I MADE IT!

It is official, I am no longer an NQT!

I can safely say that I have learnt more about myself in the past 10 months than ever before. I never knew how strong, determined and passionate I could be about something. I’m not for one second going to pretend it has been easy, because at times it has been far from it, but it has been one of the most wonderful, rewarding experiences so far.

And without stating the obvious, here are just a few things I have learnt along the way…

  1. That it is OK not to have all the answers, yet.

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  1. That every day will be different and special.

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  1. That not everything will go to plan and that is ok.

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  1. To take every opportunity – even when it is a massive step outside your comfort zone.

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5. And finally – that by the end of the year (or October half term) you may be exhausted, feel like you’ve aged 50 years and have no social life but there isn’t a single job you would rather have.

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Now, time to enjoy a well-earned break and recharge ready for round 2, where I am apparently meant to know what I am doing?!?

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I’m Back – Interview Advice.

So it’s that time of year again! A year ago I spent ridiculous amounts of time overthinking and over-researching every single element about getting my first teaching job. It’s scary but incredibly exciting. So, I thought it would be helpful to pass on some of my wisdom of the process.

Disclaimer: I am in no way an expert on this subject, but I’m happy to share my experiences with the interviewing process in the hope that it can in some way help others.

Before the interview:

Make a portfolio – of lesson observations, planning, assessment or anything else that will make you stand out. They may not necessarily want one, but it shows your commitment and preparation if you have one anyway.

Be prepared – it sounds silly and obvious but be prepared. I watched copious amounts of YouTube videos on common interview questions, read ridiculous amounts of blog posts and articles on tips and tricks. And my lesson was re-thought at least 5 times. Also, make sure you know the school – research the website and their latest OFSTED reports.

Think outside the box – do something practical, that involves lots of interaction. The main thing they are looking for is the way you interact with the children. Even if it doesn’t go to plan, that is a talking point in the interview or reflection task. You will stand out.

Practice – it sounds silly but practice your interview questions aloud – research common interview questions.

Talk – talk to lots of people beforehand, especially if they’ve already been through the process and got a job. The interview day will never be as daunting as all the horrible situations that are going through your head!

During the Interview:

Trust your gut – if you turn up on the day and your gut tells you this school isn’t for you – trust it.

Questions – come up with a list of questions to ask after your interview. It shows your interest. Even if it is about CPD opportunities available or the use of technology in the school.

Be confident – even if you are not! “Fake it until you make it!”

And most importantly, smile – smile lots, at everyone.

I am so relieved that for now, my days of interviews are over. I hope this post is helpful and good luck!

 

 

 

Infographic on Internet Dependency

During one of our seminars last year we were asked to create an infographic to present some findings on a dependency of our choice. I chose to do internet dependency as I thought it would be the most relevant to the majority of people and therefore easily relatable. I also thought it would be the most interesting to research. I am astonished by some of the facts and statistics I have found whilst researching this topic and I hope you find them interesting/useful too! Let me know any opinions you may have too! 🙂

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Reflection of 2014

2014 was a good year for me in many ways, both academically and personally. Last year had many significant points for me, like getting a new car, completing my first year at university, proving to myself that I could survive living without my parents and getting a first in my final assignment of the year – assignment writing for me took a lot of getting used to as the style was so different to what was expected from A level but when receiving my grade in the summer it proved to me that I really could do it and I was so pleased with myself. But what stood out the most for me last year was my summer placement. This placement proved to me that teaching really was what I wanted to do. I’ve had other placements that went well but for me this was the first proper insight into what being a teacher really meant and all the work that goes into it and because of this I felt my confidence grow significantly during this placement. Another highlight of 2014 after a lovely summer off was being able to get back to uni again to start my second year; in a new house with some of my closest friends. Although it is pretty scary how quickly uni life is going but how much I feel I am progressing in myself. So what does 2015 have in store for me? A lot of assignment writing and 10 weeks of placement. Undoubtedly, the workload is going to be hard but I am determined to do well this year and I will keep you all updated! Thank you for reading 🙂

Collins & Quillian – The Hierarchical Network Model of Semantic Memory

Last week I had my first Digital Literacy seminar of 2nd year. We were all given a different psychologist to research and explore in more detail and present these findings to the rest of the group. Being a digital literacy specialist I decided to present my findings in the form of a blog post.

The Hierarchical Network Model of Semantic Memory is a theory first introduced by Collins & Quillian in 1969. This was the 1st systematic model of semantic memory. Semantic memory refers to someone’s long term memory. These are the ideas and concepts that are not from personal experience but more from common knowledge such as the sounds of letters and colours.

The model suggests that semantic memory is organised into 2 categories, the first being nodes which is referred to being a major concept, such as an animal or a bird. The second is a property, also referred to as being the attribute or feature of the concept such as brown or wings.

So, how does this theory link to the primary classroom? Last week in one of our education studies seminars it was mentioned that the average teacher expects a response from a child to answer a question within 1 second, it was argued that this is not enough time for children to be able to process the question, find the answer and then verbally present it and therefore more time should be allowed for a response by the teacher, without moving on to another child. This theory talks about how the time taken to regain the knowledge that a person has acquired over time sets off a stimulus that then activates a set of nodes, which then activate other related nodes causing the activation to become widely spread. For example, if a someone was asked ‘Is a dog an animal’, the time taken to respond to that question would depend on the amount of relations between the node which recognises a dog and an animal. Therefore this supports the argument that children should be allowed more time to be able to think of their answers. 

Cognitive economy refers to the information that is stored at one level of the hierarchy is then not repeated on any other levels (See diagram below). A fact or concept is stored at the highest level in which it applies to, e.g fish would be under the category animal and not just fish.

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Thank you for taking time to read my blog post and I hope that you found it interesting and I would appreciate any comments you may have about it appreciate any comments you may have about it.

Tips When Blogging in the Classroom

Blogging is becoming more widely used in all sorts of industries now; beauty, sport and now education. Over the past few months it has become increasingly more apparent to me, that blogging and the use of twitter in the classroom is increasingly popular. The way that I have seen it used is that every so often a child is given an opportunity to express their ideas or thoughts on what they have learnt, or discovered recently in their post. But is this the most effective way to ensure that it remains ongoing?

I was recently presented with the question, is blogging in the classroom beneficial to a child’s learning?
After throughly researching this topic my answer would be yes, providing it is used in an appropriate way and that there is a system such as quad blogging put into place, where it is ensured that all children will get some response so they can feel like they are writing for a purpose and also see what others think of what they have found out.

There are some key things to remember when blogging to ensure it is used effectively and appropriately.

1. Children don’t share personal details
2. The writing must be relevant to work they have done in the classroom to ensure content is appropriate
3. Proof reading should be done to make sure that content makes sense however it is not important that any inaccuracies that are made are corrected or removed as comments could bring in feedback for that child to work on
4. Make sure the audience is correct – other schools, teachers
5. Have a system put in place where comments are monitored by the classroom teacher to ensure all comments are appropriate and not going to dishearten the students
6. Finally, in my opinion the most important – keep the blog going and perhaps set a day of the week in which the blog should be posted day, have ‘monitors’ put in place to ensure that it is kept up to date but this responsibility is swapped around every 2 weeks or so.