Let’s create a community.

I think it would be great if we created an community of teachers.
Sure there are already communities already out there, I mean a community where teachers actually communicate with each other and share their love for their profession.

 Teachers who enjoyed helping other teachers out. Teachers who say “wow that is an amazing idea, I am going to try that out at school and tell every other teacher how good it is”.

I don’t know about you but many a time have a felt like I was stepping on toes for simply asking “how on earth do you come up with such great ideas?”. Like it was some closely guarded secret. Yes their are certain tricks that you have created and improved over your career but why not share it?

Think about it from this point of view:
I have just found the holy grail for incorporating two totally opposite subjects into one lesson. The absolute mother of all cross-curricular links. Something that will take the children, members of staff, headteacher and may even the parents by surprise.
You want in? What if I was to say… no. It is my idea and no, you can use it.

Pretty selfish. I can tell you now that I am still in search of this holy grail but I can guarantee that once I find it I shall willingly share it with you.

Wow, I’m not even qualified yet and I am already willing to share all of my future secrets with you?!

If we shared our knowledge, we can not only improve our school, but our neighbouring schools and their neighbouring schools! If we create this community we can hope to improve schools up and down the country. No, it will not happen over night, but over the years I hope to see a difference. By the time I am retired I want to feel like I made a difference so WE could all make a difference and continue to do so far into the future.

So in the interest of sharing, take 15 more minutes out of your busy teaching days to watch and pick up some very useful tips and tricks for teaching chronology. I stumbled across this interesting video when looking for creative ideas to teach chronology in KS2. You can adapt these ideas to use in KS1 to give the children an idea of what they can expect in Ks2. This has given me so many ideas to take into the classroom and has made me feel so much more confident after just 15 minutes of watching it. Can’t recommend it enough so when you get a spare moment do yourself a favour and click this link!

KS2 History – Teaching Chronology

Enjoy, comment, analyse, evaluate, improve and of course, share with the teaching community.

As always, thanks for reading.

Brad/

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Blessing in disguise!

This is how I feel right now.

Happy

If you read my last entry then you would have sensed how annoyed I was at the news of my placement being withdrawn. I am glad to now say the problem has been resolved and I have been placed in another lovely school which is far closer to my home and I don’t know what I am more excited about… getting more of a lie in or actually starting!! Big thanks to my University’s placement team (It’s not true what everyone says about you).

Either way, I just can’t wait to start teaching again and experiencing everything that comes with it. I am lucky enough to be going into school when all of the Christmas plays are starting to be rehearsed by the children, so that will be nice to get involved with. Seeing the stressed out members of staff who are flipping out over poor old Jimmy in the corner because he hasn’t learned his lines however… not so pleasant.

So today has been semi-productive. My history assignment is starting to take shape by chipping away with the odd hundred words or so in between my many coffee breaks. I feel like I have never referenced so much in my life. That said, I am enjoying reading around how we can maximise a child’s progression through chronology and which learning theories support such methods. OH YES, learning theories aren’t just for your first year of training! Be prepared to know Vygotsky inside out… that’s all I am saying…

Hopefully by this time next week I will have posted some of my experiences of my time in school and some of the things I have been up to. I am sorry it hasn’t been full of tips and tricks as of yet but it will come!

However, I shall leave you with a tip which you can apply to life itself! From one of my favourite actors/musicians/all around cool guy as of recently. I mean, who doesn’t like Hugh Laurie… or a good .gif every now and again for that matter??

house happy

Brad/

Bittersweet day(s)!!

This displeases me

So… the last couple of days have been a bit of a roller coaster. I could drag this blog entry out but today, I just don’t feel like it. To cut a short story even shorter, my school placement was withdrawn. Not because of me personally I believe, but due to the amount of students already there and due to the amount of supply teachers unable to cater to the needs of a student while on placement.

This annoyed me as the school I was eagerly ready to attend was a brilliant school with brilliant children and staff, not far off perfect in my eyes!! The only downside was the drive from home to the actual school which did not actually bother me as the pros far outweighed the cons.

I’ve spent the last couple of days frantically worrying about where I am going to be placed, if anywhere! I have made the Uni aware of schools which are willing to take me (even though they already know) so I can start on Monday like everyone else.

To cheer myself up and keep my mind occupied, I went out and purchased the new Assassin’s Creed: Rougue game and poured all of my stress into violently slashing away at the games AI system and complaining about when I fell off a cliff to my certain doom… This has been the ‘sweet’ part of my bittersweet couple of days and am yet to find out where I am placed. Hopefully I will find out soon as I am looking forward to teaching again.

I’m going to get back to writing my 3000 word History Assignment on progression now… Don’t ask me why but I strangely enjoy it haha!

Thanks to everyone who saw this rant through to the end. I am aware it has not been the most helpful of blogs so here is a little present for your interest in my blog up until now 🙂

For lesson ideas/lesson plans and creative resources, make sure you sign up to this site:
http://www.history.org.uk/

My History lecturer preaches and swears by this site for its usefulness in teaching and making History fun!! Found it very useful when discussing progression through chronology in my latest assignment.

Brad/

Reading from today and FREE STUFF!!

So today I thought that I would treat myself to one of those glorious nothing days. “Oh wait”, you say. “Isn’t it everyday for a student?”. My response, no, not for a trainee teacher!! If you would have said that to me this time last year I would have agreed with you fully as the first year of any course is, in my opinion, a waste of money and time.

