First week of prac done!
Ok, so my prac is a funny situation. I’m actually on staff at this school as a Relief Teacher Aide, but I haven’t actually worked there yet (I have done a relief in the Kindy, but not the primary school). So I’m doing my best to get to know all the staff as I do hope to be working there more permanently one day. I’m sure the teachers are thinking, “Why is this prac student so chatty?”.
I realised, however, that these teachers are a new section in my support network. Just talking and listening to their conversations at lunch time is helping me. This school has a different culture than any other school I’ve been to. Their lunchroom conversation isn’t around who’s doing what, it’s either about the students or about enriching others’ lives. We were in a training session and the facilitator asked about motivation “What makes you get out of bed and come back to work every day?”. Every single teacher answered “The students”. Incredible. There is such a powerhouse of motivation, knowledge, experience and dedication here that I am inspired just by the environment.
I am feeling very fortunate that my support network has just been expanded to include these teachers. It confirms just how important support networks are, and how the right support network can make such a difference.
My mentor and the other Year 2 teacher were discussing the schedule for next week, and I was amazed by the amount of resources that they had in folders from previous lessons, and previous teaching. I see why teachers become hoarders!
Being able to tap into this experience and knowledge is amazing. I have been asking so many questions to help me with my assessments! Having a support network is important, but more importantly is actually using that network. Asking for help and advice can be difficult sometimes – fear of looking silly, fear of annoying someone – but the best way to learn is from experience, even if it is someone else’s!
So my advice to everyone is to build your support network! Get to know those with influence, let them get to know you. But then, make sure you use it!