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I'm a 19 year old Greek - advice please!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by TrojanWomen, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. I have applied to UK universities for a place on an early years teaching degree and I'm volunteering at a day care centre in Greece. Children 2-4 years.
    Up to now I've just been 'helping' but my English teacher who is helping me with my IELTS preparation says I should do something more structured to impress the admissions' tutors!
    So my question - does anyone have an observation worksheet that I could use and some tips on what I should be observing??
    Thanks for any help
    Villy
     
  2. I have applied to UK universities for a place on an early years teaching degree and I'm volunteering at a day care centre in Greece. Children 2-4 years.
    Up to now I've just been 'helping' but my English teacher who is helping me with my IELTS preparation says I should do something more structured to impress the admissions' tutors!
    So my question - does anyone have an observation worksheet that I could use and some tips on what I should be observing??
    Thanks for any help
    Villy
     
  3. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    I took this ref down from someone a while ago - don't know if it gives you any ideas. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/media.jsp?mediaid=102659&filetype=pdf


     
  4. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I don't know how it works for foreign applicants to BEd courses, but in England hundreds of wannabe teachers are turned away from teaching courses every year for insufficient experience in schools. Sounds like you have experience with very young children but none (that you've mentioned) with school age children, and crucially, none in England. I could be wrong but I think this will be a big problem for you.
     
  5. Thanks for the advice. Yes, I know this is a problem as I only have day nursery experience at the moment with 2-4 year olds but I'm doing 2 weeks volunteering at a nursery school and a reception and year one class next spring so hope this will look good.
    Any ideas on what I should be observing to make my observations worthwhile??
     
  6. Oh thanks - this looks interesting.
    What skills and knowledge should I observe though??
    Thanks for any help!
     
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Whichever ones you notice. Really this is about training yourself to see what's important, anything could be important in that training.
     
  8. Thanks Lara - so could it be so basic as how child A holds a pencil, or how child B interacts with child C during an activity - that sort of thing??
     
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Not the best of examples but we all have to start somewhere, so
    Child A holds a pencil . . . . So why do you think this is? Does it impact on their writing in any way. It is <u>your thinking</u> during the observations that's important to develop your skills as a potential teacher.
    But really I think you're over-emphasising what to do. After all this is pre-training. That's what the training is for. It is how you inteact with children, when you observe how it develops your understanding of how children 'tick' that the interview panel will be looking for.
     
  10. Thanks so much Lara - the nursery teacher says the same here ![​IMG] I'm getting too serious.
    I'm observing how the staff welcome the children and organise the other events during the day. also 3 different age children 2, 3 & 4 and will sort of follow them over the next months noting thoughts on what they are doing and then see the changes. I'm doing it like a diary rather than formal sheets because as you say I'll learn how to do formal observations when (hopefully) I'm on the course! Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  11. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    What you might find useful to do is practise carrying out an "extended observation" on a child. This is where you watch a child for 20 minutes, noting down what they do, how long they stay at an activity, whether they are playing alone or alongside/with other children, what interactions they have with other children, etc. It is often very interesting to focus on one child for a good length of time, because you notice things you might not notice during an ordinary day when you're watching all the children, helping with one particular activity, etc. And the more you practise doing "extended observations", the better you will get at quickly noting down the significant things you see.
    Afterwards, read back over your notes and think about the child's "next steps for learning". For example, you might notice that child A prefers to play alone, concentrating on an activity until another child approaches, at which point child A moves on to something else. You could decide that his next step for learning should be to work alongside a partner at an activity - what could you as a teacher do to help him make that next step? This is hard to do and you will learn lots more about it during a degree, but it's useful to think about what you might want to child to learn next even if you don't come to any conclusions. Of course you could ask the teacher for her opinion, too.
     
  12. Thanks Kartoshka - thanks really helpful - will try it after Christmas. [​IMG]

     
  13. When you are doing observations of whole lessons you could look out for:
    How does the teacher start the lesson, get the chn settled etc? Do you think this was an effective start? Why/not?
    How is the classroom laid out, and how do you think this impacts learning?
    What is the teacher's/school's approach to behaviour management? Do you think this is effective? Why?
    How are the children taught during the lesson? Together on the carpet/in small groups/in ability groups/mixed-ability groups? Roughly what proportion of the lesson is spent learning in these different ways? Why do you think the teacher planned the lesson in this way (of course you can ask the teacher themselves!)?
    Did anything surprise you during the lesson, eg how able the chn were/or how much they struggled with something? How would you now adapt a lesson to these chn knowing what you do now about their ability (this shows you are starting to think about assessment for learning)?
    Were there any additional adults in the room (except you)? If so, how were they deployed effectively?
    As other posters have said, some of these things are quite advanced for pre-course, however competition is tough, and with less experience in the UK system than some other applicants will have, you need to show how well you have reflected on, and learnt from, your limited experience. I got a place on the primary PGCE with only 1 week's experience in a school since I left, but I think it was the strength of my reflections and analysis of what I had seen that got me through, as some people literally state what they have seen, but don't think more deeply about why is was so, and whether/how this enhnanced the chn's learning.
    Good luck!
     

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