The #Blogging28 prompt for today is update an old post or page, but I thought I would elaborate on my post yesterday because a few people I know mentioned that it may look unflattering for my college and it sounds a little disappointing for me (aww, you guys!).
Firstly, I value my mentor and work experience placement because it opened my eyes to how different teaching is from what I expected. I knew teaching would be challenging but I had no idea how I would manage. In an ideal world, my college would support me from the moment I stepped into the office. And I have no doubt in my mind that they would offer me that support if they had the resource. I feel very cared for in my college. That being said, my college is dealing with day-to-day life and – rightly so – our learners are the priority. The staff available are busy and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that they are giving everything they have to the running of the department. So I don’t expect them to hold the hand of a highly anxious and indecisive work experience student.
However, I undertook the work experience placement so I could see what life would be like. I had researched, studied and worked/volunteered in an educational support role (admittedly in a museum) before. I felt like I knew the terrain. This work experience placement has shown me that I didn’t know the terrain at all, and I probably shouldn’t even be walking on it as it’s too far away from where I want to be.
I am a bad fit for the role.
But I am a good fit elsewhere. My work experience placement has shown me that I have the potential to be a good educator but probably not in a classroom setting (or rather, this type of classroom). I am just as passionate as ever about pastoral care and museum-based learning, so I know I want to focus my efforts there. I also love e-learning; virtual learning environments, e-portfolios and blogs! And, if I’m honest, that’s where people who know me know I thrive.
I now have a new teaching mentor in my work experience placement. And, to be honest, he has put me off teaching. It feels difficult to say these things because I am grateful to have a work experience placement and I appreciate that people have been kind-natured despite me being dropped on them. But I feel like my new mentor has opened my eyes to how teaching is very different in theory to practice (NB/ that’s a very good lesson to be taught).
I am glad I found this out now, rather than later.
I was under no assumption that teaching would, in any way, run smoothly. Nothing does. But there were things I expected as a minimum; like a briefing and to be risk assessed. I went into a room with a trigger and I went into a room where I triggered someone else. OK many triggers are unpredictable – I get that – but these could have been avoided if someone took the time to speak to me.
What I have found about teaching is that people just expect me to muck in. I am willing to do that, but I need to know that’s what’s expected of me and I need to be familiar and feel safe. I did not. However, when I spoke to people about teaching before the placement I felt that I would have more guidance. And from teacher/teaching research and training, I had been led to believe teaching had more proactive elements than I have witnessed. My latest experiences have felt nothing other than reactive.
Additionally, I had begun to find my feet with the other groups I had worked with. I was feeling confident and happy. Then I was moved to another group and I’m learning all over again. From my conversations with other members of support staff, this is the norm. I spoke to three different members of support staff who said that days vary widely. They support lessons as and when they are requested to. This method may be ideal for some folk – I hear many people say that that no two days are the same and they feel constantly stimulated by the changes. My perspective is slightly different. I feel lost. I admitted to my mentors that I am an overthinker – I want to be prepared. I felt snowflake-ish, and that I was wasting others’ time, when I mentioned wanting to have more information.
I have fifteen more hours of work experience placement left. And I’m trying to encourage myself to get out of my shell – I feel vulnerable and unhappy. But overall I feel like I have learnt a lot. Also, being a bad teacher (or teaching-shadower, or classroom assistant, or sitting-in-the-corner-person) does not detract from my other skills. So I cannot let this failure colour my views of myself.
The #Blogging28 prompt today is Start a List of Blog Post ideas. I found writing this list helpful because, as you know, I am submitting to a lot of creative writing journals at the moment – and – I have noticed a lot of my energy seems to go into my paid writing work. I don’t want to say selling my words makes writing less fun but it definitely has monopolised my time. Hopefully, this list will help me reinvigorate my writing here.
Topics I would like to expand on in future blog posts:
- Reflections on my completed work experience placement
- I had a CBD oil massage
- Returning to college and meeting my new tutor
- My favourite sock purchases in January sales
- How self-help books and blogs/vlogs have become a big part of my life
- I love my new bicycle
- I have annual leave in February and my favourite themed hotel has redesigned a room so I’m itching to go there
- I designed a logo for my team at work and, despite lack of success, it was pretty fun
- I now spend every other weekend painting
- An upcoming visit to a convention in Camden
- I am one memento away from completing Neko Atsume and I’m amazed I stuck with it
- How difficult I find writing fiction
- My blog being three years old in March
I returned to work today and it’s great to be back in the routine. Speaking of which, I’m planning to get back into my blogging routine. I saw The Edublogger are doing a 28 Day Blogging Challenge:
So I’ll be taking part.
Tomorrow I will be doing some student union officer training, so it will give me a chance to think about what I want to put in my About page.
I had a great birthday. I have been writing and submitting to journals. And painting a lot. I was given tonnes of chocolate over the holidays, and visited many people I love. This month sees me return to college to do my counselling course, and as an elected officer. I hope to submit many more pieces of writing. Happy New Year folks.