Thursday was interesting. You see, so far, my mornings tend to run without TOO many bumps (year 5 maths and literacy) bar a handful of characters that seem to take up a lot of my time. However, I'm finding my afternoons a lot more testing. This is when my Year 6s return for foundation subjects. As another teacher agreed, they seem to "kick back" in the afternoon - especially the brighter ones.
Anyway, the main lesson I have learnt from these last two days is:
CHECK EVERYONE'S WORK DURING THE LESSON
This is something I didn't think necessary with 10 and 11 year olds. However...
During a maths lesson on day 1, I circulated the class during the activity and *genuinely* thought I had seen everyone. However, this one child (we'll call him Jack) has a tendency to disappear from the classroom to "get a drink" or "go to the loo" (I found him loitering by the sinks after 5 minutes of not returning to the classroom). So you see, I must have inadvertently missed him. The next day, I was looking through their maths work and couldn't find anything in Jack's book - not even a date or title (I'd even walked around the room making sure every child had underlined this before we moved on - how had I missed Jack?!). I thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt, and when he came in in the morning, I asked him to find the work for me. This is how the conversation went.
Me: Jack, could I borrow you for a sec?
Jack: *reluctantly drags his body over to my desk*
Me: Could you show me your maths work from yesterday? I was marking the books but couldn't find yours.
Jack: *flicks through book and stares and the empty page. Flicks forwards and backwards* oh. I can't find it.
Me: No, you can't find it Jack, because it's not there. How do you think we should solve this?
Jack: I don't know.
Me: Oh, you don't? I do. I think you should spend your break time completely be work you so rudely decided not to complete, or even start, yesterday.
I'm beating myself up though. Because I should have checked in the lesson! He did nothing! For a whole bloody hour!
The class were doing some research in an for some work they were to complete the following day. (I won't go into details because this situation could probably be quite easily identified!) As a class, we brainstormed (can we use that term anymore? Thought showered? Spider diagrammed?) the different topics we could research. Once again, I circulated the class, fairly confident I had checked up on everyone. It wasn't until I sent the class home that I read through their notes (thank god I had decided to do his because their other teacher was in the next day to finish the work with them) and found that two Year 6 children had researched something rather inappropriate - in a way, it was actually relevant to what they should have been researching, but obvious that they wouldn't have been allowed to. I went to speak to a colleague about what I should do, when my team leader walked in. As I repeated the story to her, the head teacher walked in! Nightmare! I had to tell him what happened too, but they all were very supportive and recommended I ring the parents. One of the teachers wrote me a whole script of what to say and sat with me as I did it - I was shaking! One thing I can say about my experience so far is that I have been tremendously supported by my team. (Still no contact with my mentor - is that odd?)
Half-term off! I'm waking up naturally at about 8am now, though. Why, body clock, why?!
Find me on Twitter at @Miss_RQT (previously @MissNQT)