eating and food groups. She asked the kids to design a healthy meal and draw it onto a paper plate. This was far more complicated than I had anticipated. The kids had all drawn oven chips, and we had a severe yellow pen shortage.

Finally we had PE. A primary teachers role is extremely varied! I don’t know how they do it but the patience is admirable!

So I don’t know what tomorrow has in store, I’m  only in half a day but I get to meet year six. So far the school placement has felt like two weeks rolled into one day and Im exhausted!

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