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Year 1 Placement advice

(14 Posts)
Needmorewine Wed 07-Sep-16 22:41:06

I'm starting my first PGCE placement next week in a lovely school and have been told I will be in Year 1. I'm doing it 4 days a week and would love to make a success of this placement as have an eye on this school as a potential place to work ! Any KS1 teachers out there who can tell me anything I should / shouldn't be doing?! I want to be as helpful as possible but not get in the way. Thank you !!

OP’s posts: |
BackforGood Wed 07-Sep-16 23:35:05

Any moment when you don't have something specific to do, get on with doing something that will save the teacher a couple of minutes when they get back - sharpening pencils, washing out paint pots, etc.

Arrive in plenty of time and don't leave until they do.
If your teacher works through her lunchbreak, don't insist on having a half hour break

Offer to pay into the tea fund

Tell your teacher that you would really appreciate it if they tell you when you do something that's not great or could be better or if you make some faux pas - then be ready to take it on the chin.

Needmorewine Thu 08-Sep-16 07:02:26

That's great backforgood thank you

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Ditsy4 Thu 08-Sep-16 07:25:17

Take your own mug.
Listen to instructions carefully. Ask about helping get ready before PE. Some teachers like you to help the children dress some don't. I usually make sure things are turn the right way so easy to put on but I explain what I am doing to the child so it teaches them to do it. Re turning sweatshirts , dresses etc . Encourage independence.
Encourage phonic skills and strategies when listening to readers don't tell them the word straight away.make friends with the TA as they know where everything is kept! Good luck.

DullUserName Thu 08-Sep-16 17:22:01

Do everything that your uni requires.
Keep up with the paperwork.
Take your mentor's feedback and be seen to act on it.
Remember to thank everyone who helps you.
Be nice to the office staff.
Buy chocolate for colleagues.
Get enough sleep.
Eat properly.

Needmorewine Thu 08-Sep-16 19:23:10

Thanks so much for this !

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toomuchicecream Thu 08-Sep-16 20:41:03

If you haven't had much/anything to do with phonics before, watch & listen to the videos here: or similar, which will show you what sounds the letters make. Practice! Some are harder to say than others without adding an extra bit onto the end - the videos explain it.

Needmorewine Thu 08-Sep-16 20:53:17

Just had a quick look at that website - thanks so much ! The uni recommended mr Thorne but I don't find those videos particularly helpful. These are much better.

I feel like I'm fairly well
Organised for placement & have actually made a list from this thread blush

Next question : KS1 teachers do you enjoy your jobs ?! I've loved being in schools so far but appreciate the reality is hugely different. I'm hoping to do a three day week for my NQT year (seen heaps of job shares advertised on local council website this past year). I have one 3 yo who is in full time pre school & starting school in 2017. Is three days a week manageable if I can find it?

Also does anyone have any practical home tips to help me on placement (will be four day week). I've ordered a big online shop, DD has lunch at nursery, slow cooker is out, have meal planned. DH emotionally v supportive but not around due to work a huge amount. Six practical / professional outfits hanging up in wardrobe to be rotated ! No money for cleaner but hoping as we won't be in the house much it may stay cleaner....

OP’s posts: |
Ditsy4 Thu 08-Sep-16 22:54:00

Well some of the staff have three or four kids so in theory yes. You seem very organised already. We've had students before that are mums and they managed well. One had a 8 mth old and she was great and passed easily. She had no family support and DH was a policeman so not much time for helping.
Our school has lots of mums job sharing but none with the previous Head so it depends on SMT.
I work in KS2 I love it but it is hard work and some classes are harder than others.some students get a shock at how full on it is and all the planning.
I would also recommend taking a vitamin supplement and eat plenty of fruit and veg as there are lots of germs in school especially in the winter.
At home : The wok is also your friend. Make double and freeze. Make a Sunday roast and it will do for Monday and Tuesday's lunch at least. A batch of muffins mean a quick breakfast, or a smoothie. Try to eat breakfast or take some fruit for break time. I try and keep jobs for certain days it means you keep on top of some of it. Ironing on Sunday night means everything is ready for the week and I clean the bathroom Saturday and Wednesday with a wipe around in between. I do small jobs as I go but it is hard to keep juggling all the balls. Let us know how you get on smile

Needmorewine Thu 08-Sep-16 23:39:35

Yes it's definitely full on - I have a few folders full of "stuff" already! But im quite enjoying getting everything together and doing the prep tasks already and am very excited to getting bank into the workplace after 3.5 years as a SAHM. It's good to hear you've had students who've been parents & made a success of it and that you enjoy your role, I get depressed / anxious reading a lot of the teaching threads but my first placement school do seem rather lovely so far.

