I finished my first placement just before Christmas, things went really well, all my PGCE works have been handed in on time and I have passed all my observations and QA checks. Subject wise there has been a lot covered with years 7 through 10. All bases have been covered from basic MS Office software and DTP through to some python coding with the GCSE computer scientists.
Several of the students have phenomenal progress compared to the others, as a teacher I can spot the potential computer scientists now. This takes nothing away from teaching the lesser ability students; it just allows me to make sure the high achievers are kept busy.
I have used several techniques to keep them busy, with the lower years they love to help ad a “class expert” for the lesson. I can see that some of them have gained the ability to help their peers whom have different levels of ability. It does make you feel a sense of pride when you know you have taught a student something well enough for them to be able to teach it to their peers and differentiate it to tle learners ability.
The older students prefer to be pushed with extension work and in particular “real life” scenarios. I always find it helps to remind them that they are learning valuable real life skills and are not just sat in a classroom for the sake of it. As they are a little older and have chosen IT as an option they lap up the idea that what they are doing will help them in life.
I go to my second placement now to get a fuller timetable, different students, different topics and a second subject. I’m sure the increase in workload will continue and thanks to a teacher training scholarship the BCS I can count myself lucky that I can put all my mental energies into being the best teacher possible.