Student teacher: starting my second placement and talking about jobs

Mia’s getting to know her second school but she knows this is the calm before the storm. She’s also applying for jobs – good luck!


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Christmas and New Year were a much needed break. It was great to have the time to chill out and not have to worry about anything to do with the course for a while.  Everything was wrapped up at my first placement school, my university assignment was handed in on the last day of term (after a manic final week sat at the computer 12 hours a day!) and all the evidence logs to show progress towards the teaching standards were done so I had everything tidied up and filed away.

I was pretty sad leaving my placement school… I almost cried! The staff and pupils were all so nice and I got lots of presents and cards. It felt weird leaving just as I had started to find my feet and get into the swing of things. So I’d been slightly dreading going to a new school and being back at square one, not knowing who anyone was or where anything was.

I’ve landed lucky and got another great school, although most people on the course seem to be pleased with where they have been placed. I now have that familiarisation period again where I’m not doing much teaching and I’m spending most of the time observing different lessons, teachers and the classes I will be taking after half term. It is really nice to have this time and it makes the first few weeks at a new school less stressful – it also means I didn’t have any planning to do over the holidays.

I will be teaching Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 science and also Year 12 physics. This is a nice variety and means I get some GCSE experience which I was lacking from my first placement. I’ve also got a few top sets whereas in my previous school it was mostly lower sets. I will start by team-teaching Year 12 with the head of physics and I’m also hoping to get the opportunity to joint-plan and deliver some lessons for them with some of my coursemates who are PGCE physicists at nearby schools but don’t have their own sixth form. I am really looking forward to that and hope it goes ahead.

Until half term – when I begin teaching a pretty busy timetable – I’m spending Monday and Tuesday in my new school observing lessons. I spend Wednesday with my professional tutor and all the other ITTs in the school and we chat about how things are going. We have a variety of sessions throughout the day on things like lesson planning, SEN [Special Educational Needs], data etc. All useful stuff before we start teaching full-time and there isn’t time to find it all out.

Thursdays I spend with the science PGCE cohort from university at a different school where we do some observations, team planning and teaching. Fridays are then in university working on our ‘Thinking Skills’ project and having lectures and seminars to help with it and finally… Friday 4pm = pub! It’s nice finishing off the week with friends off of the course and great to have a catch up, laugh and a moan every week.

I am also using this less busy time as an opportunity to observe some maths lessons. This is part of my next university project where I am working with a maths PGCE student to plan, teach and observe lessons with the aim of developing pupils’ thinking skills in maths and science. We have to write an essay and deliver a presentation in university before half term, so I do still have plenty of work to be doing.

I do feel a bit like it is the calm before the storm!

Talk amongst all PGCE students at the moment is all about jobs! They are starting to become available now and I am mid-application for a few so fingers crossed that next time I write I might have one! I can dream right…?