Friday, 30 January 2009

4 weeks in.....

Well, credit where its due, Uni on Monday was actually helpful. The ICT specific session looked at our first assignment on inclusion and gave us some scaffolding about things to consider. One question did make me smile, the lecturer asked "Why do children go to school?", and all the usual answers trotted out blah blah so, perhaps it was a combination of Monday and working all night, I actually found myself with a hand in the air, "Its where they feel safe, or perhaps to get a hot meal" I offered. Just for a split second the tumbleweed rolled on through the room, as if one it seemed to be making up its mind whether to laugh or shake its head. "Er, yes possibly" replied the lecturer and then he was gone, looking for a more middle class answer amongst the safe student tables.....funny thing inclusion.
The generic theme for the day was indeed that of inclusion...(can you see a master plan forming!), two lectures one from Mr Inclusion and the other, with the aid of some of her students, from a head at a special school. I did want to ask that by terming a school 'special' would that not by inference make the rest un special but time and place, you know. Well she told her story and the children did there bit and they all got a clap and people went aaaahhhh so hats off all round, inclusion sorted!

School was again the place to be this week, observations have been stepped up this week to eight from a possible ten. Generic day was all about...go on have a guess...yeah inclusion and SEN....I must admit the figures of kids arriving in year 7 with a reading age of below nine really shocked me, 6 years in primary education and they can't read to an acceptable level en masse. I know its not that simple and yes, thanks for asking, I too was from an area of significant social deprivation so do understand that strong lager is higher up the shopping list than a bloody book. Anyway I found out one of the classes I'm going to be teaching, a group of Year 7's for music cool is that, I get to play with sequencers and make dance music.

Last year the DCSF spent £70 million on advice....that's an obscene figure by anybody's standards. Imagine investing that much in new'd create over 3000 that would make a real difference.

Friday, 23 January 2009


I passed one of those TDA adverts on a billboard today.....the science one with all the kids gasping in amazement at some experiment. Trouble is its been staged, its not real.....why? The teacher would have already put the learning objectives on the board at the start of the any chance of a surprise has gone and so has the chance for real jaw dropping learning for the children. As they say, progress!

TFI Friday

Well the second week is over, today is Uni day and what a treat it was. Today we were put into groups to create resources for a topic of our choice which will be put on a shared drive so we can all use each others resources. Great idea, except that some lazy gits will do nowt so the resources should be stipulated as put in before you get out. Anyway as most people will have spent most of last practice making resources don't we already have loads we can share.....should we not be looking at more pressing matters, actually being taught something by people we pay to teach us....I know...radical or what, dont tell the DFES 'cause it may catch on. Still I my group managed to do a runner at coffee time so not all the morning was wasted.
Now you might imagine that learners in training need to absorb lots of information on an intense and creative professional year at University. Not a bit of it, Monday afternoon approximately forty of us from ages 21 to about 50 were asked to stand up in front of the class and read a couple of paragraphs from a photocopied sheet so the tutor could hear us read. What the f@&k! This is from an A rated Ofsted University (go on ask me A rated for what 'cause it ain't the quality of the bloody teaching). I have a sneaking suspicion I know where incompetent teachers end up, the ones that jump before the GTC gets them.

Update on my missing post 16 teaching now appears that I don't actually have to teach to gain the required knowledge, as long as I'm in the room to observe that will be OK, I'm advised. That's all right then and I'm actually paying for this??
Figures out this week showed that 47.6% of pupils achieved the golden egg of 5 a*-c gcse's including maths & english, whilst 65.3% achieved 5 a* - c gcse's without maths and english. So overall 112.9% of pupils achieve 5 a*-c gcse'

I've decided to treat you, the lucky reader, to a tip now and again, to impart my ICT knowledge gained here at the University of Contempt, to make your day just a little worthwhile. So, for today it goes like start typing madly only too look up three paragraphs later and find you accidentally hit the caps lock key....never fear, simply highlight the text in the wrong case, press shift & f3 together and hey presto.....weep no more!