But hey, life goes on… All I have had time to think about is ensuring my assignments are the best they can be and also worrying about this years block placement. Luckily, I have been placed in yet another brilliant school full of well behaved children and incredibly helpful staff. I wish I could say that was true for everyone else on my course. *Cue the horror stories*

So upon waking up and engaging in my usual routine; coffee, breakfast, shower, etc… I sat down and started to enjoy my lovely nothing day which ended up being not such a glorious nothing day!! Tonight my family are hosting a firework display for my relatives. Ok… not much planning you’d think, just buy a load of fireworks and that’s sorted… WRONG. At least this rings true with most other families but not mine. It seems we have provided our guests with something of a small (well, relatively large) feast equipped with copious amounts of alcohol (waheyyyy!!). Prepping the food took most of the day for my mum, dad spent most of the day making sure the garden was presentable for people to look at it aimlessly in the dark… I know right?!

I of course got dragged into this, so alas my glorious nothing day had come to a halt before it even began.

NOW, in the time I was away from helping with the prepping I managed to sit down and begin flicking through this weeks issues of my various magazine subscriptions. As you can probably guess, a few interesting points caught my eye!

Now we know that teaching isn’t the most forgiving and social profession out there but I have seen the same recurring themed headlines throughout various articles: Excessive workload and working hours are taking their toll (Teaching Today 2014). Some of the points conveyed are truly worrying as this issue is now causing teachers to consider quitting their jobs due to an increased workload. Approximately six out of ten teachers express this view.

THAT’S NOT ALL:

  1. Eight out of ten teachers say their job has negatively affected their HEALTH and WELLBEING.
  2. Over HALF have reported job satisfaction has declined over the last 12 months.
  3. Resignations from teaching are UP and applications for teacher training are DOWN.

It seems that all enthusiasm for this profession has taken a turn for the worse due to the increase in workload. For me, the expectations for teachers are, the majority of the time, too high. Certain teachers have certain strategies for dealing with aspects of their workload such as marking. I remember on my last block practice, the amount of marking I had to do for just ONE lesson was substantial. It took me a good hour to mark about thirty books. To put it into perspective, most schools that I have been in timetable about 5-6 lessons on average each day. Five lessons equals up to five hours of marking (depending on lesson content). This is on top of 5-6 hours of teaching time so we already have up to 10 hours of work in one day. This is without taking time to plan lessons and fulfill wider responsibilities. Most teachers plan at weekends and use the last weeks assessment to inform next weeks planning. I could carry on talking about this issue FOREVER but I won’t, maybe in future posts I shall revisit the subject.

And you wonder why teachers have long holidays? To make up for all of the weekends they have lost due to their massive workload! So please… next time you hear someone moan about all of the time teachers get off each year, please give them a message from me: “Please, don’t”.

ANYWAY… now to the better, less dreary, subject.

FREE STUFF!!

If you are like me and also subscribe to various teaching magazines, you are very smart. Not only do these magazines provide you with fantastic ideas for your lessons as well as up to date news in the world of education, they also give you FREE STUFF!!

As a student, I am able to become a member of all three teaching unions for free: NUT, ATL and NASUWT. Sometimes they team up with businesses to bring you certain offers at a discounted price or on the rare occasion, for FREE.

In November’s issue of NASUWT’s ‘Teaching Today’ you receive a free ‘Gourmet Society’ membership card which has a normal value of £69.95!! This membership card (once activated) allows you to get up to 50% off at your favourite restaurants!! Mine being Bella Italia.

So no, I am not providing anything directly for free and I do apologize but I hope that I have now made you aware of these services by the teaching unions. I highly recommend becoming a member of at least one union, not just for the free stuff, but if anything ever went wrong on placement or at school once you have qualified, they have you back. You can sign up to unions via their website. I also recommend subscribing to TES, it allows you access to FREE resources, lesson plans, lesson ideas, behaviour management strategies, you name it! Well worth a look into. http://www.tes.co.uk

Now people are starting to arrive for the firework display and I should probably go and join them out in the cold. Thanks again to anyone who is reading my blog, I know it is only a very select few in these early days but stay tuned, I have a lot more to blog about in my journey to becoming a teacher!!

Brad/

A quick(ish) introduction…

cropped-to-be-a-teacher-is-my-greatest-work-of-art-joseph-beuys-quote.png

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My name is Brad Edginton (or Mr. Edg to my pupils!). As you have probably guessed, I am a trainee teacher specializing in primary education. I have decided to create this blog in order to share my experiences through my teacher training years at University and while on my Block Practices. I am currently in my second year of training and am loving every second of it, especially when at school and doing what I love, which is of course… TEACHING!

I have decided to start writing a blog on this subject for two main reasons:

1. To share my experience of my life as a trainee teacher, focusing on my time in and out of Uni, school and my social life (yes I do have one!!).
2. To inspire others to take up this wonderful profession and convince others who are currently sitting on the fence, wondering whether to take the plunge!

I hope to update my blog on a daily basis, or every other day if I am busy at school or with assignments, with tips and tricks which may come in useful to my fellow trainees when on school experience. I will also blog about resources which I have found useful in my lessons as well as links to other interesting items such as websites, books and educational videos!

All in all, I hope this blog is interesting and useful to you in becoming the best teacher that you can be. I don’t claim to be an expert in my field, I am just a trainee, but I love teaching and am always looking to improve myself as an educator.

We all have reasons for wanting to become great teachers, nothing is stopping us from becoming just that. For me, nothing is more fulfilling than that sudden ‘light bulb’ moment and the look in the child’s eyes when they realise that they can truly do anything that they set their minds to.

Thank you to all my future readers, I hope that we can all help each other become the best that we possibly can and make a difference to thousands of children’s lives.

Brad/