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1. Preparing to teach A-level Physics Richard Bonella Physics Teacher Network Coordinator (PNC) ‘Physics in the Field’ volunteer Teaching & Learning Coach.

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Presentation on theme: "1. Preparing to teach A-level Physics Richard Bonella Physics Teacher Network Coordinator (PNC) ‘Physics in the Field’ volunteer Teaching & Learning Coach."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Preparing to teach A-level Physics Richard Bonella Physics Teacher Network Coordinator (PNC) ‘Physics in the Field’ volunteer Teaching & Learning Coach (TLC) NQT Mentor 2

3 This session: Suggested resources – on paper, and electronically from event organiser. Opportunity to discuss concerns. Slides to help me cover everything. – Crowded, but we are adults not Set 9-whatever, so please bear with me. 3

4 Concerns about: Teaching as a whole Science teaching Teaching A-level physics 4

5 Possible concerns 1. Will I get along– with colleagues? Will I get along– with colleagues? Will I get along– with colleagues? 2. Will I get along – with the students? Will I get along – with the students? Will I get along – with the students? 3. How will my NQT mentor treat me? How will my NQT mentor treat me? How will my NQT mentor treat me? 4. How will the technician(s) treat me? How will the technician(s) treat me? How will the technician(s) treat me? 5. How will I know what to teach? How will I know what to teach? How will I know what to teach? 6. I know what to to teach – how should I teach it? I know what to to teach – how should I teach it? I know what to to teach – how should I teach it? 7. I'm not confident about school practicals I'm not confident about school practicals I'm not confident about school practicals 8. Will I cope with the marking? Will I cope with the marking? Will I cope with the marking? 9. Will there be enough hours in the day? Will there be enough hours in the day? Will there be enough hours in the day? 10. How can I remember all the school policies that I am expected to follow? How can I remember all the school policies that I am expe... How can I remember all the school policies that I am expe Will my pupils look for me on Facebook? Will my pupils look for me on Facebook? Will my pupils look for me on Facebook? 12. What should I do if I am not getting enough support? What should I do if I am not being provided with: What should I do if I am not being provided with: 13. Will I pass my induction year? Will I pass my induction year? Will I pass my induction year? 14. What if I decide that I don't want to be a teacher after all?What if I decide that I don't want to be a teacher after...What if I decide that I don't want to be a teacher after... 5

6 Will I get along– with colleagues? Possible concerns Possible concerns Begin with the premise that they are all decent, helpful, hardworking folk. Then quietly compile a mental list of those who are not. Ask for advice and listen politely even if you choose not to follow it. Listen to gossip but don't spread it. Volunteer for tasks/roles that you are confident about, then use these to justify declining to take on others that you don't want. Offer help if/when you can, but quietly. Stand your round early, while the group is still small. 6

7 Will I get along – with the students (1)? Possible concerns Possible concerns Review your class management training. Be polite and helpful, but firm. If you decide to lose your temper theatrically, do it very sparingly. – Perhaps tell the story to colleagues in the prep or staff room, before word gets around that you have been overheard losing your cool? Be prepared to admit mistakes or ignorance – students need to see adult role models doing this, because it doesn't come naturally to many teenagers. – Feel free to tell pupils to research answers to their questions. Easier if you have already recommended some websites (see resources handout). Follow up. 7

8 Will I get along – with the students (2)? Possible concerns Possible concerns Challenge the students: eg with independent projects, posters, 5-minute presentations. You'll see different strengths and limitations in them, as well as help set them up for the real world. Ask for opportunities to observe colleagues teaching your set(s), especially if they have a reputation for good classroom management. Mentally rehearse classroom disasters before they happen – pilots do this in a flight simulator throughout their careers. Keep written records of incidents. Follow the school sanctions policy scrupulously. Inform your mentor in writing if reality does not match the policy when it comes to support from the SLT, eg pupils not seen by SLT until ten days after the incident that you reported. It happens. 8

