The Perils Of A Second Year: Where Has Time Gone?

I was told that when I became a student that I would have ‘all the time in the world’… Well, clearly I’m missing something?

It has been almost a year since I updated this blog as I have been focusing on my other blog That Happy Girl. As my life was full of university, essays, volunteering and placements, I used That Happy Girl as an outlet for writing about other things that made me happy. It worked. Now a year on, I’m revisiting with a new, fresh and optimistic outlook on my teaching.

My second year has fast become the past and I am looking onto a future of dissertation and PGCE applications. But first, like all good practitioners, a little bit of reflection if you don’t mind.

After my move to Cardiff Metropolitan University from University of Plymouth after my first year, I had not only a new cohort to contend with but also a completely different curriculum to get my head around. They say you have to be fast to pick up change in the world of teaching and that was certainly put to the test. I made friends, I became Course Leader and I got part time work as a writer; what could be better?

My essays were to a good standard, yet I do think there is always room for improvement and moving forward I shall be putting a lot more of my time into researching and further study. I shall be completing the recommended reading in time for lectures as well as analysing work in a greater more thorough way. I get action plans, I understand SMART goals and they work for me. My second year action plan was simplistic and achievable, something I intended for me to be able to accomplish without too much strain as I was moving away from friends, family and joining a course that was so different to mine.

I wanted to double check that I was ready for Primary. After my placements in reception and nursery, as well as helping with Brownies, I wanted to be sure that I was ready for the challenge. I decided to explore other ages and last summer became a team leader for the National Citizen Service working with young adults going into college. Completely different! The attitudes, the speech, the planning and organisation and the patience needed was completely different to when working with Key Stage 1 or Foundation years. It was a challenge, I was mentally drained by the end of each day; not only from the work but also from the emotional and social pastoral care. But on reflection, I loved it.

I decided my second year would be focused on looking at different ages. I sorted a placement at the local college that provided a Foundation Degree in Early Years. It was an eye-opener and it was great to do. I loved talking to the adults about their involvement in the course and why they had decided to take it was inspiring. But, although I took a few lessons independently, I felt unable to get over being younger than the majority in the class. I felt as though I was teaching them to ‘suck eggs’ and found myself apologising when I felt something was obvious. I ended my placement, thoroughly inspired for a future in FE/HE but with the mindset that I needed to stay in Primary for a few more years to gain experience. I instead went back to a primary placement for clarification; just to be sure.

I was welcomed with a picture of a princess. This picture is in my CPD file and is a fantastic reminder that to children I am a magical educating princess who can show them the world and help them explore. My heart lies in primary education and I think it is best to get as much experience to then be able to teach our future teachers.

So, third year… you bring me PGCE, dissertation and much more… I can’t wait.


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