The Learning School Project 2 - Kinsale Community School 2010/2011

The Learning School Project 2 – Kinsale Community School            2010/2011
Section 1: Context of the School

Kinsale Community School officially opened on August 1st 1996, following the
amalgamation of Our Lady of the Rosary Secondary School and Kinsale Vocational School.

The school is a rural co educational post primary community school offering both established
Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate programmes as well as Leaving Certificate Applied
and the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme. The school also offers FETAC
certification courses and a variety of evening courses. The school accepts pupils of all
academic abilities from all backgrounds.

Since its foundation Kinsale Community School has continued to grow and currently has a
pupil population of 754 and approximately 72 staff members.

For the academic year 2010/2011 Kinsale Community School has taken on 16 student
teachers that are participating in Postgraduate Diploma in Education courses, in a variety of
third level institutions nationwide.

The school hosts student teachers of a variety of subjects from the Post Graduate Diploma in
Education (PGDE) at NUI Cork and the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in Sports Studies and
Physical Education also at NUI Cork, as well as students from the Higher Diploma in Arts for
Art and Design Teachers at the CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork. Student
teachers participating in the Bachelor of Sciences (B.Sc) in Physical Education and Sports
Sciences at the University of Limerick and student teachers studying for the B.A in Education
at St. Patrick’s College, Thurles are also training at Kinsale Community School. These
student teachers engage in block release and do not do their teaching practice on a year long
basis.

 Student teachers are introduced to their parallel teacher at the start of the school year. Each
student teacher is allocated a small portion of the teaching hours of their parallel teacher, with
whom they are required to liaise. The parallel teacher is encouraged to keep in contact with
the student teacher throughout the school year and to give advice where appropriate. The
parallel teacher is asked to notify the Deputy Principal of any issue that concerns the
performance of the student teacher.

Kinsale Community School has 21 parallel teachers working with PGDE students this year.




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Section 2: Rationale

The Kinsale Community School Learning School Project has committed itself to mentoring
and monitoring its PGDE students and assisting with their integration in the school. In recent
years the number of PGDE students in Kinsale Community School has increased. It was felt
that a more structured induction of PGDE students would enhance the learning experience of
pupils and ensure that the prescribed work would be taught well and within the given time
frame. This need was identified by staff and management. This provided an impetus for
participation in the Learning School Project 2.

In order to ensure consistency in learning among pupils and to minimise disruption caused by
new and inexperienced teachers, methods of communication between parallel teachers and
PGDE students needed to be addressed and enhanced. At the same time the school was
mindful of the needs of PGDE students, and strove to allow them to benefit from a positive
experience of teaching which in turn would improve the quality of learning in the classroom
and maintain high standards of teaching and learning.

In partaking in the Learning School Project 2, Kinsale Community School’s aim is to develop
an effective induction programme for PGDE students and to define within this programme
the role of the parallel teacher and the student teacher. The creation of links between PGDE
students, their parallel teacher and the whole staff body of the school is of ongoing paramount
importance to the project.

In order for the project to succeed the input and commitment of the PGDE students, parallel
teachers and whole staff body was required. Initially the project focused on selecting a team
comprising five parallel teachers and their respective student teachers. The team was selected
with the aim of ensuring that a cross section of subjects, experiences and third level
institutions were represented.

Objectives of project team

This work was undertaken by Jean Gaffney (Teacher and School Planning Co-ordinator) and
Joanne Scobie (Teacher) who were approached by Mr. Seán Ó’Broin, Principal, and took
responsibility for the initiation, implementation and evaluation of the project. The project
was extended to a school based team made up of parallel teachers that had shown a particular
interest in this project and their PGDE students.

The role of team members was to implement the project by attending meetings, liaising with
PGDE students, completing questionnaires and sharing experiences and clarifying roles.

The role of management was to facilitate the implementation of the project and to support the
team. Results of this project will be used by management to create a template for prospective
student teachers and parallel teachers in the future.




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Methodology

Between September 2010 and May 2011, an LSP2 meeting was held every Friday morning to
discuss issues and monitor progress. The team leaders also attended six LSP2 meetings at
the West Cork Education Centre1, Dunmanway, and three additional meetings were held at
Kinsale Community School with LSP2 regional facilitators.

The team’s initial action was to identify the concerns and expectations that PGDE students
and parallel teachers had by virtue of their position. In consultation with management two
surveys were designed, completed and collated. The results of this research formed the basis
of the rest of the project (Appendices A and B) This was followed by a series of meetings with
the PGDE students and parallel teachers, in order to air concerns, put forward suggestions
and give feed back on surveys. (Appendix C)

Concerns that required action were addressed in the following ways.

        Drafting of a letter template ( Appendix V) for use by PGDE students for the purpose of
        micro –teaching2. This was to ensure continuity in communication with parents. This
        made PGDE students aware of and ensured the compliance with child protection
        policies. The possibility of class teachers distributing letters on behalf of the PGDE
        student was raised in order to avoid discrepancies.

        Practical advice was provided in relation to locating and using data projectors and a
        school camcorder and other school equipment.

        A two hour behaviour management3 workshop was organised and attended by all full
        time PGDE students and a questionnaire completed ( Appendix D).

        To assist in the identification of staff and PGDE students and enhance relations the
        idea of using reference photographs was mooted by the team and approved by
        management.

        The limitations of space in an overcrowded building required the provision for
        immediate booking of office space for unannounced inspection visits from PGDE
        course tutors. A room booking template was designed and a procedure for booking a
        room was put in place.

