Last day of a 7 week journey...

Yesterday marked the last day of my 7 week teaching practical at a school in the centre of town here in Pietermaritzurg. I am doing my Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGCE) which is a year course, through the University of Kwazulu-Natal. I've loved every second of the course, most especially this last practical. It was an amazing journey of discovery for me, and I went through lots of highs, and lots of lows through the process. One can either leave a school like this feeling depressed about the state of our country's education system, or you can choose to see the positive side of it, and see the smiles every day, ad the willingness to learn despite every adversity.

To say thank you, each 'group' in my class prepared a little card and box of goodies to give me, but really, they gave me so much more than I could ever give them. They gave me hugs, smiles, laughs and a lot of very special memories.

A Grade 2 Life Skills Lesson on Soil

It has been quite an adjustment being at my current school here in Pietermaritzburg for my final teaching practical this year.

 Most of my learners (the new term for students) really struggle with the basics of reading and writing, which can be frustrating at times, especially when they are all at such different levels. 

But instead of getting all 'woe is me' and hating on the education system, I decided to take a little more of a hands on approach for one of my life skills lessons. With the new curriculum which has been implemented this year (CAPS > which I really think is fantastic!) each grade is given particular themes to integrate among all the learning area's (for the Foundation Phase of Grade 1 - Grade 3, these learning area's are once again to be referred to as Maths, English & Life Skills).

Much chaos ensued, punctuated with mud flying, smiling faces and much learning taking place :)

I now leave you with  few shots of my lesson on the importance of soil:

Stay week we will find out which type of soil was indeed best for growing plants...exciting times ahead for these little rascals!

My School for the next 7 weeks...

I am currently doing my Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) through the University of Kwazulu Natal here in Pietermaritzburg. It's only a year course, and along with lectures every day, we have to complete over 11 weeks of practical training in schools. I did my first 5 week practical at a very good ex-model C (thats the new flashy name for Government School) in April, and am currently doing my final 7 week practical at a school in town. It's been a completely different experience for me, one that I have been very excited to sink my teeth into. 

It has been eye opening to say the least (not to mention a little scary at times, especially being greeted by 'No Gun' signs every morning as I walk through the school gates, but I have to and say I am loving it so far!

Here are a few snaps of my class for next few weeks...

PGCE Field trip to *WESSA* Howick

This week our Postgrad Teaching Diploma class was treated to a day out at the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA) base in the Umgeni Nature Reserve in Howick, just outside Pietermaritzburg. 

The aim of the trip was to show us teachers in training how we can use the natural environment as a resource in our classroom, as well as how we can incorporate environmental awareness into our own teaching subjects. 

I am studying to be a Foundation Phase Teacher (Grade's R - 3) so I am a little nervous about taking a bunch of little children to a running stream and telling them to find creepy crawlies :) I think i would have to devise 'dog' leashes for all of them to make sure I could keep an eye on them!

All in all it was a super great day out and really got our minds buzzing with idea's.

If you would like to find out more about WESSA and the work they do (as well as their numerous volunteer programs) click here

We played a game using brightly coloured picture cards, strolled around the peaceful reserve, and did an experiment to find out if the local stream held drinking water...thanks for the great day out WESSA!

I found something! 

Poster Making...what goes on in the life of a teacher in training

Just a few snaps from my weekend jam packed with assignments for my PGCE (PostGraduate Certificate in Education) that I am currently studying through the University of Kwazulu fun fun!

Thanks to my amazingly talented boyfriend, and the wonderful talent of Kerri for all her hard work colouring in the lines :)

My Farmboy, you are so talented...thank you for helping me so nicely this weekend with all my rock!