Everyone is talking about prac. Last week, a lot of blogs such as Michaela’s, Lucas’s, and…well just about all of us featured musings about our upcoming placement.
I felt like I was holding it all together pretty well in the lead up to prac. I was lucky enough to get to meet my mentor 2 weeks ago (although very briefly in the middle of the school cross country). I had a grade 2 class, which suits me to the ground. She mentioned they were a great bunch of kids, no major behaviour problems, mostly mid-range learners, with some support from parents with sight words and home reading. Other staff I met around the school were friendly, welcoming and I left feeling pretty positive about my upcoming experience.
Today it all began.
It began with me waking up at 3 am, only a little earlier that Sonia and not able to get back to sleep, worrying about how the day would roll out. With me cyberstalking the school website, reading the past school annual reports, the current reports, re-reading the literature about the (fairly innovative) school wide behaviour program they use Solving the Jigsaw. Panicking that I had not asked enough questions, I was not prepared enough, everything was going to go to hell.
Then realising we had run out of coffee, and none of my last minute research would matter because I was going to be a walking zombie.
When I arrived at school, I was met with a mentor who was off class due to the installation of new printers/photocopiers and almost unusable running speed of the school Ipads and computers. She’s the ICT co-coordinator, so that left me, a classroom full of kids I had never laid eyes on before, and a casual, while she spent the morning rebuilding and installing.
It went pretty well. I got another chance to think on my feet in an unfamiliar environment, to apply what I am learning in theory to see if it actually works with real life students. By recess, I had kids moving where they were sitting to be closer to me, coming to ask me questions instead of referring to the relief teacher, and I (think) I managed to remember a few of their names.
After lunch, I was also surprised by a fantastic professional development opportunity. My mentor was scheduled to complete an online PD this afternoon through My PL@Edu, a requirement of teacher accreditation and ongoing development in NSW. So, I lucked out, and was able to participate in an online collaborative session that counts towards my registration and new scheme program when I finally make it out into the workforce. Best news is, anybody can log in to My PL, and there are a heap of free courses available. AND as an online uni student who has sat through many a WIMBA and BBC tutorial, I was skilled.
Tomorrow (should) be a little more settled and will give me more of an idea of what the rest of my prac will be like. I get to see my mentor in the classroom, and we’re planning out what she wants me to teach. I did get a little nervous about her joke today in the staff room that by next week, I’m taking over entirely and she gets a rest, but at the same time, if that’s where I want to end up at the (seemingly so far away) but ever approaching end of my degree, maybe I should live a little and dive in while I have the chance!