Today was a great day 🙂
I should start by saying happy birthday to my mum, not that she reads this blog (she doesn’t know it exists 😛 ) but I hope she’s had a brilliant day turning… I won’t reveal how old as she’d kill me and then there’d be no more blog posts at all 🙂 . I wish I could’ve flown home to see her but she’s coming to visit my new house in a few weeks with my dad so I’ll see her soon.
Back to today’s activities then, I was at the University of Warwick all day for the launch trip of my Summer placement with the Brilliant Club. I started the day by dropping my boyfriend off at work (as I was stealing the car) at about 7:40am and then headed over to Warwick. I arrived earlier than I needed to but that’s just how it worked out, I was there about 8:45am and had a chance to catch up with my programme officer Joe and some other tutors I’ve meet before, as well as meeting brand new tutors for the first time. I think I’m now officially deemed to be an “old-hand” as a Midlands tutor as that’s kind of how I was introduced to people 🙂 . I like that. I arrived today equipped with my mobile whiteboard (aka a laminated poster with a plain white back) which went down well. I have to give full credit to my boss and a post-doc in our lab for coming up with the idea yesterday while I was frantically searching for flipchart paper. At about 9:30am we had our tutor briefing where we get all our printed handbooks, a timetable for the day etc. and then had time to go and set up our classrooms. Mine was locked, not the best start, but we quickly fixed that and I also had a chance to chat with one of the lovely new tutors called Liz, who reads my blog! It’s such a strange experience meeting a person in real life who reads the blog, but lovely at the same time.
The schools arrived between 10-11am, my school was one of the last after a tussle with traffic on the A46/45 and then one of the campus car parks, but everyone arrived in one piece which is the most important thing. After a quick introduction to the Brilliant Club I grabbed my first group of students and off we went for our first tutorial, it went well but, as always, I ran out of time. With the Brilliant Club we always teach a tutorial twice as we work in small groups of 4 or 6 depending on age group so after a slightly awkward transition we launched straight into the tutorial with the other half of the students so we could fit both in before lunch. We had lunch sometime between 1-2pm and then we went off for a campus tour, I’ve been on a couple of launch trips at Warwick so I’ve done the tour a few times now, but it’s still nice to go along and get to know the students. Later in the afternoon, while the kids had a session with current university students, I had the chance to sit down with the lead teacher at my school and clarify some things like tutorial timings, dress code at the school, room allocations etc. This is a really important chance to get an idea of how pupils have been selected for the Brilliant Club programme and get to know the lead teacher a little. Teachers are exceptionally busy people so having a small amount of dedicated time to discuss the programme at the launch trip is fab. Normally I try to dress smartly for tutorials but my school have actually asked me to dress how I would day-to-day as they really want to show the students that university is for everyone, including them! I think this is a great approach to the programme (and not just because I still get to wear jeans).
The schools all left at about 3:30pm and we had a quick tutor debrief with our programme officer before we wrapped up at 4pm. Perfect timing to get back to pick my boyfriend up from work at 5pm.
This evening I’ve cooked dinner and then while it was fresh in my mind I filled in my reflective diary for my tutorials today and updated my lesson plan for tutorial 2 (based on what did and didn’t get covered today). This isn’t a requirement of the Brilliant Club but it’s really useful! It’s easiest to do while it’s still still fresh in my mind. So that brings you up to date, tomorrow it’s back to the lab so until then everyone 🙂
P.S. Poster services agreed to print the landscape poster for me – AMAZING! (for context see yesterday’s post)