Following this a meeting was held between the Team Leaders and the parallel teachers. Ways
to improve communication between parallel teachers and PGDE students were explored. A
PGDE student/ Parallel Teacher Liaison Form was designed and distributed accordingly
1
 The West Cork Education Centre is part of a national network of teacher education support centres. whose
aim is a to promote the continuing professional development of teachers

2
 Micro teaching involves video recording of actual lessons in order to give feedback to the student teacher
about effective strategies in the classroom.

3
 The workshop was organised by The Provisional Development Services for Teachers, a state funded body set
up to provide support to education programmes.




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(Appendix E) Thismethod of communication was piloted and feedback was acquired via
survey, and then revised accordingly (Appendix F). It was unanimously agreed that such a
procedure should be implemented in future to ensure formalised documentation of such
communications.

A number of meetings with the team were held to explore the roles of the PGDE student and
the parallel teachers. Results of surveys, the induction policy at Kinsale Community School
and teacher and management input were considered. These would be seen as a crucial
element of the new induction policy for PGDE students. The suggested roles were provisional
and not exhaustive and would therefore be reviewed and revised as appropriate throughout
the course of the rest of the project.

In order to gain an insight into the development of PGDE students over the year a final
survey was issued to PGDE students (Appendix H). The questions asked were to ascertain if
their perspectives had changed or altered based on experiences in Kinsale Community School
throughout the year.

A comparative study was made between this survey and the survey issued in October 2010
which had posed similar questions (Appendix S).

Concrete roles were defined and the induction policy for PGDE students was reviewed
(Appendix W) and amended in light of the Learning School Project. A series of guidelines to
accompany these roles were drawn up (Appendix T & U).

A detailed action plan for the project can be found in Appendix H. A podcast outlining a brief
introduction to the project is available.

Resources

A number of resources were key to the implementation of the project, first and foremost the
participation of the PGDE students and their parallel teachers. This ensured that the project
was relevant to the particular school and its own staff and pupils. Management was a vital
resource in providing support and allocating time to see the project through.

The West Cork Education Centre in Dunmanway facilitated six LSP2 meetings for
participants of the Learning School Project. At these meetings, LSP2 team leaders from a
number of other West Cork Schools were given the opportunity to share their experiences of
their respective projects. These meetings were useful to allow the team to reflect on current
activities and to seek advice and feedback on how to move forward. The Learning School
hubs also provided the team with the necessary framework on which to structure the project,
as well as providing practical advice.

The Provisional Development Services for Teachers facilitated a behaviour management
workshop for the PGDE students at Kinsale Community School. This workshop was
organised to address concerns of PGDE students about how to manage pupil behaviour. The
workshop lasted for two hours and offered practical advice on common problems
encountered by student teachers in the classroom. The evaluation of the efficacy of the
workshop (Appendix L) reaffirmed the need for a structured induction programme for PGDE
students and informed the next stages of the project.



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The project has been informed by literature on mentoring programmes in other countries such
as the UK and in particular the system of induction followed in German schools.
Publications by the Department of Education and Skills were also consulted, in particular the
Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Policy and Procedures, and the
Learning to Teach Study Executive Summary by the School of Education, University College
Cork.

Policy documents specific to Kinsale Community School such as the Induction Policy for
PGDE students and the Staff Handbook were also referred to.

Data Collection

Data was collected through the design, issue and collation of a number of surveys that were
specific to each stage of the project. In order to provide meaningful and current data the
surveys were designed to be relevant and as concise as possible. Each survey was handed out
to participants individually and its purpose explained to participants.

Four of the surveys were designed and issued by the team, while an evaluation survey was
collated following the behaviour management workshop facilitated by Provisional
Development Services for Teachers (Appendix L).

 Two of the four surveys contained qualitative data only and these were instrumental in
shaping the project (Appendices J & M). Participants gave responses that were very much based
on their own personal experiences and provided an invaluable insight into the roles and
responsibilities of both student teachers and parallel teachers at Kinsale Community School.

The remaining two surveys provided a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data. While the
qualitative data provided a context within which PDGE students and their parallel teachers
were working, the quantitative data acted as indicators which would steer the project
(Appendices K & M).

All data collected confirmed and reaffirmed the importance and necessity of the project.

Results

All surveys were analysed by the team leaders and this analysis informed the next stages of
the project.

The first survey, designed to determine PGDE students concerns and expectations as student
teachers revealed a myriad of qualitative data, which on analysis, revealed the PGDE students
to be a group of motivated individuals with a heavy work load and a strong desire to teach
well (Appendix O). While many needs of PGDE students were met at the school there was an
overriding concern about behaviour management. In order to meet this need a date for a
behaviour management workshop was organised. Analysis of feed back from this workshop
demonstrated the need for such a workshop to become an integral part of the PGDE induction
programme at Kinsale Community School ( Appendix Q)




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 Following the initial survey of PGDE students, it was decided that it would be valuable to
conduct a similar survey at the end of the school year, to assess any of the actions initiated by
the Learning School Project 2.

Analysis of data collected from a survey designed to assess the needs and concerns of parallel
teachers produced both qualitative and quantitative data ( Appendix O & P). One interesting
outcome was the fact that only 54% of parallel teachers saw their role as being clearly
defined and there were differing conceptions as to what this role entailed ( Appendix P). This
led to the conclusion that roles needed to be clarified and more information be disseminated
to parallel teachers, in particular what exactly is required in the role of mentor.

A major concern was that fact that currently, meetings between parallel teachers and PGDE
students are often sporadic. They depend on availability of time, the needs of the PGDE
student and the willingness of the parallel teacher to make themselves available. Based on
this analysis we recommend that a new system be implemented in this area to ensure regular
structured contact is made.