9 How will my NQT mentor treat me? Possible concerns Possible concerns Ideally, as a valued recruit to a demanding job, who needs guidance beforehand and feedback afterwards, the chance to make small mistakes without being shot, and occasionally to be saved from making major blunders. But: ask politely but firmly for the support that you are entitled to: see the DfE policy on induction for checklists) Keep in touch with your peers from ITT; compare your experience with theirs. 9

10 How will the technician(s) treat me? Possible concerns Possible concerns I don't know. Some are brilliant, most do their best with limited resources (time and money), a few will try to keep NQTs 'in their place' Treat them with respect and courtesy: this will pay immediate dividends with most, and win around almost all of the awkward squad in time. Follow their requisition procedure! 10

11 How will I know what to teach (1)? Possible concerns Possible concerns Ideally you'll get a comprehensive SoW before the end of this term. If not, prepare your own: start with the spec, then the textbook, then past papers with mark schemes and examiners' reports (online or in Exampro). Make sure you can explain things that are set out as 'givens' in the textbook – turn to Muncaster? (see handout). Could pupils get good marks using what you plan to teach them? – Start point is helping students to get good exam grades. Then add the extra depth/breadth/context that a specialist can bring (this contributes to good grades if it interests and motivates students). – Read New Scientist – make a fuss if school library doesn't buy it – and IOP journals that are sent to affiliated schools. – 11

12 How will I know what to teach (2)? Possible concerns Possible concerns In theory; A-level work is founded on GCSE work. But: – GCSE specs differ. – GCSE and A-level spec revisions are not in sync. – Students retain widely-differing amounts of what they learned in Year 11. – In your first year, all the students will be unknown to you. Try a no-notice, short test in the very first lesson: about 30-minutes worth of top-end GCSE questions from past papers. – A baseline for lesson prep and for assessing student progress. Expect weak maths, eg trig for work on vectors: - plan maths revision session(s)? - asks Maths Dept for their A-level PoS? 12

13 I know what to to teach – how should I teach it (1)? Possible concerns Possible concerns Easiest in subjects & Key Stages where you gained experience during ITT. A-level is often the issue, especially particle physics, but ask colleagues, peers, IOP (www.TalkPhysics.org – see handout). Think your way through the SoW; add notes of bright ideas that you may use in your lessons plan. Lesson planning: as directed by mentor/SLT if they are observing, but otherwise to suit yourself. No need to fill a page with statements of the obvious if only you will read it. SEN – make friend of the SENCO early on – ask for training if you have a significant SEN task. 13

14 I know what to to teach – how should I teach it (2)? Possible concerns Possible concerns Stress to pupils: they should aim first to understand concepts rather than memorise extensive detail. - Don't start by throwing equations on the board; it's confusing for all but the most mathematically-minded. - Try: demo (if possible) → discuss → explain → quantify → calcs. Teaching style: whatever works for your students and for you. There is no one right way; think back to your own teachers & lecturers. We are told that even OFSTED now accepts this, though I can't speak for your HoD. Lesson content must include demos and pracs, but you may struggle to include all the 'discuss/explain/quantify/calc' into lesson time. - Either: discuss/explain/quantify in class, leaving most calcs for prep, or: students read up in advance, leaving more time for calcs in class? - You could let the class decide which they prefer, but then hold them to it. 14

15 I'm not confident about school practicals Possible concerns Possible concerns Consult technicians diplomatically: they may be expert, or limited but keen to learn, or defensive about lack of knowledge. Use IOP/Nuffield Practical Physics, and Teaching Advanced Physics (TAP) websites – see handout. Use to borrow, or ask for, ideas – see handout. Look out for new pracs in journals, at IOP meetings, online, but try them first, and assess risk, in line with departmental policy on risk assessments. IOP/ASE twilights and study days (IOP are free). Identify (IOP website) and contact your IOP Teacher Network Coordinator (PNC) and attend, or even suggest topics for, IOP workshops. Go online to university websites: look for chances to take students to events, to invite academics into your school (keep SLT informed) or to go on study days yourself cohort will be last to sit practical exams (ISA or EMPA). Make an early start: read the rules, plan dates/times, coordinate with other sciences/depts. Go on exam board study days. 15

