As I approach the end of advanced teaching practice,I find myself questioning what I would have done differently. I thought it might be a good idea to blog my musings in case they might help those of you facing into advanced teaching practice, or indeed any teaching practice. This is a short post containing some advice and tips.
Most of it you know already, be prepared ahead of time. I thought I was great having 2 weeks worth of lesson plans and resources done and ready to go before starting, and yes it gave me some breathing space but honestly, I could easily have had the first three weeks planned if I had been more organised. Hindsight, however, is a great thing. Being practical, if you are a Hibernia student you have very little time for all this planning ahead! Even small things, like researching themes, power-points, worksheets etc will make a huge difference when the time comes.
The resource making is the hardest part. It is just so annoying! I was so excited when I bought my first laminator, now I just want to burn it next Friday when TP ends! If you have family around willing to help then set them on laminating duty! Lesson plans don't take long to write up once you have an idea of what you are planning, but resources! I find the SESE books brilliant for most themes. I find searching on-line very time consuming. If it is okay with the teacher, bring home the SESE books instead. Most schools have loads of sample or evaluation copies. It's so easy just to photocopy what you need out of them then.
Try start saving all the recyclables, I am almost cleared out of mine and I had loads gathered. You will always find some use for them. For example, tomorrow, I plan to make bird feeders from toilet rolls and straws.
Use the Class Dojo as a behaviour management strategy. It is brilliant and works for all age groups.
Don't try fit too much into your lessons. I always do this and I never get half of the work done.
If you have infants, start following the hundreds of American kindergarten blogs. They have themes and units for every topic imaginable. I get so many ideas from those blogs.
Teachers Pay Teachers is an amazing website- it has so many free resources, it is always my first port of call.
Be strategic with your timetable ; )
Use transitions. I always forget to use them myself but they are big into them.
A few nuggets of advice from my supervisor:
- Include as many methodologies as possible in all lessons. I relied heavily on use of the local environment and he was happy with that.
- Always leave more time than you think you need for both a social and cognitive conclusion in lessons.
- Use a balance of assessment methods.
Try enjoy it! It is hard to enjoy it with all the paperwork, but I plan to make the most of my last week in the classroom, whose to know when I will see the inside of one again!