Trainee - lesson resources and planning time(15 Posts)
Bit of an AIBU, and a help!!!! combined really!
Am schools direct science trainee on second placement. All is generally well and I have every intention of hanging on in there for the next few decades.
I am spending far, far too long planning lessons and I would really appreciate any advice on how to cut it down.
My first placement school had a good set of resources - full scheme of work for KS3 and KS4; suggested lesson objectives; some worksheets and ideas for practicals.
Placement school two has... the AQA spec for KS3, and slightly more for KS4. No textbooks for KS3. No worksheets, standard pracs - anything like that. I am using anything I can nick from other schools or download from TES, but it's taking me AGES and I always have to rewrite what I do find - or start from scratch. Chalk and talk is Not Allowed and everything has to be 3 way differentiated. I am struggling to find ways to get the information over to the pupils which don't involve me standing at the front.
So, really - is this normal? And until I have a vast bank of resources built up, is there any way to reduce the ridiculous amount of time I am currently spending faffing about?
Thanks in advance!
Bad news - yes, in many schools this is normal. Be thankful that you discovered it on placement and not come September! I'm not a scientist but in the range of schools I've worked in I've seen everything from stronger the first school (every lesson planned, resourced and followed by every teacher in the department) to far, far worse than the second school (like... no SoW at all!) accross the whole range of subjects.
Good news - as you've already discovered TES is your friend. Yes, it can be a slow, frustrating (not to mention now, expensive) process. You could buy yourself single copies of the AQA KS3 text book and base your planning around the topics/content in that to help you focus on specific lessons. It probably contains suggested practicals too? Not sure really... as I said, not a scientist.
It takes time to build a bank of resources, you're right, but stick with it. You'll always have them for future use.
First thing they should teach you on the course is download every resource you can from every school you are in ( and upload those you create too, of course.)
You can tell everything about a school from how the dept shares resources. you are stuck there for now, but when you look for jobs, check that out!
A really useful tip that I was given when training is that teachers are 'helpers' (as in, we like to help others - that's why we do this job)
If it's a reasonable sized school there must be several staff there who've been teaching this stuff for years. They have the resources; you just need to get them onside and get your hands on their planning!
Could you mention a lesson you've planned in a dept meeting, offer to sfareit, then ask for help with another lesson? Slowly this could move you towards a staff shared area.
Create a folder for resources and templates that can be used for more than one topic or year group, I have a folder filled with templates that can be used for Year 7 or Year 13. Venn diagrams, tables, storyboard sheets, diamond 9s, flow charts, essay planning sheets, exit cards and entrance tickets etc. When planning a lesson I use those generic sheets for activities wherever appropriate. I'd highly recommend buying yourself a copy of the textbook that you can scan or copy bits of for factual information. Teachers spending hours typing out information that people have put into textbooks is a spectacular waste of a very expensive resource (teacher time).
Thanks very much for the advice. I will definitely have this high on the list of things to check before I apply for jobs!
What a huge and spectacular duplication of effort!!
Always ask around. Even if theres nothing on the system most teachers are happy to sling some stuff to others.
Not all schools have the same expectations as your ttaining school. Once qualified if you get into a good school you are left and trusted to get on with it.
If you're on twitter, tonight's #asechat (the twitter chat for UK science teachers) is on sharing practice.
Do you know any other student teachers (ideally one at your old school) who could get stuff for you?
I know it's not quite the same but during my PGCE my tutor group (20 of us) uploaded every resource we could find to a shared dropbox account.
My experience was similar to yours': amazingly generous first school (I was ordered to bring in an external hard drive and to allow a whole morning for everything to copy over) and nothing (no individual log in, no shared resources, all the STs (about 10 in total) had to share 6 computers in the 'work room') in the second. It was awful.
What do you do in your weekly mentor meetings? Your mentor should offer to share resources with you. If they don't, ask! You're right, not sharing properly is such a monumental waste of time.
At least you'll know what to look out for in interviews now.
Chalk and talk is Not Allowed and everything has to be 3 way differentiated. I am struggling to find ways to get the information over to the pupils which don't involve me standing at the front.
Ah, your problem is that your school is shit. You are struggling to find ways to get the information over that don't involve telling the kids, because telling the kids what they need to know is the most effective way at getting the information over.
When you apply for jobs, make sure to check that the schools you apply for aren't so backward.
I had the same problem whilst training, and in my first year as a NQT ( was handed a core science text book and told i was teaching x, y and z from it)
Couldn't beleive the duplication of effort, but no one was prepared to share resources.
Happily then moved to a decent school where i have stayed, we all share planning of the sow, make a really good job of a run of a dozen lessons or so and put all the resources on the shared area.
Can you get AQA resources online? Your school exam officer should be able to give you a login where you can access schemes of work for the new courses.
AQA provided excellent resources for legacy qualifications - student worksheets and lesson plans. You might be able to hunt for them on their website.
If you are willing to spend some money (around £50), I recommend "educationusingpowerp
I like TES but it's very hit and miss. There are too many resources that need substantial editing for spelling and grammar mistakes. I like to have a uniform set of resources and tend to use Collins KS3 and the old Exploring Science.
As a trainee, you should be producing many of your own resources. It's pretty easy to do nowadays. You can spend more time hunting through TES than the time it takes you to produce your own bespoke worksheet.
When I did my PGCE TES didn't have the resource pages so had to prepare everything from scratch and was completely overplanning. OMG the days and nights! Experienced teachers should be sharing their tried and tested with you. Also, you will soon work out how much you can get through with individual classes and what works well with one might not work with another. Was also lucky that at my NQT school we had cabinets full of resources for sharing and teachers would add anything they produced and worked well. I will always support NQTs with resources because I REMEMBER . Hang in there it will get easier. XX
The 3 way differentiation doesn't mean you have to plan 3 tasks every time. I'm not a science teacher, so can't give you any practical tips but read up on differentiation. My personal favourite is differentiation by outcome
Do you have foundation and higher books / resources in science?
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