Today was day one of my PGCE, spent observing in a school which will not be my placement school. I saw lots of interesting things (possibly including a bit of pseudoteaching), met friendly and welcoming staff and fellow trainees and it’s definitely got me excited about what is to come. There’s another day in a different school tomorrow and then college for the rest of the week. But there’s something niggling: whilst I’m keen to get into the classroom I’m also a bit concerned that with very few college days before I am in my placement school (11 to be precise) there’s not going to be much in the way of learning theory actually covered. I’m sure I should be reading all about it instead of typing this but I’ve always found a bit of heated discussion much more effective when it comes to getting to grips with ideas. I hope that we will get a chance to discuss, for example, the role of class practicals and how they can be best used to facilitate learning (Alom Shaha has some interesting things to say about them here– and I really do want to make time to read the references he points to).
There was just time to quickly pop down to the allotment for some emergency weeding and harvesting before picking up M from nursery. While down there I met a chemistry teacher who is at the school partnered to the one I am going to be placed at (allotments are amazing places). He asked me why, given the current situation in teaching, I wanted to go into it and said that he was frustrated with many of the changes he had experienced in recent years. I said that kids are still kids. He grinned. ‘Yes’, he said ‘When I get into the classroom everything’s ok’.
I think tomorrow I’ll just try to enjoy the day and suck what I can out of being in classrooms with kids and teachers who want to help them to learn. And then get my nose into the textbook in the evening!