16 Will I cope with the marking? Possible concerns Possible concerns Probably not – at the beginning. Understand the school policy. Follow it as best you can – if it's unclear or unrealistic: ask. Keep a diary (day, class, time spent) in case you are challenged. Be smart: use peer marking and skim marking where appropriate. Consider model answers, for correct physics and decent English. Be particularly scrupulous in marking if a student is not keeping up. You will need evidence to support any suggestion that he/she should drop the subject (though 'better grades in fewer subjects' is a valid line to take). Tell mentor/HoD early if it's getting out of hand – use diary and samples as evidence. 16

17 Will there be enough hours in the day? Possible concerns Possible concerns No. So prioritise. Temper your own judgment on priorities with guidance from colleagues and direction from management. It is entirely legitimate to ask your line manager: “Which of these jobs needs the greatest attention to detail” or “Which should I finish first” or ”If I take on this task, which other task can I put to one side in order to make time?”. Ask in writing if you wish. Your are entitled to a domestic and social life – just keep it off Facebook, and ignore ‘friend’ request from current or recent pupils. 17

18 How can I remember all the school policies that I am expected to follow? Possible concerns Possible concerns Ask where the electronic copy is on the school's server. Copy it to your laptop so that you can search easily. Learn the policies dealing with things about which you'll have to make immediate decisions: eg sanctions, child protection. Where possible, check the appropriate policy before acting. If it's ambiguous, contradictory, or just plain daft, raise the issue in writing. 18

19 Will my pupils look for me on Facebook? Possible concerns Possible concerns Yes, so clean up and lock down now. Will they write me up on RateMyTeacher? Possibly. If you don't want to know, don't look. Will they try to photograph me in class? Yes, if the school does not effectively control phones in class. 19

20 What should I do if I am not being provided with: Possible concerns Possible concerns “the necessary employment task, experience and support to enable (me) to demonstrate satisfactory performance against the relevant standards throughout and by the of the induction period?” Make sure that you know the rules (next slide). Ask for what you need, informally and then formally, in writing. Keep a note of all verbal responses and a copy (off-line) of any ed ones. Note that not all rules apply to academies, but study the text carefully – take no-one's word for it. Governors are responsible for oversight of NQT induction. 20

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22 Should I try to stay in this job after my NQT year? Possible concerns Possible concerns Yes, if you enjoy it, feel that you are valued and can see significant career progression on a timescale that you are happy with. No, if you don’t feel that way. Things to do anyway: Keep an eye on the job market, eg TES and Guardian websites; know what you are worth, Avoid tying yourself financially, eg with a mortgage, if possible 22

23 Will I pass my induction year? Possible concerns Possible concerns Probably, but don't stick it out if failure looms: you cannot resit. Move elsewhere, either to another induction post or to short- term supply (less than one term) for the rest of the year. This will develop your confidence and experience, and give you credibility when applying elsewhere for induction. Again, study the DfE rules. They are quite complicated. 23

24 What if I decide that I don't want to be a teacher after all? If you are seriously unhappy by the Spring half-term break, as opposed to just thoroughly exhausted, make a list of the pros and cons. Now ask yourself which of the cons apply to teaching in general and which reflect your experience of this school. Mostly the latter? Look for another post, to commence as soon as you have completed and passed your induction. A year in one school is not wide experience of teaching. Schools vary hugely in their ethos and atmosphere, from brilliant to !!! If you know that you could be a good teacher in the right environment, then there is a Physics post somewhere with your name on it. 24

25 That’s all, folks Happy to stay in touch: address on handout 25


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