Saturday, 22 September 2012

Three weeks down

Three weeks have gone already, how's that happened?! Can't believe how quickly it's gone, scary really.

Pretty settled in now, know my routine, know where things are, the kids names and personalities, who to go to for what but I don't really feel like I've been that good a teacher at the moment. So many of my lessons have been absolutely god awful. If I'd been observed by my mentor or worse, Ofsted, I know I wouldn't have even scraped a satisfactory. It's just so difficult. I don't really know the kids that well in terms of what they do or don't know or what they can or can't do and that affects my lessons massively. There've been times I've assumed they'd know certain things and they haven't, like an RE lesson looking at the symbols for the 6 main religions... they didn't even know what Christianity was let alone any of the others! Other times I've gone in and made work too easy or too difficult, particularly with Maths. Need to work out how to really challenge my highers, in Maths especially, there are a few that are beyond higher ability, they're classed as Gifted & Talented.

Things not going so well, or at least not as well as the levels of standards that I set for myself, really knocked my confidence. There were a number of days when I wondered whether this is really what I'm meant to do, if I'm cut out for it. I'm not perfect and I know that but the thing is, I'm working on it. I'm talking to my mentor about how to challenge my higher ability children. I've met with the SEN lady about how to differentiate for my SEN child who can't do anything without support and even then struggles with most things. I'm looking at bad lessons and deciding why they didn't go well and how I can improve. Really, that's what it's about. It's about seeing where my weaknesses are and working on whatever I need to to be able to improve. So maybe I'm not where I want to be right now but I'm doing my damnedest to get there and I know that I will. I just need to remember that I'm an NQT, this is my first class, I shouldn't be so hard on myself!

It's not all been bad though, I'm good at some things! I've got to submit levels for the children by the end of the month so we did an independent writing task on Friday and I spent lunchtime and the start of the afternoon leveling them all. Sat with my mentor to look at the levels expecting her to change most of them but actually she gave them all the same level except for one which she gave a sub-level higher, which I'd debated about but erred on the side of caution. This really helped with my confidence as she said how well I'd done and that I have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to moderation. Made me think that maybe I can do this teaching malarky, I'm getting there!


  1. It sounds like you're doing just great to me, acknowledging when things aren't working and reflecting on things that you would do different is exactly what makes you a good teacher. Those that continually say everything's fine and keep on going as they are are the ones that won't make it.

    It's good that you're settled in the routines and names etc. (I haven't got all of mine down yet - awful with names) but it definitely helps with behaviour to be able to identify the children!

    You have gone to more experienced colleagues with problems and have worked at levelling children's writing so pretty much you're ticking all your requirements. I know that Ofsted may say otherwise but no one expects every lesson to go perfectly, it's the reaction to a bad lesson which makes a good teacher! Keep it up.

  2. I am at the same stage as you (but year 5) I am having exactly the same thoughts, although I think you're doing better than me at levelling-I am ok with maths (I think) but English woah! I know we want to be perfect, but no matter how long we have been teaching, that will never happen. One very experienced teacher and ex-deputy head once said to me 'as long as the majority of your lessons feel good, you're doing ok. So as long as only 49% don't feel good and 51% feel good, that's fine!' I am sure he didn't mean that literally, but it puts it into perspective lol!