Wednesday, 13 October 2010

First Impressions

I have a school for my final teaching practice! I'll be starting there in January, a full year after I was due to the placement at another school. The first school dropped out due to staffing issues, and finding another school within a reasonable distance has been a nightmare.

Yesterday I put on my smart shoes, smart casual skirt and jacket and pootled off for a day at the school. The school is judged to be 'outstanding' by OfSTED, and has around 1200 pupils. The buildings are a huge contrast to the last school I was in, shabby single storey blocks dotted around a campus - I shall be hoping for dry weather in January or remaining in the science block from dawn until dusk! The science department doesn't have the resources that my last school had, but achieve comparable results. The teachers I met seemed friendly and approachable, a lot less defensive than some others. The atmosphere in the staff room was relaxed. I am not sure it this is because I feel as though I am on a slightly more level playing field as I approach the final hurdle or if it is just a more friendly school!

It was good to be back in a classroom and working with children. I was working with a group of pupils and realised how my questioning technique has changed since I started training, my questions were automatically more open than they would have been at the beginning of this adventure! The deputy head (responsible for PGCE students in the school) asked me how I felt about this final placement. I said that the rational part of my brain knows I can do it, but part of my head wants to run screaming for the hills! If I didn't feel nervous then I think I would be doing something wrong. I know I have loads still to learn, but figure that I'll be learning all my teaching life.

I'm going to have to have a rethink of my working wardrobe. I felt very overdressed even after I took my jacket off! I think long jumpers/tunics and leggings may be the way to go. And I must get my own lab coat and safety goggles!

Teaching practice is going to mean a reduced running schedule, so it is probably just as well that I didn't get a place in the London Marathon, and I'll have to defer my Brighton Marathon place. I hope that I'll still be able to manage the Bath Half - I've been looking forward to that for a long time.

Training for the Great South continues.... I didn't have much time today, so did a short (3mi) run in just over 25minutes. I am still coughing for NATO, although I hope that the cough is on its way out. I have an offer of a lift down to Portsmouth with my lovely neighbour and her husband (who are both running), and my race pack arrived today which is always exciting! Bit confused about the pen allocation though. I gave a predicted finishing time based on the time I ran the Alton 10mi in (hilly race, 1hr 30mins) and have been placed in a slower starting pen than my neighbour who is predicting a time of 1hr 40mins! Ah well - who knows how they work these things out anyway!

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