This survey also revealed data that reflects the willingness of the parallel teacher to develop
professionally. Many parallel teachers saw the PGDE students as an asset to the school and
commented on the many positive experiences that they bring to the school that enhance
learning, from which parallel teachers can learn. However, parallel teachers raised concerns
about the inexperience of PGDE students and stressed the need for them to be monitored and
guided. There was some concern about the additional workload that this would involve.

In order to address the aforementioned needs, a structured approach to monitoring was
identified by the parallel teachers and suggestions for addressing this issue were piloted. A
parallel teacher/PGDE student liaison form was tested ( Appendix D) and the response from all
parties was positive (Appendix R). 100% of participants agreed that this was beneficial and on
analysis it appears that this approach would ultimately ensure consistency in pupils’ learning.
It was felt that completing it weekly may put undue pressure on PGDE students and
completing it monthly may result in some material being omitted. After long discussion it
was agreed that fortnightly /bi monthly would be the best option. Provisional dates for
meetings between PGDE students and their parallel teachers will be scheduled at the
beginning of the school year.

On analysis of the final survey given to PGDE students following almost a whole school year
at Kinsale Community School (Appendix S) it was clear that while PGDE students had become
confident and had developed their own teaching strategies, there was still a lack of clarity and
definition as to what their roles and that of the parallel teacher were. Communication
remained sporadic and informal.

Due to the initiatives introduced by LSP2 concrete roles of PGDE students and parallel
teachers have been suggested and drawn up for modification and approval by management
(Appendix T). It is hoped that these roles will give clarity to PGDE students about what is
expected of them, as well as emphasising the importance of the active participation of the
parallel teacher in mentoring the PGDE student. Accompanying these roles is a series of



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guidelines for mentoring programmes (Appendix U). These guidelines provide practical
suggestions as to how to fulfil the role of PGDE student and parallel teacher.

 As a result of this a comprehensive induction programme has been suggested that is
informed by concrete experiences. Both the qualitative and quantitative data produced by the
surveys have been instrumental in its creation.

This project has made the staff more aware of the importance of developing a reciprocal
relationship with PGDE students. The project has affirmed the long term and short term
benefits of mentoring PGDE students effectively.

Section 3

The project has impacted on the school management, the immediate team members, parallel
teachers and the PGDE students and has initiated the development of a more comprehensive
induction programme and mentoring system for PGDE students, which will enhance learning
in the classroom.

The immediate team members, who are also parallel teachers, reflected on their responsibility
as a parallel teacher, and some team members stated that it also made them reflect on their
own approaches to teaching. Their willingness to partake and their continuous involvement
throughout the year is testament to the fact that they saw its benefits.

Contributions from parallel teachers and PGDE students have provided a concrete foundation
from which management can develop its policies and programmes. The PGDE students
embraced the project with enthusiasm and provided honest and thought provoking answers.

Management identified the need for the project and were supportive throughout. It was also
noted by the Department of Education and Skills officials who came to inspect the school as
part of a Management, Leadership and Learning inspection.

As team members, leading the project has been a learning experience, having gained valuable
insights into the concerns and needs of student teachers and their mentors. Staff members
and management were supportive of the project, however it was often difficult to find time
for the whole team to meet, due to busy schedules. Despite this, much has been achieved and
it is hoped the outcomes of the project will be sustainable. The results of the project will be
shared with staff at a staff meeting and will be presented to the Board of Management. It is
also envisaged that third level institutions which provide student teacher education be
informed of this project.

Because of the introduction of the project, all staff members have become more sensitive to
the needs of not only PGDE students, but also new staff members that join the school. It is
also foreseen that it will assist with the integration of substitute teachers and teaching
assistants from abroad. It is hoped that in reading this project other schools will gain an
insight into both the challenges and benefits of a mentoring system and will be in a position
to review their own practices in light of this.

Appendices

Project Methodology


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Appendix A – Initial survey of PGDE students (template)

Appendix B – Initial survey of parallel teachers (template)

Appendix C – Sample of Minutes of Meetings

Appendix D – Survey of Behaviour Management Workshop (template)

Appendix E - PGDE student and parallel teacher liaison form (Pilot) (template)

Appendix F – PGDE student and parallel teacher liaison form (revised) (template)

Appendix G – Questionnaire feed back on PGDE student and parallel teacher liaison form (template)

Appendix H – End of year questionnaire for PGDE students (template)

Data Collection

Appendix I - LSP2 Action Plan 2010/2011

Appendix J - Initial survey of PGDE students - responses

Appendix K - Initial survey of parallel teachers - responses

Appendix L - Survey of Behaviour Management Workshop -responses

Appendix M - Questionnaire feed back on PGDE student & parallel teacher liaison form (responses)

Appendix N - End of year questionnaire for PGDE students (responses)

Results

Appendix O - Initial survey of PGDE teachers –responses with analysis by LSP 2 team

Appendix P - Initial survey of parallel teachers – responses with analysis by LSP 2 team

Appendix Q- Survey of Behaviour Management Workshop –responses with analysis.

Appendix R- Questionnaire - feed back on PGDE student and parallel teacher liaison form (analysis)

Appendix S- End of year questionnaire for PGDE students (responses with analysis)

Appendix T- Suggested roles for PGDE students and parallel teachers

Appendix U- Elements to Consider when Developing Teaching Practice Competences.

Appendix V- Micro teaching letter template

Appendix W – Amended induction policy for Student teachers

Appendix A – Initial survey of PGDE students.

01.10.2010.

1. Why do you want to be a teacher?
2. From your experience as a pupil what is (a) a good teacher;
    (b) a poor teacher?


