So things have picked up a little bit! Apart from starting some of the lecture topics we’ll be doing for the year, we’ve also been given our placements.
Next week will see us out for the first of a two week “observation” period before starting in to a more hands-on placement later on this year. I am not normally a nervous person about going somewhere unknown, or starting a new job but already; halfway through the week before, the nerves are tingling away. We’ve all heard that being nervous is a sign you care so if I’m shaking like a leaf on Monday morning, I’ll remind myself of that.
As it’s halfway through our first week proper, I thought I’d share one or two interesting tidbits I’ve picked up so far.
One of our lecturers was showing us how a maths problem can be answered in several different ways and for each of them to be equally valid. We were told that as teachers, we should actively encourage the children to come up with multiple solutions to the same maths problem. This wouldn’t be a huge discovery for most but it struck a chord with me; albeit two days later, during a group discussion today on the use of phonics to teach children to read. It seems, based on what I’ve learned today, that here in the UK, phonics is the only prescribed way for children to learn how to read in school. I asked the question – if it’s okay for a person to discover several methods to solve a maths problem, why is there only one way to learn to read? Food for thought.
Another interesting thing I’ve picked up in the last week – is a tablet. I purchased a Google Nexus 7, second edition. I must admit I’m finding it more and more useful every day I use it. Luckily, this summer, the University I am in, launched an app for mobile devices to access your timetables, reading lists, the library database, lecture notes, and many other useful things that you may need as a student. It may sound silly but I feel as though this little thing could save me a lot of valuable time over the next few months. I’ve set the tablet up with cloud storage and cloud printing so even if the laptop in the house is in use, I don’t have to wait until it’s free to view or print anything I may need.
With regards this upcoming placement, I suspect that despite the fact that the next two weeks are observational in nature, the learning curve is going to take a steep incline from here.
Again, I intend on putting anything I find or learn that may be of use to anyone doing a teaching course, or thinking of doing such a course, on here. Also, if anyone has anything they feel would be useful to share (including feedback), please feel free to comment below.
Now, time to catch up on some reading!