Good Morning lovely humans ❤
So this year I have decided to do something a little different with The Student Teacher Diaries. Last year, as many of you know, I recorded my experiences and created a series of Vlogs. This was a lot of fun… but VERY VERY time consuming. I am considering creating a seperate series of Vlogs, perhaps to discuss smaller day-to-day issues faced by student teachers, but as far as The Student Teacher Diaries is concerned, from now on I will be creating one blog post per week, similar to a journal, which lists my daily lesson reflections, thoughts and difficulties.
I would like to offer a massive thank you to everyone who has been a supporter of The Student Teacher Diaries (you know who you are) ❤ and I promise you I’m not going anywhere – I’m just changing it up a bit ❤
So without further a-doooo …
Week 1 (aka Planning Week), 2019
Today was bananas. For most of the returning teachers it was their first day back for the year and the staff room was chaotic. I loved the energy and the excitement I was feeling as a little student teacher was very closely mimicked by many of those around me. There was a mixture of people in the room, teachers from all different disciplines, backgrounds and experience levels were all thrown in together, creating an uplifting atmosphere of egalitarianism and comradery.
Our day was broken into 3 sessions. The first was prayer followed by the annual workplace induction.
I have never experienced prayer in such an open group setting before, and I found it to be a very peaceful way to start the day, especially after leaving the slightly over-crowded staffroom.
The middle and final sessions were focused on professional learning practices, or PLPs. Each teacher had an existing PLP from the previous year, incorporating individual goals for their personal pedagogy, curriculum and whole school ethos. I created my own PLP, based on my experience as a student teacher and I hope to use it as a reflection tool in the coming weeks.
We began the day by discussing Growth Mindsets and what it meant for students (and teachers!) to have good wellbeing. After lunch we went over the Code of Behaviour and classroom expectations and values. The remainder of the day was spent coaching the teachers who were new to the school on how to use assorted computer programs and functions. I found this really informative and took a few notes.
Today we revisited the school’s mantra for the year … Gratitude. There was a guest speaker in attendance who coached us on the “attitude of gratitude” and illuminated a few key wellbeing factors that were key to running a successful team. This session was slightly awkward at first, because as a pre-service teacher I was (by definition) the most temporary member of the team – however the teachers around my quickly took me under their wings and it didn’t take me long to get wrapped up in what the guest speaker was saying. The day went very quickly.
Today was amazing!! We began by going over the school pedagogical framework (PF) and discussing what it meant to be a part of a Professional learning community (PLC). Marzano (The New Art and Science of Teaching) and Hattie (Visible Learning) were both key players and discussed in depth (I think I’ll do a seperate blog post / summary on both of these frameworks). After lunch we had a presentation by the head of inclusive education and revised why it is so important to have a classroom that supports and fosters all students, regardless of socio-emotional, physical or cognitive ability. I spent the afternoon planning and getting my timetable in order – and I think I’m going to spend the evening getting a head start on my lesson planning. I developed a new lesson plan template – specifically to meet the requirements of the GTPA data collection brief – I will upload it HERE. PLEASE do not use this template unless you are preparing for your own GTPA – it is very in depth, has a lot of writing and is definitely NOT PRACTICAL for everyday use!!! (But if you need to collect evidence for your GTPA it is fantastic ❤ ❤ ❤ )
Lucky last day of week one!! We began the day with a whole staff Mass followed by morning tea. Mass was lovely and a really positive way to start the last day of planning week. The remainder of the day was spent in meetings with various heads of department and Pastoral leaders. My SBTE’s and I decided on which classes I was to teach and I did a quick outline of my official week 1 tasks.
Overall this week was incredible. It was so useful for me to attend all of the different PD’s and get a taste of what planning week is like. Not many student teachers get a chance to experience the hustle and bustle of school on day one of the year – I’m excited for next week to get here! I’m going to spend the weekend lesson planning and GTPA prepping ❤
Until next week!!