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3. Why did you pick K.C.S.? Any particular reason(s)?
4. How did you feel when you visited the school last May?
5. What were your feelings immediately prior to opening
    and especially on your first morning in school?
6. How did you feel going in/coming out the door of your
    first class?
7. Has your experiences in KCS since Sept altered these feelings     (questions
4, 5 and 6) if so please explain?
8. How realistic are induction courses organised by your university?
9. What difficulties are you facing in the classroom?
10. What difficulties do you think are coming down the track?
    Do you have any one particular nightmare?
11. What do you want from induction in K.C.S.?
12. What contribution do you see yourself making to KCS?
13. How can your parallel teacher fulfil his/her role?
14. How important is class preparation?
15. Have you put any thought into seating arrangements?
16. Have you put any thought into your style of questioning?
17. Has self analysis any role to play in your teaching?
18. How would define effective teaching?
19.How will you know that your students have learned what you’re trying to
teach?

20. How do you know when a lesson has been successful?
21. What do you hope to gain from your year as a PGDE student?
22. What do you consider to be your most valuable resource to
date?
Any other comments you wish to make at this time




Appendix B – Initial survey of parallel teachers

        The Learning School Project 2                        8th November 2010




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1. Have you ever been a parallel teacher for a PGDE student before?( please tick)

            Yes              No                not specified




2. How often do you meet with your PGDE student? (please tick)

    once a week       once a month as the need arises          other (please specify)




    Do you feel that your role as a parallel teacher is clearly defined? (please tick)

             Yes             No               not specified




    3.How do you see your role as a parallel teacher?




4. What are the main challenges for you as a parallel teacher?




5. What are your main concerns as a parallel teacher?




6. What in your opinion are the benefits of being a parallel teacher?




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7. What impact does having a PGDE student have on the pupils at school?




8. How can we improve the quality of PGDE student participation in order to promote enhanced
   learning in the classroom?




9. Would you be prepared to be involved in a mentoring/ buddying system with a PGDE
   student?

           Yes             No             Not Specified




    Why/why not?




                             Thank you for your participation




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Appendix C – Sample of Minutes from meetings.

Learning School Project          Minutes of Meeting

Date                 19th November 2010

Time                 9.35am

In attendance        Jean Gaffney, Joanne Scobie, Tony Cierens, Elaine Bennett, Cathal O’Donovan

Points discussed     Jean briefed other members of the team on the developments of the project so
                     far. She reiterated the aims of the project and explained the actions taken as
                     the result of the survey of PGDE students i.e. creation of draft letter for micro
                     teaching, location of video camera, organisation of behaviour management
                     workshop (still pending).
                     Jean thanked parallel teachers for their participation in a survey and
                     mentioned main concerns arising out of survey. i.e. that while there are many
                     positive experiences of PGDE students in the school, there is great concern
                     about PGDE students being left to their own devices and the impact that this
                     can have on pupil’s learning and on uptake of certain subjects.
                     Concerns arose in particular about the selection of PGDE students (in particular
                     those coming from UCC) and whether they are being mentored effectively to
                     ensure that they can deliver the curriculum to the pupils.
                     We questioned whether the role of the University is passed onto the parallel
                     teacher and whether parallel teachers should have to face this challenge alone.
                     Should PGDE students come in to school before school starts and meet their
                     parallel teacher before students return, when parallel teachers are not too
                     busy.
                     The perception of what it means to be a parallel teacher was discussed. It is
                     often perceived as a role which frees up time for the parallel teacher, when in
                     fact it can place more demands on a parallel teacher.
                     The possibility of parallel teachers playing a more active role with PGDE
                     students was mooted.




Appendix D                Provisional Development Service for Teachers

                             PARTICIPANTS’ EVALUATION FORM

Schools: Kinsale Community School               Date: 28th January 2011


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Topic: Positive Behaviour Management

Please rate how you found today’s programme:

Very Helpful                         Helpful                    Not very helpful

No of Participants:

What did you find most helpful?




Have you any recommendations or suggestions for future in service?




Is there anything you wish to add?




Summary prepared by E. O’Keeffe PDST Regional Advisor




Appendix E
                 PGDE STUDENT AND PARALLEL TEACHER LIASON FORM (Pilot)

To ____________________(parallel teacher)              Date____________________________


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Subject________________________________                       Class____________________________

 Section 1   Topic (s) covered in last week




 Section 2   Homework given/
             Tests given




 Section 3   Issues that arose?




 Section 4   Intentions for up coming week




 Section 5   Resources needed?



 Section 6   Other questions/comments




From______________________________(PGDE)

Appendix F

PGDE STUDENT AND PARALLEL TEACHER LIASON FORM (revised)

To ____________________(parallel teacher)                     Date ___________________________

From__________________________(PGDE)                          Time frame______________________




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Subject________________________________                            Class____________________________

 Section 1    Topic (s) covered in this time frame




 Section 2    Homework given/
              Tests given




 Section 3    Issues that arose?




 Section 4    Intentions for up coming week




 Section 5    Resources needed?



 Section 6    Did an inspector visit your class?
              If yes provide details
 Section 7    Did you observe a lesson?
              If yes provide details
 Section 8    Other questions/comments




Appendix G

Questionnaire- Monitoring form for PGDE students and Parallel Teachers

1. Do you think that completing this form is beneficial? (please tick)

Yes              No

Why?



2. How often do you think this form should be completed?(please tick)



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Weekly             Fortnightly          Monthly            Other ______________



3. On average how much time did it take you to complete/ process this form?

__________________________________________________________________________________

4. Is there any section of the form that you would omit?

__________________________________________________________________________________

Why?

