Saturday, 11 May 2013

April: After the school holidays

At the start of April, I wrote about being on school holidays and the many assignments that I had to do.  Luckily I did finished all my work and in the nick of time too! After the school holidays ended, I went on practicum (prac) which is an unpaid internship for people studying to be teachers. I started my prac in April and finished it last Monday so that's why this post is late.  I was assigned to a private school which was something I had not experienced in a long time.

Most of my pracs have been in public schools. I’ve been to poor and rich schools. The poorest school looked old and worn.  Many of the children came from families that had generations of unemployment and menial jobs. They didn’t value education and the children suffered from neglect and poor parenting choices. I’ve also been to affluent public schools where there was a more positive school vibe, plenty of resources and well cared for students.

My latest prac school was compact and clean, with new areas still being built. There was a huge construction site for the new wing, there were trucks, a crane and big mounds of dirt. The year one class that I was with was doing a science unit on changes to the environment. My first lesson with them was to take them outside and observe things that was happening in their school. I like how I could relate the science unit to something that children could understand.

I also taught the children maths, English, social science and Christian studies (it’s a Christian school). It was my first time teaching religion at a school. I’m not even Christian! However, I want to be able to work in any school and I respect all religions so I volunteered to teach a few Christian lessons. The first graders were being introduced to the bible which we explained was a book of stories from long ago about God. I showed them different bibles for various ages and explained that the text may be different but they all contain the same messages and stories. I also read David and Goliath to the kids and had them sequence the story.  My mentor teacher discussed with me what I had to do so I didn’t have to come up with anything new.

The students were very nice kids. They instantly accepted me into their class which was great. Sometimes it takes a while for the kids to get to know you. Before starting the prac, I forgot that little children are germy. Most of the children sucked on their hat drawstrings and on their shoe laces. One kid would sneeze and lick his hands clean! They were also an affectionate bunch and loved to run up and hug me or hold my hand. Fortunately there was a huge bottle of hand sanitizer in the classroom. Unfortunately, I got dreadful cold in the second week of prac. On one day I was so sick I had to go home in the middle of the day.

My mentor teacher was very nice, not all mentors are nice. I think she was the BEST mentor teacher I’ve ever had. She really showed me how to manage the class schedule. She was very organized and always knew what was happening next. When she gave me feedback she was constructive and never judgmental.

At the end of the prac, I made the children some bag tags with their names on them. I always like to give my prac class a goodbye gift. The kids were crazy for key rings as it was the only display of individuality (the kids wear uniforms and have a strict dress code). Most of the students had multiple key rings on their school bag. They had big bells and little soft toy key rings.

 I figure what’s one more in their collection. I also thought the kids with the uncommon names would like something pretty with their names on it.I used the template from

It’s a free printable and no fuss, just add in the names and print it out.I also got together with the other prac students at the school to host a morning tea as a thank you to the teachers. It was more of a little party than a morning tea as we provided cakes, savory parcels, donuts, crackers, dips and small sausages. The teachers all loved the food. I also gave my mentor teacher and the teacher aide some chocolates and a thank you card.



  1. that sound really fun >.< and they keychain is so cute xD

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  2. I am glad you had such a successful prac Carlyn! I loved the David and Goliath pictures, and the fact that everyone was appreciative of the teachers. The keyrings for the students was a cute idea too. I'm sure they all loved them!

    1. Thanks Jon. The children loved the key rings. One little boy happily ran to his mum screaming " MISS CARLYN MADE A KEY RING FOR MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"


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