Sunday, 29 April 2018

New school, new policies and procedures

I trust you have all had a wonderful and well deserved Easter break. It is now back to reality! The sun over the last week has definitely made the last few months of the cold and snow ‘worthwhile’.  Am I right, or am I right? Although with the recent showers, we are back to the British weather we are all used to!
Now if you would have told me that, by March, I would have had completed my two terms of my NQT year with good progress (YESSSSS!!!) but I wouldn’t have a permanent and full time role I would have massively panicked. Being the person that I am, I like the idea of having everything planned and knowing what my next step is. However, I do find myself in a part-time PE teaching job that is temporary (3 days a week) and working as a cover supervisor or supply teacher twice a week. 

The first 2 weeks after half term have been tough; having to adapt to a new school and only being there 3 times a week; learning new policies and the ways of a different school life. At the same time, going in to different schools has massively opened my eyes up. I see a lot of different practices, policies and procedures. Some work perfectly! Some need MAJOR work to them. The fact of the matter is I am in a very fortunate position (well at least this is how my best friend helped me rationalise it). The 3 days ground me, in these days I ‘play it safe’.  I am able to work hard to create positive relationships with both my colleagues and students. I take time to go to the extra-curricular clubs whether that basketball or rounders. I make it my priority to attend these. Similarly, it is also my priority to attend the Friday afterschool staff football. I get to see different sides of both my students and colleagues. 
One of the letters I received from my old school on my last day. This was from a group of Year 11s who had literally made me cry at the start of Academic year. The letter reads: 'If anyone had told me a year ago that one day I'd actually enjoy PE, I would've laughed in their face. But that was before we had you as a PE teacher. You have been the foot to my football, the table to our tennis, the astro to our turf. Your creativity makes every PE lesson enjoyable, as does your boundless enthusiasm, that extends far beyond the classroom. We will miss you. Lets hope your new school appreciates you as much as we do. If not, they'll always be a place for you, in our school and in our hearts. Please don't leave...

As for my teaching, I definitely feel as if my behaviour management has further developed. Being a cover supply is no joke! The students will push every one of your buttons. Some you didn’t even know existed! The experience is definitely helping me to manage my emotions. I enjoy going into the new schools and classes, however, there is always that battle of the students not knowing you and me not knowing them. As soon as I enter a classroom I have to make a judgement quickly on which management and teaching styles to apply. 

Depending on which school I am in or what subject I am covering; I have had to adapt as both a dictator, this has been mainly in subjects where I am not as confident and I am working to simply keep the students on the task at hand. For example, I was in a school covering a year 7 class doing history, specifically looking at slavery. I knew the basics but could not deliver the content in too much depth. However, in subjects such as PE, I often adapt a democratic approach where I am empowering students to take chances and if it goes wrong, I am confident in my ability to rebuild individuals.   

Just a quick update, I do miss my old PE department (thank you guys, every single one of you have had an influence on my teaching). I have started a new campaign to get more Muslim girls at my new school participating in extra-curricular PE is underway. Very excited for this! I am enjoying the ‘summer’ term teaching athletics. Although with the weather being how it has been, there have been a lot of changes. I appreciate that this is all part and parcel of the hassle and bustle of the job.  

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