__________________________________________________________________________________

5. Would you recommend adding something to this form?

yes             no

If yes please explain:

__________________________________________________________________________________

6. Could you suggest an alternative way to document progress between the PGDE student and the
parallel teacher?

Yes                  No



If yes please explain or add any additional comments




Appendix H

End of Year PGDE Questionnaire                                                    March 2011

1. Do you still wish to pursue a career in teaching – Please explain?

2. From your experience of teaching this year what is (a) a good teacher? (b) a poor
teacher?

3. How do you feel going in/coming out the door of your classes in general?

4. How have your experiences in KCS since Sept influenced these feelings?

5. How have your experiences in University since September influenced these feelings?




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6. What strategies have you found helpful in overcoming difficulties in the classroom?

7. As a newly qualified teacher what difficulties do you think are coming down the track?

8. What have you gained from induction in K.C.S.?

9. How have you contributed to KCS?

10. Do you feel your parallel teacher fulfilled his/her role? Could this be improved –
explain?

11. Do you feel that school management fulfilled their role? Could this be improved
explain?

12. Did you find the behaviour management workshop useful? Could you recommend
other workshops that would be of benefit PGDE students?

13. How important is class preparation?

14. Have you put any thought into seating arrangements?

15. Has your style of questioning evolved? Do you incorporate differentiated
questioning?

16. Has self analysis any role to play in your teaching?

17. How would define effective teaching?

18. How will you know that your students have learned what you’re trying to teach?

19. How do you know when a lesson has been successful?

20. What have you gained from your year as a PGDE student?

21. What do you consider to be your most valuable resource to date?

22. How would you define the role of the PGDE student?

23. How would you define the role of the parallel teacher?

24. How would you define management’s role in relation to PGDE students?




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      Appendix I LSP2 Action Plan School Year 2010/2011      Mentoring and Monitoring PGDE students (Jean Gaffney, Joanne Scobie)

           September      October            November            December             January                      February            March            April           May

West       13 Sept        18 Oct             In-school           6 Dec                12 Jan                       In-school           7 March          4April          13th May
Cork Ed.                                     meeting             Meeting              In lieu of Dec meeting       meeting
Centre                                       To be decided       cancelled                                         To be decided       11 March         11 April
meetings                                                          due to weather      24 Jan                                                            In house
                                             (22nd at 11 am)                                                                                            meeting

Actions    Decide         Design, issue      Hold meeting        Behaviour            Behaviour management         Issue and collate   Pilot            Write up and    Finalise Induction
to be      LSP2 team      and collate        with PGDE           management           workshops                    questionnaire to    monitoring       submit report   for
taken      to travel to   questionnaire      students to         workshops for                                     PGDE students       form             for West Cork    PGDE student
           West Cork      for PGDE           discuss the         PGDE students        Meeting with full team       re Behaviour                         Ed Centre re    2011/2012
           meetings       students to        results of                               to discuss/design a          management          Design, issue,   project         Meet PGDE
                          identify issues    questionnaire       One inhouse with     monitoring form              workshops           collate                          2011/2012 students
           Decide         for                                    Kathleen O’Brien     –this will be completed                          questionnaire                    if possible
           topic for      consideration in   Hold meeting                             weekly by PGDE               Evaluation sheet    re monitoring    Monday 11
           project        project            with full team to   One outhouse         students.                    used by Liz O       form             April pm –      13th May
                                             introduce topic     with Liz              It should inform the        ‘Keefe                               Management      Final date for
                          Design, issue      and discuss         O’Keeffe(LSP2)       parallel teacher of work     following                            to attend.      submission of report.
                          and collate        questionnaires                           covered during the           workshop –          11th March       Discuss
                          questionnaire                          Cancelled due to     lessons/homework set/        used in lieu of     team meeting.    progress of
                          for Parallel                           weather              behavioural issues along     questionnaire.                       project.
                          teachers to                            conditions           with any issues that the
                          identify issues                        rescheduled for      PGDE student wishes to       Pilot monitoring                                     21st September 2011
                          for                                    January              discuss with the parallel    form                                                 Show case of all
                          consideration in                                            teacher.                                                                          projects,
                          project                                                     Design questionnaire to                                                           Charleville venue.
                                                                                      get feedback from
                          Finalise full                                               PGDE students re
                          school based                                                behaviour management
                          team for LSP2                                               workshops
                          project




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Appendix J

Initial P.G.D.E. survey responses            07.10.2010.

1. Why do you want to be a teacher?
I always found the dynamics and issues/responsibilities surrounding a
school setting very interesting with relation to development
I enjoy working in the classroom. I love teaching English and enjoy
thinking of different ways to engage and educate students
Communicate knowledge with others.
I love my subjects and want to share them with others
It seemed to be a natural progression after the arts degree and then
masters.
Loved school and learning and want them to enjoy it too, follow in mum’s
footsteps, love of subjects.
I loved school and always wanted to teach. I love working with students
and want to help them achieve their best. I love the subjects I teach.
I want to be a teacher because I love learning and having the opportunity
to work in an environment where everyday is different, challenging and
rewarding.
I’ve always respected and admired a good teacher. I’m very passionate
about art and having the opportunity to share what I know to others.

2. From your experience as a pupil what is    (a) a good teacher;
     (b) a poor teacher?
Good teacher:                        Poor teacher:
Understanding, creative, prepared    Poor management, poorly prepared
Organised, strict but fair,          Unorganised, too lenient in class,
approachable, enthusiastic           easily led by students, unmotivated
Interested in his/her subject,       in teaching their subjects
enthusiastic, get students involved  Just reads from books
Someone who motivates learning       Someone who inspires learning only
effortlessly, who inspires students  through fear and discipline
to want to learn
Someone who conveys information      Hostile – being too fearful is not
with enthusiasm – someone who        conducive to learning. Going at too
repeats information a lot            quick a pace. Not recapping enough
Variety of resources, good           Reads from textbook/ write notes
classroom management, clarity        on white board constantly, no
Uses different methods of teaching, variation
good management of class, gives      Uses only verbal explanation, can’t
homework and checks                  manage the class, doesn’t check
One who was engaging. Use of         homework, doesn’t care
different activities                 One who read chapter by chapter
Enthusiastic, engaging, clear and    from the book.
concise, good listener, passionate   Unprepared, poor social skills,
about their subject, good motivator, Unclear, poor motivator
prepared.




