The end of another semester

While I admit keeping up with blog posts and the rest of my course load, work and personal life has been extremely tricky this semester I have really enjoyed reflecting and collecting resources using this blog post. I hope to keep up this practice through out the rest of my degree, to keep adding resources, interacting with other colleagues ideas and reflecting on my learning progress.

This semester marks the second last full time semester for me, I have been studying a mixture of part and full time study since 2010 and I am happy to say the light at the end of the tunnel is getting very bright. On completing the 3 courses this semester I am left with only 5 courses, 3 of which are prac. Prac is a tricky time but my most favourite part of my degree and I know 2 of those pracs will be competed at the same school as 3100 which makes me feel very happy and comfortable.

I would like to wish everyone luck in their future and hopefully a few people will keep up with their blog post, I am looking forward to following you journey.

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I am off on holiday to England and Dubai in 2 days and I cant wait to have time away and relax, I hope you all get a chance to enjoy some time off before the craziness starts in semester 2!

Jess 🙂

Conneted.ed……..cyber saftey is so important!

I enjoyed the process of completing the cyber smart program and gaining my certificate to add to my portfolio. Most of the thing in the modules I already knew about and enjoyed viewing from a students perspective. I made me reflect deeply on the things I saw and do with and about internet engagement. It was only after completing this program I realised cyber safety has become a very important and pro-active issue for teachers in the past 6 months; on my facebook news feed I have seen numerous posts from teachers holding up a sign that reads ‘please re-post this, I want to show my class how far and fast a photo can travel around the internet’. I think this is a great way to engage students and show them a real life situation they have a vested interest in to see that what we say and put on the internet can spread far and wide and for this its important to filter what we expose to the world to see.

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I hadn’t realised until I saw Simon’s post that connected.ed provides resources, unit plans and lessons for teachers to use, something I have since investigated more closely. I have printed off any of the resources and added the links to my teacher resources facebook page to save for future use.

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Is 100 days of professional experience really enough…?

Whilst I was on prac there were almost 10 other prac students at the school, all from different universities in NSW. Some of the girls were on a prac similar to 3100, 3 weeks and similar teaching requirements. There were also 3 other girls from another university, their Education degree requires them to do prac for A WHOLE TERM!!! At that university the first term is spent excelling the students through a whole semester of lectures and tutes in a term and the second term is spent at a school. I think this is an amazing idea, it would give a pre-service teacher a great insight into reports, the admin side of a teachers role and get to really see planning from start to finish. But I also see the down side, for many people studying at USQ flexibility with work and family commitments is a key factor. For most people a term long prac would be impossible for many reasons but it defiantly has many benefits to our future careers.

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In England students studying Education do 3 years of theory and then a year long paid internship. Again another amazing opportunity, though not getting to experience prac until after all the theory is done can have 2 main downfalls: students can finish the theory, get into a classroom and decide its not for them, and competing many assessments requires real life classroom experiences which wouldn’t be possible.

After thinking about all these different options I found Emma’s post about offering Education degrees as an apprenticeship, I took part in her survey also. I think doing a few weeks of prac each semester is a great way to maintain balance of family, finances, study and classroom experience.

After prac all I know for sure is that I CANT WAIT TO GET BACK IN THE CLASSROOM!! 🙂

Poweroutage stumped the students!!!

In week 2 of prac I had a day where the power to the school and 4 surrounding suburbs was out, the power went out around 8.30, even the traffic lights were out. There were teachers ad parents helping to direct traffic, students crossing the road and reducing chaos.

The students were all excited and amped up before they even entered the classroom, as they walked down the hall to hang up their bags they were saying things like ‘its like Halloween’ and ‘I like the dark’. Once they were wrangled into the dark classroom I started with their regular morning routine, which is usually done using an IWB but due to the power outage I had written the morning routine on the board

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‘Today is..’ ‘Tomorrow will be…’ and ‘Yesterday was…’.

The students were so stumped, they didnt like doing their morning routine this way (like how it was done when I was at school haha) and I had to keep telling them the computer couldn’t turn on without power.

Around 1pm the power finally came back on but the outage had messed up the servers and teachers were unable to sign on to the computer, again the students were confused ‘The power is back on, the computer is on, why cant you log on and play the songs?’ Luckily we had organised all the resources for the day ahead of time and were doing a fun art lesson, we listened to music on my iPad which was very quiet but we had a fun lesson and a different day to normal 🙂

A relief teacher while on prac

For my second week on professional experience I sent 3 days with a relief teacher, she graduated last year and was a wealth of knowledge in the whole experience going from a Uni student to a teacher. Like Tash, I had an awesome experience of stepping up and taking ownership of the class on these days. its monday!

The days I had her in the classroom with me I taught most of the lessons for most of the days, it was an amazing experience, it felt like the classroom was mine in a way. I am really lucky to have been exposed to a different side of teaching, the casual relief side which is a road I will most likely travel when I graduate.

My relief teacher is a regular casual at the school and she was so supportive of me and showed taught me so much, I was so grateful to have had this experience. A site she showed me that the kids loved and one I plan to use in the future is Storyline online.

iPads in the classroom

This week I am doing 2 lessons with the 7 year 1’s in my prac class, one lesson on science and one on HSIE (History). This will be the first time these students have used an ipad in a classroom context. I am sure most of them have used them at home but it will be interesting to see how they respond to using them in the classroom. I am hoping the iPads will enhance their learning and move the lesson and learning forward, not delay learning with behaviour management issues or ICT (internet connection) issues. I am on a mission this afternoon to find some sites and or apps I can use to achieve the learning outcomes, as well as learn some strategies to implementing lessons with iPads.

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This site has given me some strategies to help manage a lesson implementing ipads, I hope it can help others

My biggest fear!

Like Jessica G, as part of our 3100 course we had to write 2 of our biggest fears when on prac. This is what I wrote:

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A challenge I faced on my last prac was knowing how much to take control of the class without making my mentor teacher think I have taken over their class. A fear is not implementing lessons that are engaging or constructive.

Little did I know my fear was much more important than this, and it came true 😦

Last week there was a miss-communication between the office and the classroom teacher (My mentor teacher was sick this day so I had a casual teacher).  At reccess one of the students fell over and got a split lip, he was waiting in sick bay to be dismissed back to class, by this time it was the end of the day and parents were gathering around to collect their children. This boy was still in the sick bay but the teacher and I didn’t know. To us this child was lost!!! THIS IS MY GREATEST FEAR!!!! For the next 20 minuites we ran around the school looking for the boy, then we found he was in the sick bay waiting for someone to collect him to return back to the classroom. All involved were ok and it was handled professionally but I still feel like I aged 10 years, grew grey hair and felt completely helpless. I hope to never experience this sort of situation again 😦