It's been quite a while since I last blogged, I seem to only be posting about once a half term these days. I'm just not reading as much as I was before and so don't necessarily feel I have as much to say. My training posts and the ones from the start of this year were all about the trials and tribulations of starting out in teaching, maybe everything has been a little less dramatic of late? Jokes aside though, I do wish I was writing more. Reading, writing and getting involved shall have to be another one of those New Years' Resolutions that never get kept!
When I sit down to think about it now I'm not sure if this term has dragged or flown past. It doesn't seem like that long ago I was in school putting up my displays and planning the first lessons for classes that I hadn't yet met. On the other side however, when I think back over everything that has happened since the first week of September, it seems like I've been teaching in this school forever. I finally feel like I know my classes, I'm getting the hang of school policies and I'm starting to know the names of some of the other staff (it's a huge school, I've got no chance!)
I'm not going to pretend that things haven't been difficult and that I haven't got a long way to go. Anyone that has read my previous posts will know that's not true. I'm still working on addressing the balance between working and having a life. I know it's hard but I am now starting to think it's actually possible, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I'm very lucky to be part of a really friendly and helpful department and even luckier, I feel, to have two other NQTs in the department to rant to at the end of the day or share last minute resources with in the mornings. We share best practice as a department regularly and I'm feeling more able to integrate new ideas into my lessons. Of late I've been reminded of the basics that I've put to the back of my mind. It was all too easy in the middle of this term to forget things that were a natural part of lesson planning last year just to make planning quicker and easier. That makes another thing to add to my list of resolutions! All this aside I'm really pleased with my first term report, I've had positive observations from my mentor and the NQT tutor and there are plenty of things to celebrate. As per usual I'm just highly critical of myself.
To address one of the forgotten basics I have created a progress and reflection board. Inspired by a display shared by the MFL Resources forum I have a series of challenge cards that can be used to check progress and a progress line for students to put their names on and move during a lesson. I've not begun to use it yet but I'm hoping once I've integrated it into routine and adapted some of my teaching (or returned to some of my old practice) it will start to have an impact.
My theory is that after the initial shock of this first term I can start to build things up again. I know I need to take things a step at a time and not bite off more than I can chew - as I tend to do - but, in reference to an earlier post, I think it's another step to getting my teaching mojo back.
Talking of biting off more than I can chew... my current project is writing my personal statement for my MA application. I'm hoping to study MA Education at the Institute of Education. I have 60 Masters level credits from my PGCE already so I should be able to study 2 modules and a dissertation. The MA is something I've been thinking about for a long time, and something I know will widen my opportunities for the future. As well as this, the research parts of the PGCE, blogging, twitter and events like ResearchEd have really got me interested in education as an area of study. I know that this isn't exactly going to help my attempt to readdress the balance between working and relaxing but for me I feel that it's a step in the right direction.