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3. Why did you pick K.C.S.? Any particular reason(s)?
Was placed here by PE dept in UCC - happy
A lot of my friends went to school here, they gave me great reports of the
school
Reputation of being a good school
Spanish was available as a subject to teach
I live in the area
Number of reasons – great atmosphere in the school, staffroom lively
chatty, posters and pictures up in reception, Sean very welcoming, I met a
current PGDE student who had very positive reports: seemed very helpful
to PGDE students
We were given our placements by the college.
Reputation / accessibility
None

4. How did you feel when you visited the school last May?
Nervous at first but warmly welcomed. Put at ease immediately by all staff
members
When I visited the school over the summer I was made feel very welcome.
I felt like I was part of the staff and not just a dip student
Very welcome
I thought the school had a positive atmosphere and I was impressed by
the principal’s views on education.
Excited to be meeting the other h-dips and getting to hear what it was like
from the present h-dips at school.
As above
I felt very welcome. All staff very welcoming.
Confident. It was a great opportunity to familiarise myself with the
school, the staff, the layout of the school, the ethos of the school, school
rules and the literature of the school. Also provided great support –
discussion with pgde students gave insight to year ahead.
none

5. What were your feelings immediately prior to opening?
     and especially on your first morning in school?
Slightly anxious
Even with teaching experience, I was very nervous! I was very unsure of
myself and dreading my first lesson.
Little nervous about the unknown
Extremely nervous but excited
I felt sick with nerves and excited at the same time.
Very nervous! Not sure were there classes, relief when there were
meetings. Nerves again on Monday! Very excited to get started too.
It was on my mind throughout the summer. Was very nervous coming up
to opening in the month of August?
Mixed, Nervous, excited, anxious, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.
On my first morning I was nervous meeting the other PGDE students and
the rest of the staff.




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6. How did you feel going in/coming out the door of your first class?
Relieved as I knew more about what to expect
I was satisfied with my first class I was very nervous going in but after the
initial introductions I settled in and I feel the class was a success
Little nervous going in but once I was started it was fine. I was a little
relieved when my first class was finished.
Nervous going in, relieved coming out
Before going into my first class I stood outside the door for a minute and
asked myself if I could really do this, then I took a deep breath and went
in. The lesson went well and I left feeling elated.
Going in- nerves excited
Coming out- happy and positive as it went very well
I felt nervous on entry. I found it very daunting. I was very relieved when
first class was over.
My nervousness had diminished/ anxiety had gone. I felt satisfied that my
first class had gone well.
Going into my first class I was nervous but excited to meet the group of
new first years.
Coming out I felt a little overwhelmed at being responsible for 22 pupils’
first introduction to are and design but again motivated to excite and
inspire young artists in the making.

7. Has your experiences in KCS since Sept altered these feelings
(questions 4, 5 and 6) if so please explain?
Yes I feel more settled in now
I am a lot more confident going into class now. The Staff is very friendly
and always wiling to help.
I still feel very welcome- not nervous going into class now.
I feel less nervous than at the start of school
I don’t feel that the old H-Dips gave an accurate description of what it was
like. They said it was really easy and think 6 to 8 classes was an
unrealistic view of teaching. I think 8 classes as well as driving to Cork 4
days a week is very demanding.
No still feel very welcome, great help from all. Not as nervous
Yes now I feel more comfortable going into class, although I always feel
that bit nervous. I feel good when I know the students learned something
and I taught a good well managed class.
None
All the staff and h – dips are very friendly and helpful. I had no reason to
be nervous.

8. How realistic are induction courses organised by your university?
They are organised quite well by UCC PE dept, have had experience in
second and third college with mentors of both subjects
Not very! We were introduced to a lot of information in a very short time.
It was a lot to process and did not benefit me in my initial weeks of
training
Well organised and planned
Not very, too much information squeezed into too short a time
Two days really is not adequate. I would prefer more training in lesson
planning. Also I would have liked more information on Junior Certificate


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English prior to starting to teach third years.
Tutorials are helpful to help with first class content but for someone who
had never taught before I don’t believe the induction would be very
helpful may have made them more nervous!
Well I had 2 weeks maths teaching last year and 2 weeks PE teaching the
year before, so I had some induction. I feel if I had more experience I
would be more comfortable this year.
Ok – many discussed classroom management which is important from the
beginning as well as what is expected for the year.
The induction week in Crawford was great, realistically they can only cover
so much in such a short time, but it was a good eye opener in terms of
classroom management and professional/ ethical behaviour.

9. What difficulties are you facing in the classroom?
Management. Silence throughout the lesson when explaining something.
Improving day to day.
I have no classroom management difficulties; the students are very well
behaved. However I am finding it difficult to gauge the level of material
for the class, whether it is too easy or too challenging.
No major difficulties some students are a little talkative at times.
Sometimes classroom management/discipline is an issue, sometimes I feel
I’m not doing a good enough job in engaging the students
Sometimes there are discipline issues, small ones people chatting not
concentrating on work. Maybe I need to be more severe imposing but I
am really not sure how to achieve this.
Homework not being completed – maths my clarity needs to improve.
Knowledge of content- not having taught the content before – what way to
go about teaching this content. Resources – finding other methods of
teaching is difficult.
I don’t think of them as difficulties but more as challenges – inclusion/
differentiation – accommodating everyone.
1st years – trying to motivate them intrinsically.
4th Years – some behavioural issues. I feel pupils see art as a waste of
time and it is difficult to get them to finish work.

