S4 & S8- Planning and teaching effectively a range of lessons

This reflection is based on my experiences over the week and the increase in my teaching time. After being away from my school for the last two weeks (PRU placement and half term) I was very glad to return, but I do feel it took me a little while to adjust back into the busy routine. Maybe more so because my teaching time has now increased, this has been great, although tiring with lots of extra planning and marking to do as well as teaching. It has though been a positive experience with lots learned, and I feel comfortable in this role.

This week, I have planned and taught lessons for two and a half days. Which has been fantastic and I really feel like my knowledge and confidence is growing continuously. I am beginning to feel like a ‘real’ teacher, and I am finding that to be an extremely rewarding experience. My confidence has developed in many areas, and one area I feel I have made huge progress in is to use additional adults effectively. At first, I found this difficult but I am now able to do this consistently. (S8.3) I keep a constant focus on the teachers standards (which I am becoming more familiar with) and also my targets set by my mentor. (S8.4) I believe this is helping me progress, particularly with regards to lesson planning and using differentiation and marking for assessment. (S6.3) At the beginning of the week I was not so successful with regards to differentiation. However, after feedback from my mentor I was able to address this in my other lessons and I believe that I have, this week, made progress in using differentiation in my planning (S5.1) . I have been successful in stretching more able children, which was a particular focus of mine whilst also considering the LA/SEN/EAL children. I now will ensure that this remains a focus at all times when I am planning lessons.(S5.3) Additionally, marking is now becoming much easier for me, and I am becoming more confident, and I am now able to confidently give written feedback, set targets and questions for progression and confirmation of learning. (S6.4)

This is also true of my planning, I am finding this easier and have more confidence to try out new things. I now also realize that it may be necessary to adapt plans during the lesson, and that this is ok if it brings more worthwhile outcomes. Having now taught a wide range of subjects, my subject knowledge and teaching skills are undoubtedly improving. (S4.4)

Even though my first maths lesson this week had room for improvement, it has actually been extremely helpful to me in identifying areas that I need to improve. (S4.4) I was looking forward to this lesson for this reason, I was slightly nervous beforehand and not as confident as usual, but I knew that I would learn a lot from this experience, and I did. I have been pleased with my lesson plans and outcomes this week, particularly my history lesson on the topic of ‘mummification’. I feel that I have been successful at making effective use of lesson time (S4.1) , whilst also sparking children’s interests (S4.2). As well as using online resources to grab the children’s attention and setting written tasks, I also allowed the children to do a practical activity to ignite their interest, and it most certainly did.(S4.2) This lesson made me feel really proud and excited for future lessons, the children were all completely engaged and a lot of learning took place. (S4.5) It led to children becoming motivated in their learning and they began to ask lots of appropriate questions, which then led to a great discussion. (S4.1) I was also able to recognise the importance of, and use cross curricular links to maths and science during my history lesson. (S3.1) The children mummified tomatoes and were encouraged to explore texture, smell, etc as well as make a prediction of changes that may occur after mummification. In addition, children used scales and tape measures to weigh and measure their tomatoes. I was proud of myself how I managed to incorporate these links into this lesson, as well as making it fun and extending learning. In fact, this week in general, I believe that I have played a very positive role in extending learning in the classroom, with clear and high expectations set for learning and behaviour established. (S7.1 & 7.2)

When I first began this course, it was difficult to see how it would be possible to achieve all the areas covered in the teachers standards in the short time I have. However, now I am beginning to realize how this is possible. By focusing on the standards, targets and giving consideration to any feedback received I now know that I can consistently improve my practice. I do believe in doing this, I am progressing very well in my teaching. (S8.4)

I have been successful in planning and delivering lessons which have been interactive, and fun.( S4.5) Which has led to children being motivated in their own learning, and also engaged throughout.  This gives me a sense of pride, especially when I see the high quality work which is being produced. (S4.4) I really am extremely happy to have the opportunity to be in this role. I am learning every day, and therefore I feel that my progression is constant(S8.4), my knowledge and confidence is continuously increasing. I am thankful that I have such a great mentor, she is knowledgeable and supportive, and inspirational. She consistently gives me honest feedback, and advice to improve my practice and this means that I am able to focus my progression in particular areas and make changes for improvement. (S8.2) (S8.4)

Therefore, I will continue to focus on these areas and remain motivated in becoming an outstanding teacher. (S8.4) I am very content in my work and, I am learning so much every day. Furthermore, my confidence and knowledge is increasing along with my responsibilities (S3.1) and I am finding the feedback from my mentor and other colleagues to be invaluable. (S8.2)

Focused next steps:

Continue to use feedback and targets in a constructive way, to improve my own knowledge and skills. (S8.2) (S8.4) Differentiation will continue to be a major focus for me when planning.