S4 – Whole day teaching

Today, I took the entire class myself for a day, with just a TA for assistance. This was the first time I’ve taken the class for so long, and so had to lead all the little daily tasks – like giving out lunch bands, and getting the children ready at the end of the day etc, which my mentor usually automatically does while I focus on leading bigger lessons.

It scared me at first thought, to take the class for the entire day, after only really teaching them in large chunks for half days at a time. However, I decided to take it in my stride, and be authoritative, to let the children know that actually I will be gradually taking over the class, and that they shouldn’t see me as a TA.

The class were extremely talkative today, however I don’t know whether this is just because it’s a Monday, and they always seem a bit restless on a Monday, or whether it was because my mentor was not there, even in the background (S4; Is systematically able to reflect, in order to improve their practice. Is able to judge the effectiveness of their lessons and impact on all groups of pupils). Either way, I tried to spend time with all groups of children, to help the lowers to grasp concepts, and to challenge HAPs to stretch themselves through questioning and detail. This was interesting, as although I have seen my mentor teach English and Guided Reading before, I have never solely taken these sessions before now, so I didn’t know how the children would react.

Overall, they really responded to my teaching, and keep a good attention span whilst seated on the carpet, as it is easier to watch them. However, when set to task, this is when a couple of children pushed boundaries, and I was forced to enforce our school’s traffic light behaviour system to keep them under control.

Because I was teaching all day, I had to make sure that the children were kept on task, and finished lessons when necessary, otherwise that lesson would push into the next, and then the next etc. Before the school day started, the other Year 3 teacher and I had a chat, and decided to postpone one science lesson anyway, as the children already had plenty to do, which was a good judgement. This meant that I could spend 10 minutes longer on the other planned lessons, and enabled the children to master these, rather than rush through (S4; Imparts knowledge and develops understanding through effective use of lesson time).

This experience made me think more about transitions between each lesson, and made it even more obvious to me, why plenary tasks are important, not only to formatively assess learning, but also to wrap up the lesson and prepare the children to begin a new subject (S4; Imparts knowledge and develops understanding through effective use of lesson time).

I made sure to hand out any books needed, prior to the lesson, and this worked really well with shaving off vital minutes that was spent learning instead, and is something I will definitely remember to do in the future.

Focused next steps:

  • Work on noise level in class when mentor is not present.
  • Focus on getting all resources and books ready, prior to the lesson.