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Advice and/or kick up the bum needed

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by chunkymonkey42, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. I'm a BEd year one student on my main teaching placement for this year. The expectations are for me to meet the Q standards with guidance and support from my mentor, and to teach 40% of the timetable through individual, group or whole class teaching. I've been placed in a year 6 class who of course have SAT's coming up.

    My problem is that I feel like I am constantly in the way in the classroom, like I am a burden upon my mentor. Of course like most teachers, she runs around like a headless chicken getting things sorted but there is also a great deal of complaining and comments made about the amount of work she is expected to complete. Now don't get me wrong, of course I understand that teaching is exceptionally busy with a mountain of work to get through, but there are also other little things. For example, I am supposed to join in with PPA time, but I get told that she spends PPA doing 'other things', when I ask about certain strategies that are used, I get told that "it's a bit complicated so don't worry", and other weird little things too. I initially put this down to work load and I try to be helpful and ask her to delegate tasks to me to help out, save any issues or questions for after school etc but now I'm starting to feel that it's getting a bit personal.

    Am I just being a sensitive moany cow or should I perhaps try and be a little more assertive in dealing with my training? The last thing I want to do is cause any issues or put on additional pressure to my mentor.
    Any comments would be gratefully received.
  2. Hi. Thrown in at the deep end then eh chunky?
    My advice stems from my own experiences in primary and secondary schools. This would be to be completely professional at all times and disregard thinking about things getting personal - if you let them they will. Your mentor is highly charged at the moment and it is understandable. Primary school teachers are high with energy anyway and they need to be in order to look after their classes. I think they do a marvelous job (my training was in secondary) and they have to constantly juggle with items of priority. And then there is the teaching side of it, constantly being alert to those aged 10/11 is not easy.
    If I were you, DO the things you need to. Nothing more. Only do so when told by staff including obviously your mentor. Your mentor is key to you feeling comfortable and relaxed in school. LEARN from your mentor - when you are not teaching, you should be observing how she interacts and teaches her pupils and then trying to see how you can use these skills in your own teaching.
    It sounds as if you are being to helpful and this is spilling over into 'getting in the way'. Be there, observing and learning. Do not become impositional to your mentor or any other teaching staff - after all you could be doing more damage than good when offering to help (even though it is common decency of you to do so).
    All I'm saying is take it easy, do what you need to, learn from these experienced teachers and enjoy being there with the kids.
    I found primary schools great fun - something missing sadly in secondary schools IMO. Good luck
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I teach year 6 and mentor students. No way on earth would I have a student in my class at this point in the year, I simply wouldn't have the time to give them what they need and nor would I let them teach core subjects.

    Your mentor may well have been coerced into having a student and so is struggling to balance her responsibility for SATs results, the learning needs of her class and your training needs. It isn't personal to you and, to be honest, on your first placement it is unlikely you could 'help out'.

    Not sure how long your placement is, but if you can just stick it out until after SATs (only a couple of teaching weeks away) then you will probably see a totally different side to her and be back posting about how much you get to do!
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Clearly not been a year 6 teacher in April and early May then!
  5. Hi Minnie - no I have not as yet. Would like to, though in the future when I have more KS2 experience. I have found being with same class does help.
  6. Thanks guys, I will definitely stick it out and will stop being so sensitive! x

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