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I have an interview this Friday for a Reception job. I'm an NQT and have been working part time in a v. old fashioned reception where I have had to deliver worksheets etc so I feel a bit out of practise at planning activities that are fun! I have had my confidence dented a bit in my current post...I wasn't expecting it to be so traditional and I haven't been trained to deliver learning that way!

 

I have just 15 minutes with 18 children to deliver something on the topic of farm animals which encourages children to use interesting vocabulary. They have been looking at farms for a while as there was a role play farm area up when I viewed the school a couple of weeks ago.

 

I have been back to Development Matters and pulled out these objectives from the LCT strand:

 

- Interact with others, negotiating plans and activities and taking turns in conversation

- Sustain attentive listening, responding to what they have heard with relevant comments, questions or actions

- Enjoy listening to and using spoken and written language, and readily turn to it in their play and learning

 

I have planned an activity where I show the children an A2 picture of a cross looking (cartoon) cow. I'm going to ask them to help me make the cow more interesting. I'm going to ask how she looks, what colour she is etc etc. I thought I could end up saying she's a 'cream, cantankerous cow called Cathy', whilst taking their suggestions, to encourage alliteration (I will point this out, explain that cantankerous means cross etc). I will write all the suggestions onto the picture/ flipchart.

 

Then I will show them A2 pictures of 3 other farm animals - a petrified pig, a confused cockerel and a sad sheep. I have made little cards with these pics on so they can choose talk partners to discuss interesting ways of using 'tell me about' words. I want to snowball them into 3 groups of 6, so they can find the other people with their card. They will then have a further few mins to discuss their ideas for describing their animal. Once they're done, I will take ideas from each group and scribe them onto the picture - will model segmenting etc if time, don't think there will be. We will look at all the interesting words and then I will ask them if they've all helped me to think of interesting words, yes they have, thumbs up and well done!

 

Does this sound ok, while I've got time to change it if it's pants?!

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Im a bit unsure about your alliteration idea combined with your wow words but I could be wrong!

 

Also how realistic are your cartoon pictures? Hopefully if they have visited the farm, they will know the difference?!

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also, make sure there are no children (or staff) with the name Cathy ! :o

 

 

:) good thinking! Perhaps I should choose something more exotic!

 

Thanks.

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Im a bit unsure about your alliteration idea combined with your wow words but I could be wrong!

 

Also how realistic are your cartoon pictures? Hopefully if they have visited the farm, they will know the difference?!

 

I think you're right about the alliteration, I will take it out. Thanks!

 

My pictures are quite cartoony because I couldn't find any pictures of real animals that looked cross or sad or whatever. I want more descriptions than 'big', 'spotty'. But they have been doing the topic for a while I think so hopefully they will have had lots of input and experience of farm animals real and illustrated.

 

Thanks for your help :)

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Just wanted to wish you good luck!

 

I agree about the alliteration being too much. Great idea to do describing words. It will depend on the children and their previous experience of describing words but from a recent descriptive task I did with my reception children I didn't get many 'wow' words mainly getting the children to understand descriptive words was they key! So 'big' was quite a common word! But praise the children for these and then see any children can think of any other words for 'big' so they get idea.

 

Speaking and listening is so important so think it will work well! x

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Well, I didn't get the job.

 

Feedback was that the teaching activity was very good and I interview very well but sounded a bit scripted and should have given more 'real life' examples of practise (difficult, as all the class organisation, routines, everything is done the way my job share likes it done and it's not at all child focused or anything like I'd do on my own!)

 

Thanks ladies for all your help :)

 

Natterer x

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Sounds like good feedback, Natterer. It must be hard when you have strong views about the kind of teaching practice you believe in but can't implement it because of those kind of constraints.

 

Keep up the good work - the ideal job is out there for you I'm sure!

 

Maz

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Don't be too disheartened. The fact that you got an interview and went through that experience is invaluable. Perhaps next time reflect on positive experiences from Teaching Practise if you aren't happy with the way things are done at your current school.

 

I'm a true believer that it wasn't the job for you and you will get the right job but it might take time but believe in yourself and you'll get there.

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Bad luck, natterer but it sounds as if you did really well anyway and as Clawton says this wasnt the job for you this time.

 

Some of the feedback is a bit tough when you are a NQT working in an environment that you dont really like but there will someone out there who will jump at your enthusiasm and ideas, so dont give up or feel too disheartened.

 

There could still be late vacancies as resignation date is not officially until Monday. I know one of our staff members got a job last week so we will have one to fill and there will be lots of schools in the same position. Are you in a fixed term contract as you are part time or if you see anything else ask you head if they would release you, some will?

 

It can be quite expensive for schools to take on a an NQT. Have you nearly finished?

 

Good luck looking.

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Thanks for all your kind comments.

 

My contract finishes in August, it's a maternity leave cover. I will have completed 1 term of my induction pro-rata but am only applying for jobs where NQTs are encouraged on the ad. I've had v. little support so would prefer to be somewhere with an experienced induction tutor (my job share is my tutor and when I started asked when the university would be in to assess me!) in a school that wants to enable progress!

 

I want a full time job now as I have found working with my job share really discouraging (I never thought I'd be designing worksheets for reception!). One of the previous job shares (5 in 4 years!) works at the school still and also found the role shattered her confidence as communication is poor and it's hard to prepare for lessons when what happens in the first half of the week is so often not what was planned. It's really a lot like being a student still but without the weekly meeting!

 

Yes I could talk more about teaching placements, I just felt it was risky to talk about the place where I work as it could sound so negative...schools are so political and everyone knows each other so you don't want to say the wrong thing...

 

I have another interview in the pipeline, I know I've been shortlisted but not been given a date yet, and have seen a job at a local school that I have done supply at and liked so will try for those. If all else fails I will go back to my supply agency, I have 1 term left in which I can do supply before completing induction. If I have no luck by Christmas I will have to look for some other job to pay the bills as I'm a single mum.

 

Natterer x

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Dont give up natterer, there will be lots of opportunities coming up now, I suspect, that you can apply for as you are not tied in. It is always worth asking if you like the sound of the vacancy to visit and then ask about NQT. If the face fits who knows what might be possible.

 

Make this experience work for you, put a positive spin on the negative elements--you have at least learnt how important communication is! You would even be able to do a job share successfully as you aware of the pitfalls!

 

Good luck.

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