Smiley lady, nice shoes.

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First term of visits to my student teachers are over and it was quite the joy. Lots of absolute superstars and future legends in the making. No matter how old or experienced we are, observations are never fun. Many people also use observations to go scatter gun on a teacher…..quite often it is a bit like the way many of the modern languages teaching family mark a piece of writing….we mark for everything. Stand back and watch the red pen inflict misery.
My first observation as a student teacher still haunts me. 3 sides of A4 in red ink about everything I had done wrong. Now that was way before growth mindset, so if you were told you were mince, that was pretty much it. The observation from my university tutor was different of course…. very formal. Useful but formal. There was a certain air of nae messin. It wasn’t red pen but black and only two pages of suggestions of moving forward. The ” what if” and “have you considered” approach was much gentler than you are mince approach.
It’s a bit like having that difficult conversation….you don’t need to be a dragon to do it but you do need to be firm and know what you are about. I had to develop that skill and I think it is still a work in progress. Being gentle but leaving no misunderstanding of what is expected and needed.
Seeing in students in placement is lovely for me quite often they feel just as precious to you as a class from school is. You are willing them to do well, wanting them to pass. I find it very hard to sit on my derrière and not get involved. I want to chat to the weans and get to know their likes, dislikes, what they have been learning the like.
I’ve seen me pulling the visitor card and talking through gritted teeth when I’ve had to but most of all I’ve enjoyed taking part in the activities, drilling the language and just watching wee people come alive as the teachers weave their magic.
Being supportive to the class and teacher is part of what I am trying to do….must be working. I was described as the smiley lady with the nice shoes.
I’ll take that.

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