My Last Post for EDC3100

Finally! This is it! Over the past 6 months, this blog posting thing has kinda been pretty fun. I feel that I’ve been able to bring my own interests and likes out in some uni work that gets marked on. I found this article about the importance of learning by using blogs, which I feel I can now relate too, because of this experience.

While it’s been pretty enjoyable, there’s been some aspects of these blogs that made me question the necessity of them. I’ll admit, that even right now, instead of writing this blog, I could be doing so many other things (like for instance, studying for my oncoming history exam, sleeping, or watching the season five Game of Thrones finale).

In saying that, I’ve enjoyed “reading” many other people’s blogs, and taking on board their ideas to help form my own decisions about what to write. Most of my blogs, as you can see, have either been rants, such as this blog, and this blog, and this blog (wow that’s a lot of rants), educative practices, like this blog and this blog, or included references to my favourite tv shows, which is basically all of them (I didn’t link those ones because let’s face it, you won’t click on it anyway.) I also feel that these blogs have allowed me to put many of my own opinions into them – whether that be explicitly, implicitly, or sarcastically, hopefully you got the message.

Will I incorporate blogs into my own classrooms? Maybe, we’ll see….

Anyway, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading/viewing/being part of my ICT learning journey.

You’re Welcome,

Daniel

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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

So, as most of you will have probably seen, this week (and maybe last week?) on the EDC3100 course home page, there has been a picture of a tunnel, which light is visible at the end of. This couldn’t be any truer at the moment!

I’ve tonight just submitted my last assessment piece for this semester, and have one exam this coming Wednesday and then I’m done. The light at the end of the tunnel, for me, is going to last 32 days. That’s right, 32 days of holiday bliss without having to worry about uni work (other than getting results back, which, let’s be honest, stresses everyone out).

Just two more days, and then it’s all done. Just two more days. That’s what I keep telling myself. No matter how stressed or worried I get, I, and we, always seem to get there in the end. Like, how crazy is it that it is already the middle of June, of 2015?

Anyway, best of luck to everyone completing assignments and studying for exams over the next few days.

Finally, something relevant (kind of)

For TV junkies like me, I finally found something that I find actually relevant to the use of ICT’s in the classroom, and boy, is it a ripper! (sarcasm intended).

Take a look at this picture, from possibly one of the greatest tv shows ever made, The Simpsons! If you don’t know what The Simpsons is, then I feel that you might as well scroll up to the next blog post, this won’t interest you.

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 11.19.53 pmEveryone whose seen the opening of The Simpsons knows the classic scenes where Bart (pictured) is daily writing out lines for his behaviour on an old chalk board. By suggesting that “he will not fight the future” he could perhaps be acknowledging how easy the incorporation of ICTs into the classroom, in the form of a Interactive White Board (IWB), has made his line writing easier. There’s a clear message here, don’t fight ICTs, make use of them for our own ease!

Check out Emma’s blog, which talks about “if you’ve got ICTs, use them”.

“Add me on Facebook, Sir”

So, on the last day of prac, and in the last lesson I was in, I was confronted by about 13 year eleven females asking me to accept their friend requests on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Obviously I didn’t, and then explained to the students why a) it would be inappropriate, b) how it’s kind of against the law, and c) I just plainly didn’t want to.

First of all, to explain why it wasn’t appropriate, I said that maybe one day I’ll be back as a pre-service/qualified teacher, and therefore I am forbidden to be on any social networks with students who attend the school.

Secondly, to explain why its against the law, I found this article, which along with some of the content learnt throughout this course, says that students should not be friends/followers of teachers on social media for several reasons. This is basically to protect ourselves, and our digital reputation. I’m not saying that I didn’t want to add them as friends because I’ve got something to hide, I just didn’t want them to know details about my personal life that, granted one day, could arise and be questioned in the classroom.

Thirdly, I basically just didn’t want to add them as friends. Although they were great kids, I wasn’t at all interest in their personal lives outside of school. Plus I heard them complain about the smallest things in the classroom, I didn’t exactly want their teenage problems appearing in my facebook news feed as well.

For some other blogs about people prac experiences, have a look at this blog post by Emma, which does not relate at all to what I’ve just written.

Public Cynicism and hate for the job

This post is basically going to be a bit of a rant. You’ll get the picture.

