Day One of my High School Work Placement

I haven’t blogged in a while, instead I have just been reproducing previous work – I hope that does not look too lazy! From today I have began my work placement within a high school and sixth form. I have chosen the slightly easier option of returning to my old school, St Thomas More Catholic College. To my surprise, following the three years that I have left the school, a lot has changed. These changes not only include the buildings and layout of the school but also the teachers and staff members. I began to feel a bit out of my depth.

However, once I had been greeted and I had chosen my favourable departments, I began to settle in and learn a few things!

Picking up a teaching technique seems the most daunting experience for any to-be teachers. From 9am until 12 noon I watched two staff members teach an A-Level class, including one student who was assisted by an SEN (Special Education Needs) worker. A-Level is an interesting year group for myself as it is the closest to my age and also the curriculum I am most accustomed to. It is also a more challenging age-range in terms of educational content which is something that I enjoy. Furthermore, the SEN aspect proves very beneficial to my new role of employment at Keele University as a note-taker for autistic students. The skill set for interacting with these students is rather varied in comparison to students that follow the socio-developmental norms. This is the student group that I would like to home-in on in the future.

Overall the most useful teaching techniques I observed were those involving visual aspects such as the use of diagrams and using varying coloured pens: black for the students answers; red for the teacher’s marking; and green for the students corrections. Another essential area to learn is the use of exam papers, definitions for easy marks and the use of analogies to improve understanding. The practical elements in a classroom also prove useful in engaging students with the task itself and also with each other. This time ‘on-task’ allows a teacher to approach students individually in order to assess their knowledge and gauge their understanding. Many students may not want to single themselves out to express their struggles so this method is a great way to avoid that dilemma.

My first day has proved quite useful towards me reaching my final goal of becoming a qualified teacher. Next week I will be working in the history department, the subject that I wish to pursue as my career. So keep posted for more updates about my work experience!

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