Diary Entry: my first week on placement

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Liam Coupland

PGCE Primary student teacher, Liam Coupland, outlines his first week of school experience.

26/9/2016

Well I’m sat in my car and I’m starting to feel nervous now – not unexpected as I’m going into the unknown. But I’ve done this before and I just need to get on with it.  Once I’m in I’ll be fine. I think it’s just the fact I’m going in as a ‘teacher’ not a teaching assistant. It’s more responsibility and it’s that next step up.

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Had a really nice introduction to the school. A thorough walk around with 2 mentors and 2 fellow trainees to see the whole school and meet the teachers in every class from nursery to year 6. Everyone seems welcoming, friendly and supportive. My mentor established my authority straight away by reiterating to the class that I’m a ‘teacher’.

I have already noticed the low-level disruption of a couple of students. I have already mentally marked them in for social/behavioural interventions towards my studies.

I was given a lovely pack by my mentor which included everything I needed for my school information, IEPs and, importantly, I was given a full run down of the framework for the Autumn term including week by week plans for literacy, maths and topic. All of this means my planning will be so much more robust.

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End of day one and I’m feeling positive, if a bit tired. Lots of Information and an INSET after school. I’ve got some great ideas going forth. I think I have all of my children chosen for all my tasks, and my mentor seemed to agree with my choices. It was all very productive and I’m looking forward to getting back into it tomorrow, starting with PE first thing.

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Everything you wanted to know about the i-Zone but didn’t like to ask. 

Do you recognise this scenario? You’ve started that important journey to being a teacher. You’ve enrolled; you have the files, your email account, your modules on Moodle, your timetable and a shiny new pencil case; you’ve listened well during induction and you should feel informed and prepared … but you don’t.

It can be overwhelming when you start a new course, particularly in initial teacher education, even if you are a graduate and have been through the ‘new student’ experience before. It may be you have lots of questions and if they relate to your assignments, course content or school placements then your personal tutor is there to help you. For everything else, there’s the i-Zone.

The i-Zone is a “One-Stop-Shop” that is based on both the Cyncoed and Llandaff campuses. Their motto is “Just Ask” and they will answer whatever question you have about accommodation, enrolment, fees or other non-academic matters.  If they can’t help you, they will direct you to someone who will. Take a look at some of the main types of enquiries they deal with at the Cyncoed i-Zone.

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