A combination of thorough planning and effective execution led to a great lesson, observed by the principal of the school. I am ecstatic.
The principal serves as a "mentor" who in collaboration with the University observes and grades me while I am on this practicum. So I had arranged for her to see me start the statistics unit. Starting a unit was a little daunting to me at first till I had constructed in my mind how it would progress and put it into some personalised form. And today was the day that I was to start. I was thinking through exactly how to establish the lesson, get the students involved and moving, while retaining learning objectives and some channel for feedback. My lesson achieved all of that and more. It was so embarrassingly easy on the day. In a perhaps overstatement, the principal told my associate teacher that she wished that they had a vacancy (i.e. for which to secure me, perhaps!). The principal is also one of my referees now, and is quite well-known in the education community.
All in all, I am quite positive about passing the course and gaining a bit more optimism about the quest for a job.
...and then a maiden over.
After the high of that success, the principal left and then after a writing lesson, my associate finally upped and left me as she had to go home to pack for her trip to the UK. For a period of half-an-hour I was technically illegally unsupervised although I was fully planned and ready to teach in that time. Regrettably, that phase was not at all successful. It carried out the function but failed to retain a semblance of control over the situation. The small group I was taking for a small group reading was distracted, chatty and for the most part uncooperative. Hmmmmmmmm. I need to think how I will approach this because I have another group to do tomorrow. I had originally asked my associate to observe me take a reading lesson, but she naturally needed that extra time to pack.
Fortunately tomorrow the reliever who will be with me for the next two weeks will be in. From the sounds of it he is no amateur, but rather a living legend, a former principal with a knack for effortlessly managing a class and teaching. Certainly I will benefit from his eyes on my practice.
One down-side to my real associate teacher was that she was terrible with feedback, overly glossy, and finally today (9 days down the track) I get her first written comments on my management, written on a post-it note! I found in my horrid second practicum that sometimes relievers can deliver much more useful feedback than the teacher whose class it is.
Ah, so that was the day that was. I am really looking forward to this weekend. I need a rest and also need to prepare for a solid week at the helm as well as re-launch an assault on the job-market. So far not one of my sent CVs and applications has resulted in an interview, so I cannot neglect this side much longer.
Back to preparation....