foolfillment: the blog

Archive for the ‘probation’ Category

Busy times

6:52 pm on the 23rd of August, 2007

It’s almost the end of the first week now, just a half day tomorrow. One bit of advice that kept coming up during our induction days last week was ‘don’t let teaching take over your whole life’ and boy do I know what they meant now!
As well as all of the teaching and preparation that goes with it there is also a whole raft of paperwork I have to be keeping up to date with for getting Full Registration, that is what I think I’ll be spending this weekend doing.

teaching’s taking over my life already, I’ve got lots of things I want to get done tonight and over the weekend, and more long term projects that I haven’t even looked at beginning yet. I’m hoping that these first weeks are a bit exceptional and that soon enough I’ll be on top of it all, but for now I’m busy all hours.

I’m really enjoying it though!

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Blogging goes down a storm in Campie

5:32 pm on the 14th of August, 2007

So, as I said earlier today there was a session at Campie Primary on ‘ICT in East Lothian’ for all the new probationers. I tried to keep schtuum yesterday when people seemed to think it would be a day on how to get your emails.

Needless to say people were pretty surprised to see just what is going on with edubuzz and I spoke to and heard people who were excited by the possibilities of what the tools could offer for learning and teaching this year. When it came to my turn in the blogging session my cover was blown and I was named as an active blogger, and that of course set the challenge of finding my blog.

Hello to anyone who finds me, why not leave a comment? You can start by saying how chuffed you are to get a free 2gig pen drive!

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a quick one

12:47 pm on the 14th of August, 2007

I said I’d try to, here I am blogging from Campie Primary during lunch of my ICT intro at East Lothian.
Spent the morning playing with Garageband and edubuzz, lot’s of enthusastic people here which was good to see!

Also had chance to have a quick look – pownce works nicely, bodes well for my plans for net year.

First time? No, I’ve been nervous lots of times.

10:34 pm on the 12th of August, 2007

Tomorrow is the start of a new life, I suppose.

The first of three induction days for all East Lothian probationers (that’s me), then two in-service days, then a week tomorrow I’ll be a teacher.

How about that for a daunting thought.

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The waiting is over!

10:38 am on the 26th of May, 2007

Placed in East Lothian!

I got a letter today!

I’ve got lots of other things I was going get around to blogging about soon (like teachmeet07) but this gets immediate attention! I’m delighted to get placed in East Lothian for next year and I can’t wait to find out which school I’ll be in. It’s great to know finally where I’ll be and I can start making some more concrete plans. As well as it seemingly being a great place to start out in, it’s also a lot easier for me as I don’t need to start looking for a place to live.

It was a bit of a shock to find out today, I wasn’t expecting the letter until Wednesday but I should have taken a hint when I got an email from the GTCS yesterday wishing us luck in our probation year.

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10:08 pm on the 30th of April, 2007

This morning I had my last lecture ever as an undergraduate (assuming that I haven’t messed up somewhere and I actually pass this year!) and afterwards Krysia took the chance to show our class the resource she’s made as part of her dissertation. It’s a website that I’ve been helping her set up and it’s been pretty good to have something to work on other than my own dissertation for a while.

Anyway, now that it’s no longer under wraps I thought I’d share a little bit about it here. It is a site that has been set up to enable newly qualified tech teachers like myself and Krysia to share what we’re doing with other new tech teachers. It’s set up so that it is (fingers crossed) really easy for us to each have a blog where we can upload resources we’ve made, share our experiences in the job, and generally support each other through what is likely to be a fairly hectic and perhaps fraught year. With the magic of RSS everything that gets uploaded can be categorised and aggregated in any number of different ways. A user might want to keep in touch with everything that’s going on, another user might only want to see things about Graphic Communication, another user might only care about Intermediate 2 things, or any combination of these. I think it’s all set up so it’s really easy to do and all me and Krysia have to do is show people the power of it and to get them started.

The idea of it has come out of lots of research and reading that Krysia has done, and what really struck me when Krysia first talked to me about it was the similarities in what she was saying and what is being said and done in East Lothian with Edubuzz. What has come out of it is When we were trying to come up with names we really struggled but technobuzz really struck a chord, the problem we faced was deciding if it was too similar to edubuzz. In the end we went for it and I hope that we’re not ticking anybody off by doing so, but the two projects do have fairly similar outlooks so I hope we’re okay.

I hate to say it but even though we’re technology teachers the majority of my class wouldn’t have the first clue how to use RSS, will never have heard of Web2.0, and haven’t even considered using the internet in lessons. The word blog just makes some people sleepy before you can explain the potential. I really wish on my course there had been something like the lectures that David Muir and Ewan McIntosh have given at Jordanhill on using new technology in the classroom.

That said I’m actually really excited about technobuzz and can’t wait to see how my classmates take to it, I really hope they see the potential this has to make next year that little bit easier to get through and get involved. It’d also be interesting to see what other teachers think of the site – once it has been running for a while and any bugs have been ironed out it could be extended to all techy teachers, or into other subjects.

