Morning all! Happy Monday! The weekend is gone and a new week begins. Only one week to go until the second assignment is due! Eeeeek! Although what is even more terrifying than that is the fact that in just a few weeks we’ll all be on prac! This semester is going so fast. As I read through the feed this morning I noticed that practical experience is one a few other minds as well as we head into week 9. Both Jessica and Ross offered a number of helpful and handy tips for how to survive the three week block, and so I thought that I should put my two-cents worth in as well.
I always really enjoy prac, it’s great meeting new people and gaining new experiences … but having said that, I almost always end up sick (last time I completely lost my voice for a whole week!), completely exhausted from planning and spending all day at school to come home, do more planning and listen to uni lectures and work on assignments, not to mentioned stressed mentally, emotionally and financially as I can’t work and have bills to pay (we should be paid while we are on prac but that’s another can of worms!!). Hence, in preparation for this practical experience I have developed some tips for surviving practical experience.
1. Be prepared!! Have a heap of resources, games and activities already written down or in your mind so that you are ready from day one to get in the classroom and integrate not only ICTs but fun!
2. Use hand sanitiser. I’m serious with this one! I always get sick and it’s awful. So Use lots of sanitiser, drink lots of lemon, ginger and honey tea and have the cough mixture ready!
3. Be outgoing. I know it can be very hard when you are a reserved person (like me) to make new connections and be proactive in talking with new people, but try your hardest to be diligent in connecting not only with your mentor teacher, but students, other staff and parents.
4. Sleep. Sleep is very very important. I know prac can be very hectic and usually there are several late nights, but try to get as much sleep as humanly possible, you’re no good to anyone if you are exhausted.
5. Be confident — or in my case, fake it till you make it. I am not a very confident person, but when you fake confidence (smile, look people in the eyes, stand straight, speak in a strong voice, be purposeful), soon enough even you will believe in your own confidence.
6. Set goals. Before you start, think about what you want to achieve, write it down and come back to it during your prac. Some direction of where you want to go is always good.
7. Develop a reflective practice. Start reflecting on your professional practice from day 1. Note down the things you did well, the things that didn’t go so well and what you want to work on during that week. Use a template like Bloom’s Taxonomy to guide you. Reflective practice is the key to developing better pedagogy.
8. Lastly, it’s ok to make mistakes, to fail — thats how we learn!