The tip about the vitamin supplement is a good one thank you, will add to shopping order ! I like your idea of the schedule for household jobs.
Thank you very much ditsy for all the tips - and also for the PE one I would never have thought of that!

OP’s posts: |
MissClarke86 Mon 19-Sep-16 18:56:56

What BackForGood said.

The most infuriating thing is to have a student who just sits around doing nothing and then gets their coat on at 3.30pm. Be prepared to muck in and "shadow" as much as possible - it will prepare you for the reality.

Listen to everything. Ask questions if you don't understand - don't just pretend you get it.

The reality will be EXHAUSTING for a few years but if you can make it through those it begins to ease off (especially if you stay in the same school or year group). Your NQT year will nearly break you, be prepared for it. (I'm not trying to put you off, just be prepared for an immense workload while you are still finding your feet.)

In the long run, my advice would be to squeeze every spare second out of the day. Mark a set of books in playtime/lunchtime. Don't spend time standing around chatting, it will just be more time you have to spend working at home that evening.

DandelionAndBedrock Tue 20-Sep-16 21:06:22

Have you started? How are you finding it?

I second almost all of the advice above, with the exception of using breaks and lunches religiously. Now I am a teacher I do, but when I was on placement the TA and class teacher physically removed me from the classroom at breaks (turned out the light, shut the door behind me) and made me go and talk to people in the staff room. It meant I got a much wider view of how the school worked - placement can be very isolating. Yes, help out in class if the teacher is working through lunch, but even a little thing like offering to get them a cup of tea or fill up a water bottle will give you a few minutes to meet people.

Ask to go to staff meetings and sit in on any parent meetings that happen, but be aware that you might be told they are too confidential. Use hand gel frequently if you have a fairly snotty class <glares at NQT class from a few years ago>.

Needmorewine Tue 20-Sep-16 22:40:11

Well so far so good (I think!) only on day two but am enjoying it and the advice on here has been great so chocolate to everyone.

I've been trying to be as helpful as possible towsrds the teacher who is great but very busy so I don't like to be too much of a pain. I've been trying to get stuck in with helping with organising books (stuck all the WALTs in this morning) and generally listening to and observing individuals and groups as requested. Then in spare time I try to get through some of the uni tasks we have been set.

Can't believe how quickly the days go, I'm conscious of the fact that due to childcare I need to leave at 4pm so I've been getting in for 740ish and working through break & lunch. Then when I get more responsibility hoping to be able to take work home and do after DD in bed. Teacher seemed ok with it and how I manage my workload is up to me as long as it gets done. Housework wise we blitzed the house Sunday and where we've been out most of the day it's been relatively easy to keep it fairly clean and I try really hard to focus on DD from when I pick her up until 7pm which is when I've been starting up again. Mostly reading to do at the moment though so doesn't feel too bad but I can imagine that's going to get tougher..

I'd prefer to get everything done in school but at the moment I have to collect DD so we will see how that goes I guess. I may try and spend some time in staff room tomorrow though thank you for the tip as I should really get to know people but don't want teacher to think am slacking though if am in staff room talking through lunch then leaving at 4? He seems to work through lunch / break so I've just been leaving him to do his stuff but quietly getting on with mine on a table in the corner grin

It's exhausting and full on but ten times better than my previous job. And the kids are brilliant ! And DD is already saying she will be a teacher when she grows up like
Mummy which makes me feel bloody brilliant.

OP’s posts: |
DandelionAndBedrock Wed 21-Sep-16 06:46:59

It's tricky if you have to leave early. Sounds like you are doing your best to balance everything at the moment.

Just remember that this is one placement, and before you know it you will be in a different class with different children, and this time next year you could have your own class. Steal as many ideas from as many different people as you can!

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