This is the first in (hopefully) a series of blog posts that allow me to reflect on my experience as a ‘Master’ teacher.
OK – so confessions first. I’m not actually a ‘Master’ teacher. Dammit – the label I’ve been given is ‘co-operating teacher’. Doesn’t have the same ring, does it? Oh well … up a rung, down a rung. I’m a teacher – I face that every day.
Today was the first day of my prac student’s 5 week prac with me. I have to admit that I am both excited and terrified having her with me. She really has shown herself to be a wonderfully intelligent and insightful individual – she will be a real asset to the teaching profession. I’m really impressed that she has chosen to share those qualities with young people – I know they’ll benefit immensely from her guidance. What scares me is that I am the one who has been given the job of modelling how to be a good teacher. Anyway, I’ve blogged on my anxieties before – so I’ll move on.
My student arrived before me this morning and was waiting patiently in the English staffroom - strike 1 to me, point 1 to prac student. We had a meeting first period with my Ht of T&L to discuss the schools plans for DER in 2011. Aha – my time to shine! It was a really great conversation – open and honest – reflecting my own maturation and increasing confidence when it comes to discussing my opinions on the future of a school that I have invested 6 years of my life into. My student was gorgeous – she smiled and nodded, took notes and made suggestions. (She told us that at uni the teachers use a variety of learning spaces and this can become very confusing for students – thanks goodness we have invested time into edmodo early on!) Point 1 to me!
OK – I’m just kidding with the sporting metaphor – it’s no competition between us. I’ve used it to draw your attention with the problems many pre-service teachers and ‘master’ teachers find – the need to establish ‘roles’ of superior and inferior. It’s not going to work with me because I am at surface level a disorganised and frantic individual who constantly looks as though she has no clue of what;s happening around her. No one is going to believe me if I don the ‘I’m more experienced so do as I say, not as I do’ mantra.
During my Year 7 lesson as I was encouraging the students to reflect on the purpose of the opening to ‘Shrek’ my prac student confidently pointed out that the composer was foreshadowing the plot of the film. She introduced the students to the concept ‘foreshadowing’ with confidence and ensured all students understood through analogy. It was a wonderful thing to see.
During Year 11 my students worked on individual reading and writing tasks based on The Big Sleep allowing a brief moment of discussion about my prac student’s experience with the novel (she studied it in Year 12) and her offering to bring in her materials on the novel – awesome!
After the chaos that is Year 10 period 5, we had a chat about how she would tackle period 5 on a Monday with a big class of lower ability Year 10 students. She had some great ideas and I’m looking forward to watching my students participate in Debate Pin-Pong.
In conclusion, today was a great day for my teaching development. I was given the opportunity to briefly glimpse how good this young woman will be as a teacher. We had a couple of detailed conversations about my classes that I rarely get a chance to have with other teachers.
Day 1 – success!