Take time out to visit Frank Chalk he posts this week that:
Chalk's Second Law: "The frequency of 'buzzwords' and jargon in a person's speech is inversely proportional to their general competence" He must have met the guy that lectures us!

Keep Aa'had

Double Take

Whilst wandering through the Education Guardion on 21 jan the headline read...."Twinned With Bagdad", was it just me that looked twice expecting to find their school?

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Placement begins

Well Uni kicked off the second week, the generic lesson being on progression and continuity the afternoon devoted to subject knowledge. The afternoons are so frustrating, so much to do but the Lecturer seems to do so little. What do I know?
Tuesday brought the first day at my second placement, according to the league tables its bottom within the Local Authority for its A*-C ratings and yeah has well above average for free school meals but I actually found it to be great. Both mentors seem like cracking people, the training seems well planned and structured, the discipline I saw in lesson seemed fine.
Early days I realise but I have a real sense of optimism about this placement, just like something feels right.....we'll review that statement in the weeks to come!
Friday was one of those, should I stay in bed or go to Uni type of days. Well 6.30 saw me leaving night shift and 7.30 had me at McD's for breakfast and the day didn't get much better after that. Of the tasks set in Monday's lecture three groups managed to complete them, 50% of people elected to stay in bed and whilst it is good to catch up with Uni mates it isn't half boring to have to sit through the lecture to do that. Idle, or maybe not, threats by the Lecturer about letters of non attendance going in to files...blah blah blah same old crap. Now I'm sure we've been here before but to me the way to get good attendance is to make your lesson enjoyable to be in, to make people leave thinking, yeah I learnt something there, really enjoyed that etc. Or you could stick a note in their file or not give them such a good reference as an attendee, makes you think. Three years on, you've shelled out nearly £10k on course fees and the lecturer gives you a bland reference cause you didn't attend his crap lectures.....who wins in that scenario. Still at least they had the last laugh, made the difference between you getting that job you really needed...never know might even get your house repossessed, or take a leap of a big bridge, yeah you really showed tham who's the makes me proud to know you.
Talking about employment, the job hunting season will soon be upon me....admit to being slightly apprehensive because way more people than jobs will qualify. Funnily my mentor at School raised this point with the University, why they insist on producing more graduates than jobs will exist in the area. Apparently the University take their lead from the Government on numbers, which is crap speak for we are gonna cram as many people in as possible cause its money for us. So what if they don't get a job, not our problem, we've had our dosh....two fingers pal.
As I'm building up to a rant I may as well mention that the I paid a visit to the Placement Office about my lack of post 16 training, their advice...sort it out yourself with the School its easier than them actually getting off their arse, not like its their job or anything. I actually have to remind myself that I actually pay for this shambles, customer service, value for money....not in a University...heads down arse up seems to be the way they do things here. So I need to find 3 full days of post 16 teaching, I have no contacts in this field, the School I'm at can't really assist and the bloke at the Uni paid to arrange my placement thinks it would be better for me than him to ring colleges. Is it me??? Maybe I should put an ad in the TES.......

Student Seeks Post 16 Teaching Experience

6 half days needed

Must fit in with current teaching timetable

If you can accomodate more than 1 Student

Ring the Bloke with the fat arse at the University of Contempt

Oh roll on Monday........sausage & egg with a cup of tea......2 sugars please! Keep Aa'had

Monday, 5 January 2009

happy new year!

Well as most of the world through a sickie last Friday, I kept mine till today...yeah! Still no word from anybody at the University about my missing post 16 placement requirement, but am not completely surprised.
Submitted the Masters assignment, its good enough to get a 2:1 I reckon, which in the great drive for mediocrity will more than suffice.
I joined the electronic reveloution this week by creating a Facebook week...Outer Space!
Still suffering effects of alcohol so am off till something better comes along. x