We’ve all seen them. We’ve all heard them. Maybe we’ve all been them. I certainly have. But then I got over it. One or two usually don’t. And those one or two people can easily ruin the vibe for everyone else. I’m talking about cynics of education, who work in education, but generally hate the job.

What I don’t get is no one is really forcing them to be there. And it only takes one of them to ruin the day for everyone else.

I’m talking about the teachers who rock up at five to nine, and leave at one past three; the teachers who are the first to complain; the teachers who are first to fill a sink with dirty dishes, and not wash it up (possibly one of my biggest pet hates, which will also be addressed in another blog post).

Have a read of this article. I found it to be so interesting.

I’m a bit worried about cynics in education though and I often think, were they once like me? Were they once happy and excited about teaching like me? And if they were, how did they get this way, and is there a chance that I’ll end up like them?

Just something to think about.

Prac – Part 3 – I didn’t want to leave

Prac came to end so quickly. I have no idea where those three weeks went!

Of all the days, the last day was by far my favourite: not for teaching purposes though.

It was the last period of the day, and I was teaching one of the year 11 English classes. Friday afternoon was pretty casual. I had planned a 15 minute lesson starter, and the rest of the time was devoted to drafting assignments. Towards the last 20 minutes of the lesson, my mentor left the room, and said she had to go and get something. She came back with 26 students…..and cake!!

Secretly, the two year 11 classes had been planning a “goodbye party” for me. One girl got up and made a short speech thanking me for all I’d done and expressed how much they all wanted me to come back. I didn’t know how to feel. In the 3 weeks that I had been there I feel like I had made such a connection with these kids. It was so good to know that they valued me being there and that in some way I had made a difference. It was one of those teaching moments that you remember for ages. They were all so well behaved, polite, and generally good kids. When the bell rang, they didn’t want to leave, and neither did I. They all lined up on their way out of the door, and said goodbye and thank you, one by one, shaking my hand and patting me on the back as they left. I felt whole. I felt like I had done what I came to do. I didn’t necessarily need a party to prove it, show it or feel it, but knowing that I was appreciated by the kids made it all that much better.

If all goes to plan, I’ll definitely be back to that school.

Prac – Part 2 – Stress Overload!

From the title, you can probably see that prac was stressful! At times I felt so overwhelmed by everything that was going on that I seriously just wanted it all to be over.

Let me explain:

On the Monday morning of the second week, I got an email at 5.30am. This email was from my mentor saying that she wasn’t going to be at school that day for personal reasons. I’m not going to lie, I was shattered. I had spent the entire weekend planning these awesome lessons and printing out all this stuff for the kids for all of my classes, and I was hoping to show how organised and prepared I was for the day ahead. Alas, my lesson plans were going to be used anyway, and from my mentor’s instruction, I was to teach what I had planned. I could have been really negative about the whole situation, but I saw it as an opportunity. Just because one person wasn’t going to be there, didn’t mean that should stop me and getting up from what I was supposed to do; after all, there was still 28 people who would still be in the room, relying on me to teach them. It was one of the best teaching days of any of my pracs combined. I still had a teacher supervising me, but they seemed immersed on whatever was on their laptop screens. So basically, for the day, the classes were mine; and I seriously took full advantage of it. I was so excited to tell my mentor everything that happened during the day.

That’s when the stress levels began to rise!

I received another email throughout the day, my mentor wasn’t going to be back for at least 3 more days. Long story short, I planned all week, and taught all week! What an amazing experience. I can’t even explain how stressed, excited, happy and aware the experience was making me. When my mentor returned she was so impressed! Turns out, the content I was covering with the classes put them at a level of preparedness that they weren’t supposed to be at for another half a week; so basically, they got to begin working on assignments, while other classes were still focussed on content. Everyone was so well behaved, and the students’ really made the best of the situation, and respected that while I could never take over my mentors role as their teacher, I could still get things done with them. By the end of the week I was so glad that it was Friday! Planning and teaching everyday is one thing, but add uni assignments and my own content to learn to the mix and I was pretty exhausted! But in saying that, if I could go back, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!

I’m interested to hear how everyone’s stress levels were over prac. Feel free to comment below!

Thanks,

Daniel