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Reflections on the Autumn Term

And breathe, well almost…. There is still a half day tomorrow, but that includes two of my four non-contact periods and for the latter part of the two lessons I am teaching, I will be covered so I can join the staff band and play in assembly. For the other parts of the lessons I will have some Christ-maths activities. I’m not sure which ones yet, I have a variety.

The early part of this term was tough. Having passed the NQT year last year I had to make the jump to a full timetable in September, a full timetable that quickly became a “more than full” timetable when things were shifted round to allow our three finest year 13 pupils to pick up an extra AS level in further maths. I was happy to take on the extra work, as further maths is so much fun and the three lads in question are a pleasure to teach. However, coupled with a not much older than newborn baby at home, I was discovering new levels of tired. This was challenging, but it was a challenge I enjoyed and relished. By half term I had configured a way of working that meant I was getting everything done that I needed to do, planning and teaching engaging lessons and keeping my working week down to a manageable 50 hours (mostly), giving me enough time to enjoy all the things that come with being a new parent.

During the first half term I was observed by the new head of school. I was judged good with outstanding for a lesson on substitution with my low ability year sevens. They are a fairly challenging class and the judgement made me feel particularly good as it was exactly the lesson I would have taught even if I wasn’t being observed. I don’t like to change the way I teach for observations (although I think the nerves/adrenaline that go with it mean I probably change slightly). I think that if a teacher is doing something totally different in observations than in their normal lessons then they need to look at their normal lessons and try to bring them up to standard. I try to ensure that all my lessons are planned to the standard I would want in an observation, and I think we all should strive to this. (Obviously the in class mocks etc don’t count!) The only difference was that I typed up my plan onto a school proforma, rather than making hand written notes in my planner.

Half term came and went, and my timetable was slightly rejigged, meaning that it is now only a full timetable. This coupled with the fact I have gotten used to a full timetable has made my workload seem quite a lot less, although, in actuality I am putting in the exact same amount of hours. My year 11s have found a new sense of self-motivation, probably brought on by the fact they have been investigating 6th form/college/apprenticeship options which invariable hit home the importance of maths. This has meant that getting homework back in has become a much easier task.

The end of term has been topped of brilliantly with the school productions I’ve seen (https://cavmaths.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/elegies-for-angels-punks-and-raging-queens/) and the joy the pupils are showing at the impending Christmas festivities. However, getting work out of some classes has been harder than usual this week (although my year tens seemed to enjoy some fantastic indices work yesterday!)

I’m not sure whether to be worried that my year 8’s believed me when I told them that I intended to spend Christmas day solving equations…..

  1. December 30, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hope your Christmas Day was excellent – did you solve any equations?!

    • December 31, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Unfortunately Christmas Day was equation free! Still a good one though. Hope yours was good too.

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