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Not a teacher, but I'll be spending next week in a classroom and I'm so nervous!

(10 Posts)
LOLisNOTaPunctuationMark Sat 02-Nov-13 14:32:41

I'm a nervous wreck about it because i get so intimidated by professionals, especially teachers. blush

Next week, as part of my university course (not a teaching course), I will be spending three days in a primary one and two class. My aim is to observe and write a report on one of the children. I have to write how they are affected by their environment, noises, lights, other people. I have to write how they are doing in regards to the various sections of the curriculum (only the parts i witness).

My lecturer has told my class not to single out/stalk any of the children. Just to observe one we feel we can write the most about. But we mustn't let the child be aware that we have chosen them. We have to give attention/chat to multiple children.

We've also been told not to sit there with a notebook and make notes on the child as this is off putting/will distract the children and teacher. We must make mental notes then write them down at break times.

I would be grateful for any advice please because I am incredibly nervous.

My lecturer has told me to be there for 8.30am. But when I gave the school a courtesy call yesterday, they said be there for 9.15. Which time should i be there for? Would i be considered 'in the way' if i got there at 8.30?

What should I wear? My lecturer said not to wear a suit, black trousers, nothing too smart. But to go with a smart/casual style. WTF is that? I'm going to have to go shopping, aren't i?

What do teachers really think of students coming in and 'observing'? Do they think we're annoying and a distraction? Or do they think we're useful and will give us some tasks to do?

What do you think I should do at breaktimes? Go to the staff room? What the heck do I talk to teachers about? Should i take a packed lunch or go a wonder to a local shop? (I don't know the area).

i do suffer a bit from anxiety, and i know these are all really silly questions. But I'm so worried I'm going to make a fool of myself, or the teacher will report back to my lecturer that i didn't make full use of my visit.

noblegiraffe Sat 02-Nov-13 14:49:58

Be there the time the school said otherwise you'll be in the way of setting up.

Smart/casual = not jeans, not a suit. Trousers and a sensible top would be fine. Wear layers in case the classroom is hot.

Bring your lunch. Go to the staff room, avoid sitting in anyone's seat. Bring a thermos, or a mug, ask about tea money. Bring a book to read, or busy yourself sorting out your notes.

Don't talk to the children when the teacher is talking to the class. Do talk to the teacher before the lesson and ask them where would be best for you to position yourself. Don't get in the way, don't point out any teacher mistakes, don't put your hand up and answer any questions smile

LizzieVereker Sat 02-Nov-13 14:54:51

Please don't be nervous or intimidated! Teachers are used to being observed by all different types of people, students, colleagues, SLT etc, most won't bat an eyelid. Plus the teacher will be very busy and not phased by your presence. I can't speak for everyone, but I don't mind observers at all, especially students - I always think I was given a lot of opportunities to observe when I was training, so am happy to offer the same to others.

As for how the teacher will interact with you, this could vary enormously, some will get you involved, some will pretend you're not there; don't take this as any reflection on you personally. I'm sure you would be welcome to eat in the staffroom though. Good luck, I hope you enjoy it, your research sounds interesting.

smellysock Sat 02-Nov-13 21:56:29

Try not to worry!! You will probably have really varied and interesting days and the time will fly by. Because the children are young there will be lots of activities going on where you can easily observe and/ or interact with them. Without a doubt the children will approach you to join in and it will all be much easier than you think. There will probs be a class focus for 15/20mins at the start of each session then children will move on to a range of tasks.
Don't be offended if you are asked to use another room for lunch eg the library, some schools are a bit precious about the staffroom- it is not in any way personal. I hope that it all goes well and you have a positive experience!

LordPalmerston Sat 02-Nov-13 21:57:09

but they are babies

what do you expect to happen? flick knives?

Loveleopardprint Sat 02-Nov-13 22:02:57

Take your own mug!! It is easier than trying decide which mugs belong to people and which don't! Most schools are used to teaching students, nursery nurses etc so don't worry. I am sure it will be much better than you think. Layers are a good idea. A coat for playtime or outside activities and clothes that you can sit on the floor or low chairs comfortably.
Good luck.

ParkerTheThief Sun 03-Nov-13 13:42:59

The only things that ever annoy me when I have someone in my classroom are talking when I'm addressing the whole class (even if you are mid convesation with a pupil if the tescher stops everyone so she can speak to the whole class that includes you) and people who don't interact with the children.

Our staff room is tiny (7 seats up to 25 staff) so you'd be welcome provided there was room. We tend to hot seat in there so if you there for the whole dinner time that wouldn't be on. However, if there was enough room it wouldn't be a problem.
As for what to talk about... anything. Just follow the conversation cues and you'll be fine.

olivo Sun 03-Nov-13 13:51:35

Please don't worry. I am a secondary teacher but love having people in my classes- sometimes, I ignore them , sometimes I include them. I like getting feedback too!
Everyone is welcome in our staffroom, although it's huge. Just a thought about. Lunch, where do the children eat? In yay DDs' school, they eat in the classroom, so you could eat with them there if so- extra observation?!?

Good luck, I'm sure you'll really enjoy it and see loads.

ParkerTheThief Mon 04-Nov-13 19:21:04

How did it go OP?
Hoping you had a lovely day.

Loveleopardprint Mon 04-Nov-13 23:16:01

Yes how was it?? Hope you had a good day!

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