10. What difficulties do you think are coming down the track?
     Do you have any one particular nightmare?
Progressing at appropriate rate with class
Schemes of work – I find it difficult to plan 7 or 8 weeks in advance.
Get the course covered with first year.
I find the transition year Spanish class hard because I’ve had so little time
with them. I’m worried they won’t really have learned anything! Typical
nightmare of inspector walking in at really bad moment.
The next inspection, although the first one went well there is always the
worry that something won’t flow on the day. Also having to film a class as
it just seems so invasive.
Classroom management as first years come out of their shell. In future
years classroom management of TYs
Difficulties teaching/supervising classes of behaviour problems. Would love
some tips on behaviour management.
No nightmares! I think there will always be challenges as a teacher.


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The Learning School Project 2 – Kinsale Community School    2010/2011
That the 4th years wont have learnt anything by Christmas. That it will
become a battle to get work done.

11. What do you want from induction in K.C.S.?
Yes I found the whole experience to be very welcoming and understanding
I want to get a well rounded experience of teaching. I would like to
experience dealing with older classes and not just first years.
Good experience as a teacher.
Experience and ideas
To gain an insight into the life of a professional teacher and to hopefully
become one myself.
Perfect the teaching of my subjects with more closer help from parallel
teachers
Want to have a good experience with all type of classes. Hope to learn
from observations, watching other teacher’s management components
etc.
I felt that the induction we had had in May worked well.
I wan to experience the full role of being a teacher, dealing with the
various year groups, break supervisions and class supervisions.

12. What contribution do you see yourself making to KCS?
I’ve already been involved in extra curricular activities and enjoy
contributing in any way possible
I aim to meet the professional requirements of the school. I am available
if needed for extra curricular activities.
Helping students through their studies.
Hopefully I will fulfil all my professional duties in a meaningful way.
I will do my best to teach students and to convey to them information in a
clear/ concise fashion.
I am involved in s+s everyday; I hope to get involved in extra curricular
activities.
I would like to think that I will make a valuable contribution.
I hope to contribute to TY’s mini company with demonstrations of what
they will make and any other projects that will be going on.
13. How can your parallel teacher fulfil his/her role?
Parallel teachers have been great so far this term. Really, really helpful. I
feel very lucky in comparison to college classmates in different schools
My parallel teachers have been very helpful and supportive so far. I have
been given handouts and extra notes which have been very helpful.
Keep me on track with regard to curriculum
Both parallel teachers have been excellent for advice and support
By offering me much needed guidance in the role of discipline and context
and method
Advice on classroom activities, how to make material interesting,
particularly maths.
Well my parallel teachers are excellent. I am benefiting from their advice
and feedback after every class, I find this excellent – give great tips on
management etc.
Share key teaching skills that they found valuable
I think she is fulfilling it perfectly. I feel that I can approach her with any
difficulties or problems.


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The Learning School Project 2 – Kinsale Community School       2010/2011
14. How important is class preparation?
Crucial for beginning of the year it can give you a confidence that might
be faltering
Vital. Lesson planning is very important in order to determine what
material you want to use and what you want students to know.
Very important – must know what you’re going to cover.
extremely
very, I spend hours preparing my third year English it helps me feel more
confident and I come across better/clearer.
Imperative – don’t feel confident if I don’t know the material inside out.
Lack of confidence means lack of clarity.
Extremely important I feel the more prepared you are the more one can
talk and teach in class especially in PE – have to be prepared.
Essential – ‘fail to prepare – prepare to fail’
Within art it is vital. Visual aids of other artist’s work as well as examples
of the task are necessary. I also think you need to be prepared for the
unexpected e.g. if a student is very strong and needs to be challenged to
get more from the class.

15. Have you put any thought into seating arrangements?
Yes but they were prearranged before I had the opportunity
At the moment the seating plan is working for me. There are no
disruptions in class as of yet.
Yes I have made out seating arrangements for students as students can
be very talkative next to their best friend.
Yes: changes transition year students around.
I have not moved any students yet. I have asked my third year English
not to sit right at the back of class as it is a small group of 15.
Yes I have changed this a couple of times as I get to know the students.
Very important for motivation and focus in the classroom as well as
classroom management.
Not yet. My maths class were seated by their class teacher. This plan was
ok.
On the first period with each group, I asked them to line up at the top of
the classroom. Firstly, I asked if anyone needed to be near the board.
Then I assigned them seats – boy girl and made a seating plan. In cases
where teachers had already made a seating plan I took a copy. I made a
seating plan for each class using photographs.
Yes. I let the class sit where they wanted on the first day and I told them
that is where they would sit from there on in. I since found it difficult to
keep them quiet and gave seating places in a few weeks. The level of
work became higher and the level of noise reduced.

16. Have you put any thought into your style of questioning?
Yes its an area I’ve learned about in college and continue to do so
I have looked into the different forms of questions, literal, inferential,
evaluative. I try to incorporate a few of each in lessons. I try to distribute
the questions evenly.
Ask questions to the entire class and then name someone so all students
are alert.
Yes: I try to use questioning in such a way that every student eventually


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The Learning School Project 2 – Kinsale Community School   2010/2011
gets the answer right, making it positive.
Yes I try to ask questions that will illicit the proper response, something
that tells me the students have understood the theme.
I will – it will be a portfolio entry
I try to get information from students by asking them questions. Haven’t
put thought into style.
Questioning needs to be varied. This I discovered after my first week.
‘Hands up’ gives the other students a chance to opt out. Use of both low
level and high level cognitive questions.
Yes. The questions I ask are purposeful to generate a discussion within
the group. It is important to get the groups talking about the art they see
before them. Questions are put in a way as to try to encourage every
pupil to answer. By not looking for a particular right or wrong answer the
pupil has more of a chance to express their opinion.

