Thursday, 29 August 2013

It's been a long time coming...

I acknowledge that this blog has been a long time coming, I've not written in more than a month and then every time I intended to write this week and last I drew blanks.  It's not that I've got nothing to say, more that there has been so much going on that I'm still trying to make sense of it all myself!  Since last Monday I have been on a summer school before I start at school next week.  As anyone who has been reading these blogs from the outset will know it's been very much a step into the unknown for all of us on School Direct.  To be totally honest there is still much to be found out, the more we find out the more we realise we don't know.  But that goes for many things, doesn't it?

Our University partnership is the only one in the country to be running things this way with a summer school, and we're one of the biggest too.  The partnership is made up of the university, two sets of students from academy chains and a consortium schools from my local area.  As well as providing an interesting variety of people from different backgrounds this has caused some confusion at times.  We're all working towards different goals, some with a full PGCE and QTS with 60 Masters level credits and some QTS with 40 Masters level credits, and that's just our partnership, countrywide there is even more variation.  As well as this, the students from the academy chains seem to be expected to do a lot more from day one, regardless of whether they are salaried or non salaried, they will be teaching their own classes from the beginning.  One thing this week has made me realise is the role our schools will be playing in our training, a lot of the responsibility is in their hands as opposed to the university or even the lead school.  I guess maybe I could've deduced that from the name though, couldn't I?

Being one of those people that likes to be in the know and in control I'm pleased to have the details of my first assignment, the deadlines of all assessments and a rough idea of what I'm aiming for at the end of the year.  The content of the sessions has been elements of Professional Studies and Curriculum Studies to prepare us for the classroom, much as with the usual PGCE I believe.  This has been a good kick start to get our brains into gear, but I need a context to put it in and try it out before I'll really learn it's value.

I have to say that one of the most valuable parts of the summer school has been getting to know the other trainees.  There are 26 of us in our consortium from a range of subjects and across nine or ten schools.  This has been really good as we've all got to know different people and attended different subject sessions but we've had sessions together as well.  During the year we'll be meeting weekly for our Professional Studies sessions so it's important we get on, and luckily we have.  I've read enough articles, blogs, forums etc now to know that we're going to need each other to keep ourselves sane this year!

I'm starting in school on Monday with two INSET days, looking at the timetable from school it looks like it'll be pretty intense but I'm looking forward to getting to know the other staff and getting settled at school.  Unfortunately Wednesday is our first training day so I won't actually be at my own school for the first day of term.  I'm still unsure of how much observation I'll be doing before I start teaching, hopefully this will become clear on Monday.

For now I can only apologise, my brain is frazzled and I've just written my thoughts as they come out of my head.  I've not left myself time to read it through so I imagine the spelling and grammar is appalling but I'd rather post something than nothing.

Wish me luck, I'll blog again at the end of week one if I'm still in one piece that is!

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