Sunday, February 25, 2007

Well waddya know?

Guess what? I'm in. I have been offered a place on the PGCE and I've accepted it. So just a few more months in my job now until I leave to go back to college.
So may I introduce you to my hand picked project team who will assist me in this next stage of my life. Meet Classy the Beanie Bear. She upholds all standards in teaching, professional and moral, and will work closely with me as my mentor next year (she may only be a soft toy but believe me she will prove to be an infinitely superior mentor to the one I had in my first teaching practice five years ago!) Classy was a gift to me from my nearest and dearest when I got on my last PGCE which, as you recall, ended up being an aborted mission. Shame-faced, I have had to pass her each day sitting on my shelf. At last Classy can once again take up her rightful place at the helm of the good ship 'Initial Teacher Training'. At Classy's right (as we look at her) you will see Alien. Alien was a great moral support to me last time round. As you can see, he is armed with a pink gun. He may look a bit camp but don't be deceived, he is the champion of behaviour management and will once again be acting as my guru in this particular area. He's never had to use that gun but...

Does anyone know where I might be able to pick up a Rainbow fish story sack...?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Interview

Well I went for the interview. I was a bit apprehensive about the speaking Spanish, as I said in an earlier post. You know what it is like at these things.

"Yah, my name's Jocasta. I haven't spoken Spanish for ages - it's six months since I was travelling through Ecuador and Chile. Though I did spend two years working in an orphanage in Nicaragua - but that was back in 2003. Amazing!!"

With this in mind I did have three lessons with a lovely lady from Colombia - one of the major advantages of living in a multicultural society! Anyhow, having tackled a ton of mock interview questions and learned important vocabulary like didáctica, metodología and pedagógico the conversation consisted of little more than 'hello, how are you, where did you do your degree?' in Spanish, of course. It was a bit like speed dating as they raced to get through about 5 of us in half a minute.

The written test was a piece of cake.

Then we had to read a story, or at least a passage to a small group. This was the funny bit. The invitation letter had said that you could use visual aids but not OHP transparencies. I made a conscious effort not to go in for any gimmicry so just went with book in hand. Everyone else took it as read that visual aids were de rigeur and at the very least had a cardboard fish or a few bits of A4 to waft around at appropriate points. What did we do before clipart? One girl was obviously working as a classroom assistant and had clearly raided the resource cupboard before the interview because she brought 'a story sack' containing all manner of goodly things to make one boring story a cross-curricular fest to last at least two terms! The main item was, of course, the Literacy Hour big book "This is Rainbow fish. See how his scales shimmer as he moves through the water..." Yawn!!! There was even a glove puppet for Rainbow Fish. She had a lever arch file bursting under the strain of all of the lessons she had done with good old Rainbow Fish and his cronies! In years to come some kid will, no doubt, do Post-Doctoral research in Nuclear Physics in reference to Rainbow-bloody-Fish! I did wonder at one point whether I should have said, "Normally I use a ventriloquist's dummy called Kyle to present this story" but thought better of it. Best laugh of the day was the girl who arrived with a goat under her arm - not a real one, I hasten to add, but a large cardboard cut-out. I wondered if she had brought it on public transport and whether she would have to pay a fare for it! Utterly surreal.

The interview went oddly, really. There was I, prepared to talk about the Primary Languages Strategy, Accelerated Learning, Assessment for Learning, Every Child Matters and other such DFES goodies and they kept asking me crappy questions about working with other adults in the classroom. It was hard to try to get the conversation round to what I wanted to talk about. Ah well, in the words of Doris Day, que será, será.

Let's just play the waiting game now. I should know by Friday.