Prior to my pre-visit day, I was really nervous. I have had lots of experience working with children but very little in a classroom environment. It was going to be different, challenging and hard work, but I was ready for it.
I was welcomed by my lovely mentor at the office who gave me a tour around the school. She showed me the main areas, where to find resources and of course, the fire safety routine. She finished with her primary 5 classroom area. The layout was fascinating, different to what i’d ever seen before. The classrooms were all open planned which encouraged open learning opportunities and a chance for children to interact with other year groups. This was intimidating for me at first as I thought I would be watched by all other year groups whilst taking the class, I soon realised this was not going to be the case as everyone was too focused in their own learning spaces. The children also didn’t have seating plans and sat where they felt comfortable. This will make learning names difficult, however I have already planned an activity to help me with this when I return.
I started off by reading the class novel. The children were engrossed and were able to fill me in on the plot. They were answering questions and predicting what will happen next. I felt this was the perfect class warmer for the children getting to know me and helping them to feel comfortable.
Later on in the day, I took a small group for a maths lesson. We did activities which fitted their age and stage and the children seemed to grasp it right away after me explaining it and showing an example. They were then able to pass their activities around for the next person. I felt a sense of accomplishment after this session and the children gave me their feedback.
At lunch I sat in the staffroom and got to know the other members of staff from around the school and also speak to fellow students from different universities. Everyone made me feel so welcome.
Assembly was after lunch, I took the class along and this was the perfect time for me to sit with my mentor for 20 minutes to discuss my aims, what I need to do when I come back and ask general questions. She spoke to me about the schools goals, the clubs and organisations set up and what they are currently focusing on. She also showed me behaviour management and child protection policy, I took a note down of important points mentioned. This was the perfect time to discuss all my questions I had listed.
By the end of the day, I was able to grasp children’s names and they felt comfortable with me being around. The children treated me with the respect that the teacher was given and they told me they were excited for my return. My pre visit day went so well and it has made me even more excited to kick start my teaching journey with this class.