Wednesday, 5 June 2013

What happens now?

If my experimenting with the tools on this blog have gone to plan then when you read this my undergraduate exams will be over! At 11.30am 5/6/2013, I finished my degree!  Now that my life isn't full of revision I think I'm going to feel a little lost.  Fear not- I won't be sat around twiddling my thumbs for long, preparation for September is top of the list.

I've bought all the books that I've been told I need, problem is they're all lined up looking pretty on a shelf in Essex... and I won't be joining them until the end of the month.  Being the busy person I am I've had to line up some bits and pieces to fill my time.  Admittedly I don't really know what I've got myself in for with a couple of the things yet!  One is working with year 6 pupils for an afternoon teaching them French and Spanish.  I think the activities etc have been planned already and I'll just be involved in the delivery but it should be fun all the same.  The other activity is working with Secondary students who are coming onto campus to hear about university life and the courses on offer to them.  I'm looking forward to talking to them about studying languages, even if they all say 'oh but everyone speaks English so learning languages is pointless' that'll be something for me to think about in time for September.

The university that will be awarding my PGCE requires me to spend a week in a Primary school and a bit more time in a Secondary school.  I've got a week in a Primary organised back in Essex and I have a booklet full of questions that I need to complete before my 2 week course at the university in August.  As for Secondary, I'm due to spend a couple of days in a grammar up here and a few more back at my old school nearer the end of term.  I was hoping to fit one more school in there, but I just don't think I'll have time!  I've not been given anything to observe in the Secondary classes though, so any suggestions, especially MFL specific ones, are really appreciated!

Whilst I'm on the subject of school experience, I understand why the majority PGCE courses require a certain amount of experience pre-application, but I think that they could be missing out on good applicants.  I've done plenty in the past, from running a French club with another student, leading the lower school band and being an associate form tutor to a year 8/9 form group whilst I was in sixth form, but none of it was recent enough for the requirements of some institutions.   Whilst I've been at university I've worked with Secondary students as a Student Ambassador, running activity days to encourage them to consider Higher Education, but I didn't do this for very long before the closure of the department I was working in.  Other than this I've not had any experience with school students, especially not in the classroom.  I believe that my other experience, with my part time work, helping to run a student society and being an elected representative of the Students' Union is what helped me get onto the School Direct scheme, and helped me prove that I would be capable of teaching.  I understand the reasons behind the requirements but I can't help but think that this means losing out on those that haven't always wanted to teach.

One final thing, for any other School Direct 2013 participants, having seen the lack of a forum covering this area on the new TES Community pages I decided to start one up, you can find the page here: so please come along and join us.  We're hoping that the forum will be a good support network to share problems and ideas come September.

I tweet with the username @BexNobes and I'd love to hear from you if you're reading the blog.

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