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I am in the middle of a horrible cold right now; I think all of the work and stress has caught up with me and I am just drowning in tissues! But I will finish my placement without taking a sick day, I will I will I will!

This morning I joined in on the activities placed on the tables around the room, mostly one where you can ‘hammer’ shapes onto a cork board. I oversaw this because even though the hammers are made from light wood, accidents can happen! I had to advocate sharing also, and no tears were shed, so result! One of the little Polish girls I have been talking to has gradually opened up to me, and has started speaking more and engaging more with me and it is just so adorable! Also when I walked in today, I had hugs from several people, and was told that they would miss me when I left (which is so cute and wa!) Today was the day I signed a birthday card for someone’s mother (to be honest, I hadn’t a clue what I was signing which doesn’t bode too well really!) The normal class teacher was not in today, so the NQT took the class, and gave out jobs for the gig year 1 and 2 will be hosting on the 16th of December ( I will be home, so won’t be going, but it does sound super cute!), for example marketing, stage management, decorations, etc. We then walked year 2 down to the Pub next door to do music practice. This pub, still in use by the way, just not on Thursday afternoons, is absolutely vile. Paint is peeling everywhere, the floor is dirty, it is freezing, the bathrooms – I don’t even want to talk about them, and I only visited the washbasins!- It is just generally really disgusting. And this is where the NQT and Teaching Assistant brought their v expensive guitar and drum kit. The latter the children helped to set up, which was lovely to see! (NQT by the way is a teaching acronym- one of many- which means Newly Qualified Teacher, and this means that they graduated last year, and will undergo regular observations to make sure that they are top notch) Music is something this school takes very seriously. Many of the adults who work here are music producers, marketers and can play instruments so it does make sense to use all these to the children’s advantages. We sang ‘Let it Be’ again, which was good fun, I mean, I got to sing; I really got into it; I hope I did not hurt too many eardrums in the process!

Today I was on lunch duty, and it wasn’t too cold. It was rather uneventful as far as I remember, although, one girl had a tantrum and proper screamed when her friends didn’t let her play with the tyre the way she wanted to…. When I came in, there were several accident forms to fill in; I was drying up while a teacher was trying to write one up. “What’s your second name then?” “It’s Artist” urmmm what? “what’s your full name then?” “______- Artist Paintbrush, because I love to paint!” Not exactly what the form required, but it did make us all laugh! One of these forms had to be filled out because of me! I was standing with my hand on my hips, not even moving, and a child just walks into my elbow! So painful for me, and plus I felt really bad (even though I didn’t move) but oh lawsh! We also had a wobbly tooth that was really painful as it was twisted the wrong way, but I couldn’t really do anything about it. I am just waiting for her to come in tomorrow missing a tooth!

Maths today was a good idea, but slightly impractical as it involved skittles, and counting them. One, the children all wanted to eat them (and in After School Care, some Reception children did!) and two, there were at least 100 sweets there, and several children have problems counting up to 20! So it was a bit hectic, but we are nearly there I think (hopefully). The lesson was basically, estimating how many skittles were in the packet, and then counting out how many there are actually. But it is difficult with lots of children, as ideally you would want just one to count them, to make it easier, but of course everyone wants to join in!

One thing I have struggled with in this placement, is that we are told about the task at the same time as the students, so we will have to understand it in a matter of seconds to be able to teach and help our groups… not really giving us or them the best environments for learning, but hey ho!

Just before leaving, we had a chat with the third year who is on placement at our school, and it was really good. He told us about the things we should look for, and to get involved as quickly as possible while in next placement, because it makes it easier to work in that environment. He also said that it is worth sitting down with the teacher and just talking to them about behaviour management, and also said that for the first few weeks be really strict and ‘nasty’ so the children know not to mess you about, and then after that, you can relax a bit. I find that so difficult, I mean, they’re babies, and I hate being mean! But he does have a fair point, so I shall try that out for next time!

And now I have reflections to do, and sleep to have!