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Thinking about next year again

1:02 pm on the 15th of April, 2007

I’ve been thinking a bit more about where I’ll be teaching next year. As there is nothing I can do to influence the decision I can only guess about where I’ll be living, but I wanted a better idea of the possibilities so I had a little play with Google’s new service My Maps. It took a lot of copying and pasting but I eventually got all of the secondary schools from my selected areas stuck onto a custom map. After a little more playing I’ve added it to my Google Earth places and arranged them into subfolders, and uploaded an image of the aerial view.
The schools I might end up in next year.

Looking at them this way was a bit of an eye opener. I knew that my choices meant I could be placed pretty much anywhere but seeing them all mapped really shows how remote some of the Highland ones are. I’ve not used Google Earth much but I did wonder (after finishing this) that there must already be a layer that has all of the Scottish schools? I wouldn’t know where to look, but surely I can’t be the only git sad enough to do this?!

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Support networks

4:21 pm on the 25th of January, 2007

In August I’ll be doing this teaching thing for real and I expect I’ll find it hard work, there’ll be ups and downs, and I expect I will need to talk about how I’m getting on just to help me through it.

Ordinarily the two people I fall back onto for support most are my girlfriend and my mum, next August though things are going to be different – my girlfriend graduates from vet school this summer and the chances of us ending up working in the same place in August are minimal so she’s going off to do something very exciting instead by volunteering to work as a vet in the Cook Islands for two months from mid-August. I’m very jealous.

She hit a small stumbling block when she found out she’d be the only vet there at the time so asked my mum (a recently retired vet) if she fancied an adventure…

The upshot of all that is that next August when I’m starting my probationary year two of my main people to fall back onto might be larking about on a paradise-like island on the other side of the world!

That’s probably where blogging will come in as a big help. There’s an interesting discussion going on over on Don’s Learning Log about the benefits of blogging and people’s resistance to it, the idea that it is a vanity thing.
The main reason I blog is I find it helps to write what I’m thinking and feeling, putting things into written words give me the opportunity to clarify my own ideas. It then has the added bonuses of people chipping in their comments too and helps me shape my ideas further, and giving the chance to read about what other people are thinking through their blogs, in general blogging just helps me make sense of things. So I don’t do it to make me look good, I blog it because I think it helps me do whatever I’m doing better.

[tags]blogging, teaching, probationary year, cook islands, vet[/tags]

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I’m such a wimp.

12:20 pm on the 8th of December, 2006

It’s all dawned on me. Again. I’m adding my details to the GTCS website so that I can become registered. One of the first screens is this one.
I think I might leave it until next week. It’s got a certain feel of finality to it. I’m pretty certain I know what I’ll put down but I still can’t bring myself to do it yet.

The other day I phoned up my teacher from when I was a pupil to ask his thoughts about returning. He asked me a question that caught me off guard : “Are you any good?”
It’s funny, I was really nervous while the phone was ringing, I don’t know why, my hands were visibly shaking. As soon as we got talking though I felt fine about the whole thing, while I don’t think I answered his question very well I feel comfortable enough with what my answer would be if I were asked again. Maybe that helps me make up my mind. I’ve got a similar nervous feeling now, I don’t normally get nervous about anything in this way.

It seems like such a big decision that I’m not prepared for, despite the fact I have been considering it for a long time. My mind hasn’t changed drastically recently so I’m just going to go ahead and fill in the form, wish me luck.

Update: Eastlothian, Borders, Perth and Kinross, Moray, Highland

Well, I’ve done it. No £6k bounty money for me. All I can do now is wait until May when I should find out which council I get allocated to.

The Probation Year question

9:14 am on the 13th of November, 2006

I’ve written about this topic before, next year after I have graduated I get a job in a scottish school for one year as part of the NQT induction scheme, where I go is a bit up in the air.

There is a system where I pick my 5 preferred councils and I am hopefully placed in one of them and then there may be some element of choice of which school within the council I go to. The other option is the Preference Waiver Scheme where I could be placed anywhere in Scotland with the bonus of £6k (less tax).

On Friday there was a fayre held at uni for all the people who will be going into the induction scheme next year with most of the councils attending. Until recently I was tempted to go for the preference waiver scheme because £4.5K sounds like a fair whack when you’re a student, but I don’t know if I like the idea of the desicision being completely out of my hands and £4.5K isn’t really that much when weighed against the possible costs of starting out in a place I don’t want to be.

Needless to say this has been on my mind a lot over the weekend but I am no closer to being able to make a final decision yet – there are too many factors here to consider so I have just ruled out a lot of places simply on gut feeling because that’s as good a way as any without going and visiting them all. My main prefererence is somewhere nice and quiet that has a good reputation for it’s induction scheme. So far, based purely on my idea about the place itself and not education, I have narrowed 32 councils down to these ones in no particular order.

  • East Lothian
  • Borders
  • Highlands
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Argyll and Bute
  • Perth and Kinross
  • Moray