I have a huge problem with what she said. Mainly because I am now in the situation where I am a student parent, trying to juggle the demands of three young children and a teaching degree. Its hard. Very hard! My husband has had to deal with a lot over the past year and has done most of the ferrying to and from school whilst I have been either in lectures, on placement or in the library. I absolutely and whole heartedly disagree with Kirstys suggestion that women should have children before going to university. Having children whilst studying makes it ten times harder in my opinion. As a single student living in halls, you have the option of staying up late drinking, knowing that its going to affect you the next day, you have the option of leaving your assignments till the last minute but seriously, why would you?!
My lesson was with a group of year 9 pupils beginning a food packaging project.
I had obviously prepared for the lesson, but in hindsight, maybe prepared a bit too much work for them to do in one lesson. I was being observed for this lesson, and was very nervous about it. I was slightly unsure about what I should include in the lesson, so researched as much as possible on food packaging. I knew the pupils had come to the end almost of their world foods project, and all had picked either a pizza or a gateaux as their final recipe to cook after having trialled many other types of recipes.
I had planned on showing two videos about food packaging, with a question sheet for each pupil to fill out whilst watching or afterwards. So, I welcomed the pupils into the class and asked them to move places so that they weren’t all spread out across the wide classroom. I wanted to be able to see all the pupils and get to them quickly if they needed help. I was later told that this was a good thing to do at the beginning of a lesson: If I’m not happy with the seating arrangements, change it.
I introduced myself, and the aim of the lesson, to a group of pupils who I could only think were still half asleep being the first lesson on a Friday morning. Any questions I asked were met with deathly silence. Obviously this made me feel ten times worse than I already was. Having stressed about the lesson so much, I began thinking the worst. This lesson is total shite. I, of course, kept calm and carried on. I worked through the lesson, showing the videos, pupils working through the sheets and evaluating existing packaging designs. I then came to the last 20 minutes of the lesson. The pupils had taken so long to do the videos and packaging evaluations section of the lesson that the next activity wouldn’t really fit into the last minutes considering I needed an 8-10 minute plenary slot. I decided to go for it anyway, and instructed the pupils to pick a net packaging design and start sketching some ideas onto it.
In the end I totally forgot about the plenary part of the lesson, and was more thankful for the bell going than at any other time during my placement.
I know I planned too much for the lesson. I should have stuck to one activity and made it more interesting. But this comes down to experience. You can’t learn from mistakes unless you make them in the first place.
I almost put “for mums” but then realised that would be very un PC of me. Dads go to university too you know!
Anyway, enough moidering; this post is going to be the first in a series of “back to university organisation” tips, tricks, and whatever else you need blog posts. I’ve done a whole year of uni so far (Go me!!) so I guess that makes me sort of able to talk about things like this. Being a slight planner fanatic also helps in this area too. I’ve always liked planners and stationery, so I guess the whole being organized and liking stationery thing goes well together.
You’re probably wondering what the hell Im going to write about in so many blog posts; surely its just a case of heading off to tesco, picking up an A4 pukka pad and a multi colour pen and you’re away…Erm…NO (as one of my old lecturers would say…)
So, after scouring the net, chatting with other mums in the same situation and throwing in a bit of my own experience, Ive come up with the following list of tips that will hopefully help you along your way.
Make use of the module/course Facebook groups if that is your thing, I am very pro them but I know some aren’t.
When you get access to websites/blackboard/intranet, write down all your deadlines and rejig them in a different order if they are not chronological already (mine last year were not). Also any that are due in on the same day shift at least a week apart.
Aim to be ahead on the basis if you’re ever working on time to the calendar you’re doing well.
Set aside at least one night a week where you do no uni stuff not even read a facebook post.
Remember that it is 9 months of hard stress but you will get a break come june.