17. Has self analysis any role to play in your teaching?
Yes, reflection is heavily emphasised as part of the experience
Self analysis has a huge role to play in my teaching. We are required to
reflect on all lessons and assess the issues and successes.
One should be aware of their own way of learning in order to become
aware of students.
Yes: reflection is strongly encouraged by UCC and I find it very useful for
learning where I go wrong and what I can do to improve.
Yes I question myself everyday. Could I have done that better if so how?
Yes, impossible to avoid with class and weekly evaluations and
supervisions! More helpful than I anticipated – seeing what I have to
change and improve upon written down in black and white makes it
clearer.
Well I believe that weekly reflections are good for self analysis. I feel
reflections after every class can be repetitive and often time wasting.
Self analysis plays a key part in my teaching. I focus on determining what
the strengths of my lessons were and how I can incorporate this into
future lessons as well as analysing my weaknesses so that I can develop
as a teacher.
Yes. Each class is different and it is important to adapt to that class, so
they can achieve better learning. By analysing my actions through
evaluations of each lesson, I get to improve my role as a teacher.

18. How would define effective teaching?
Good management, creative
Effective teaching incorporates positive student engagement and student
learning and comprehension of the material.
Enthusiastic about subject, getting students involved – up to the board etc
Effective teaching is when learning is achieved within a positive classroom
environment.
Giving students accurate information delivered in a clear concise manner
as possible. Insure that they have taken it in correctly and can give
information back in their own words ( understanding information rather
than just memorising)
When students are motivated to ask questions on the topic and have an
interest in subject outside the classroom.


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TEACHER – good management, approachable, different methods of
teaching, good explanations, good rapport with students.
Maximising learning by identifying and addressing different student
learning styles and matching these with our teaching styles and methods.
That each pupil would leave the classroom having learnt something new.
Effective teaching – the pupil will remember what they have learnt.

19. How will you know that your students have learned what you’re trying
       to teach?
Observation, questioning (triangulated) exam
I will implement regular quizzes and mini-tests throughout the year, I am
constantly using target questioning in class. Activities are also a big part
of my lessons and help in assessing student’s engagement and
understanding of a topic.
Asking questions and assessment.
Continuous assessment through questions in class, homework and
worksheets. Exams of course cannot be ignored either.
I wish to ask pointed questions that will enable them to give the
information back to me. I will prepare exercises that will aid students to
further comprehend information and which will let me know whether they
have truly understood. In the case of languages – they are able to use
it/write it, spell it.
In class assessment as well as tests. Questioning students, their facial
expressions, checking homework.
By questioning verbally – homework and checking it, tests – giving tests
which challenge students.
Questioning throughout the class. Homework, tests, discussion.
It is evident from a pupil’s art work if they haven’t tried of if they haven’t
understood. So at the end of each class we look at all the work as a
group and point out certain aspects of the work. In particular what the
lesson was about. Giving each pupil a reminder of what they have learnt.

20. How do you know when a lesson has been successful?
Feedback from questioning pupils relevant
When students are willing and able to answer target questions in the
recap stage of the lesson. When students are still attentive and alert at
the end of the lesson.
If students go away having learned something constructive then the
lesson has been a success.
When every student has a proven that they have learned and has enjoyed
the process of learning.
Students are more enthusiastic. I think they are happy when they have
the feeling they have learnt something new, that they are having success
in learning. They also give plenty of feedback.
When in class assessment yields the right answer (questioning, exercises
etc)
When students ask sensible questions themselves, facial expressions.
Students are able to practice questions; students can answer questions
when recapping etc.
When anticipated learning outcomes of the lesson have been met.
All pupils involved in the learning.


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The Learning School Project 2 – Kinsale Community School   2010/2011
Usually I know when a lesson has been successful by asking at the start of
the next class ‘who can remember what we learnt last week?’ Judging by
the response I know if I need to go over it again.

21. What do you hope to gain from your year as a PGDE student?
Experience is the main this I hope to gain
I hope to learn of and utilise effective teaching methods in the classroom.
I hope to build my confidence in the classroom and work on being firm but
approachable with students.
Experience in class room, teaching skills, knowledge of different abilities.
Experience and ideas.
Valuable teaching experiences – knowledge on discipline ( experienced
teachers seem to have little problem with discipline)
Perfect sub teaching, learn about curriculum,learn about motivation,
classroom management, questions.
Good overall experience of school life, to gain confidence when teaching,
have experience in teaching content, be able to control the class.
Develop and learn teaching skills. Identify strategies that work for
different classes.
I hope to gain experience as a well rounded teacher, and that I will have
the ability to instruct clear and purposeful tasks within the classroom.

22. What do you consider to be your most valuable resource to date?
Teachers input and experience
The internet – I use the internet for all lesson plans, Data projector – this
was very useful in lessons and students were more attentive.
Textbook, internet.
Creative approaches to lesson plans
Other teachers who are more experienced than my experience in the
classroom.
An Irish textbook called ‘is feidir liom’.
Internet, resource CD given to us by Physical Education Dept in UCC (very
good)
Teachers
At the moment the projector. A powerpoint is a great way to show visuals
to first years.

Any other comments you wish to make at this time
Kinsale offers a great environment for PDGE students. I think it would
have been good to be introduced to the class teachers as well as our
parallel teachers at the start of term.




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