I recently joined a social media Psychology teachers’ group in the hope of sharing and gaining ideas for the teaching of my subject. In one such post I was horrified to read that the writer had her blancmange brains all made and ready to be transported into school for her students to label in their A level lesson.
Mastering others is strength; Mastering yourself is true power.” -Lao Tzu, Chinese Taoist Philosopher.
My question this week is how do we get students to master themselves and to know their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to writing essays?
Plato called Socrates “the wisest, and justest, and best of all men whom I have ever known” (Phaedo) and yet Socrates did not write down his lessons nor stand at the front of his class imparting the results of his experience, personal study and reflection. Instead he questioned his students and, once they came up with an idea, he questioned them again!
Behaviour Management, Differentiation and Worksheetless Bottom Sets.
When it comes to teaching science I’m rather like an old and decrepit NQT! Having taught A level Psychology for twenty years, last year was my first foray into the wonderful world of little people who refuse to stay in their seats, tap you when they want attention and speak all at once at a volume level that would fill a concert hall.
‘Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves.’ (John Milton, 1671)
My title this week is inspired by Milton’s most quoted line from his play, Samson Agonistes. Poor Samson, through his physical blindness, eventually comes to find an inner, spiritual sight which reveals to him his true purpose as a martyr.
I’ve decided to write this blog as a record of what I’m about to do! Do permit me to introduce myself.
I am a teacher in her early fifties, working full time in a comprehensive, earning £37,000 a year (PSP3). I am sole teacher of Psychology A level and also teach Health and Social Care and Science. As a PSP teacher, I have a wider school commitment to mentor an NQT and I’m currently looking at setting up GCSE Psychology in September 2017 as well as running Psychology Club for year 11 students on Thursday after school. I work from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and from 8am to 3.30 pm on Friday. I have a fifteen minute breakfast break and a thirty minute lunch break.
The reason for setting up this blog is that I am going to try to do the impossible! I’m determined to try and fit all of my work into a working day! Before you talk about long holidays, yes that is true but I have long been resigned to the fact that the holidays (apart from about four weeks in the Summer) are simply ‘working from home’ with the added luxury of being able to prep and mark in pyjamas; without interruption.
I firmly believe that I should be able to fit all my work into a working day plus a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and that, if I can’t, the workload is too large. I have spent my October half term catching up with prep and marking. I’ve prepared a scheme of work, marked two sets of student work and prepared 21 lessons (all on power-point as is a requirement of my school). This will get me through next week’s teaching and I will have the same amount to do for the week after. I still have one set of marking and a scrutiny of GCSE Psychology syllabuses to do this weekend so that I can present my action plan for the setting up of this course next week.
Here goes then! I’m not sure how I will do it but I’m resolute in my determination to try. I don’t normally do anything other than teach in a lesson but, perhaps, I will have to review that idea. I’m making teaching and marking my priority and I’m going to give a weekly update of what gets done and what does not. Wish me luck!
WB 24th October (half term)
Done: 21 lessons planned, two sets of marking and one scheme of work.
Pending: one set of marking, one scrutiny of GCSE Psychology syllabuses.
Not done: Class charts for yr 7 and 8 not updated (still need to add student data to my seating plan). Psychology club introductory activity.