Thursday, June 12, 2008

I nearly forgot

Whoops--I nearly forgot to report on my activities today! (Well I have actually forced myself to complete the article, because of a grateful deadline that I imposed on myself, so I forgot). That being said, today was a forgetful day as things go.

I don't think I observed any maths lessons today! A quick glance at my timetable confirms this, but I did sit in on a departmental meeting. So today was just a full day of observations of Health and Social care, English, Physics and another science class.

In terms of well structured and organised lessons, where the students seemed engaged for most of the lesson, Health and Social care wins. The Physics lesson was a revision one (due to the looming GCSE) so instead, I actually worked on my article during the lesson! (Well what could I observe--students working in pairs to answer questions?!) Not very interesting you see, and my own work had to be done sometime or other. I actually did make good progress on my own work, and even contributed to the students work. (See, I'm not that selfish...) This also gave me an opportunity to quiz the students (who were once again "not evil") but the discussion wasn't interesting (namely because I can't remember exactly what they said!)

The English lesson had a lot of potential (I feel like a right old critic here!) The teacher set the task up nicely and it was a good one too (leaflet making). I even participated, but I think due to the teacher having to divert her attention to activity outside the classroom, the flow was disrupted.

Actually wait a minute. Today I realised that if I wasn't going to be a maths teacher, I would be an English one--only for creative writing, and expression though (NOT for the comprehension bit!) I don't think the whiteboard was productively used in the lesson; apart from displaying the objectives and information on what should be in the leaflet, nothing graphic was shown. Basically the lesson wasn't creative. The students weren't eager and enthusiastic to work on it, and as I walked around the class a sense of "we never get our work marked" and "this is boring" seemed to echo. No one had written much down and a lot of chatter was happening. It made me sad to see such a thing happen to what, in my mind, should have been a brilliant and creative lesson. I got my idea twenty minutes into the lesson, so whilst "observing" I made my leaflet.

The "starter" and "plenary" where there, but the typical energy of an English lesson wasn't.

When the teacher had gone out for two minutes, I spoke to some students about maths. One particular student said that maths is good but its very complicated. She was in set 3 and had a private tutor to help at home, which she found very helpful. A majority seemed to find maths complicated or boring too. It seems that they liked maths up to a point, but they can no longer do it easily, they stop liking it. I argued that the challenge of understanding something was where my passion came from, but they put me down as a swot! After which I was forced to claim my love for good old Sciences, (not that I minded but in my head I said Sciences\{physics}!)

My comments mainly stem from the fact that if I don't enjoy a particular lesson, or feel it wasn't well received, I always ask myself how I would have planned the lesson. This was a follow up lesson, so I suppose it was just meant to consist of the students creating their own leaflets... which they didn't finish I think.

OK, enough of English. In another lesson I confessed my love for learning and was once again called funny old names. Perhaps I should just pretend to hate school? Then the kids will all love me! But nah--I'm not that type of person. I'm getting used to how my tongue should be sharpened to survive, but the mean and green students can still get me. Now though, a majority of the school know that I'm 19(/7!) , a student of mathematics at university; someone considering a career in teaching, and someone who was a good student. (Well that's the teachers fault who introduce me--they tend to embarrass me a lot which is very unfair.)

I think that's all about today. The other Science lesson was an organised mess too, but during that lesson I wrote a mini post on paper, about a dilemma I was facing. The issue is over now, but somebody pushed a nerve during lunch time and I was really restless because of it; hence why a paper post had to suffice!

What I wanted to mention was that tomorrow I am shadowing a pupil who has behaviour problems. Will I survive? Well my stalking skills have shown significant improvement (ask my lecturers who try to avoid me....) so as long as the student doesn't know what I'm doing, I'll be safe. He shouldn't have a gun on him, but I know ways of disarming people (ahem!) Ha--relax he won't have a gun, but he has a mean punch as was demonstrated in the fight after school today. One teacher told me that I should have intervened, but apart from arriving on the scene after the fight was over, I erm... rather smugly stated "I am not allowed to intervene, even if they are killing each other. I do not have the permission to do so, but I have to get a member of staff". I also can't be left unsupervised in a class, which I quickly pointed out to the English teacher as she tried to leave me with them for a few minutes! (Like that's ever going to happen).

Enough of that now. I have a different problem regarding a very old and good friend of mine, who I met after school today. I am a person whose drive can be to create a positive impact on things and to make sure I enjoy what I'm doing (as opposed to wanting to earn lots of money). For example for TGG my determination was to generate that community feeling, and I absolutely enjoyed every second of it, especially when we got the great attendance and feedback. My friend is quite similar to me, but when I had my "depression" and moment of apathy about TGG, Dr. Coleman and others helped me out of it.

My friend has been having this moment since October and I only found out now. It is my responsibility to help her out of it. It is not a minor issue as someone's heart is at stake here. A heart which is partly responsible for what I am today. I owe a lot to my friend, and she doesn't know this. This is a very complicated issue and I will learn more about this when we next arrange to meet. At the moment, the politics of certain things sadden me. Let us just hope that this story will have a happily every after.

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