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Teaching Practice - Naas Community College - Evaluation of Unit of Learning and Placement

Evaluation of Unit of Learning

I wanted to try 3D construction during SP because it was out of my comfort zone in contrast to my own studio work and I really enjoyed the cardboard construction we had done previously with Tony. How hard could it be?

I had it planned out week by week, what I would be doing but I didn’t take into account that we would be struggling by week 2 and only with the drawing stage. I found that I needed to provide more emphasis on drawing for longer than I anticipated which meant having to scrap the plans and adapt after seeing the results of each class.

This was good in a way that I now had the opportunity to provide some drawing classes, which I loved doing and the students loved doing but I needed to try and link that into actually making a sculpture. From a photograph of a bird - to design schematic - to finished piece, while also getting students to actually visualise it in their heads as to what they were making and what it would look like.

The aim of this UOL at the end of nine weeks was for students to have made a bird sculpture from cardboard. If we had the opportunity to do so, I believe they have.

If I was to do this UOL again, I would put more emphasis on the drawing and design. If the students have the skill and confidence to draw and design a sculpture, then the making can be done in three hour long classes.

Evaluation of School Placement

I found this placement to be particularly challenging as I had broken my shoulder two weeks before starting due to an accident on the way to college. I was in constant pain with every movement, couldn’t type, everything was a struggle. But I wanted the placement to go well not just for myself, but for the students who were excited to get a new art teacher for nine week.

It meant adapting the way I work: delegating tasks to students, keeping up with written work for college during breaks. I even tried making sculptures one-handed but didn’t really work out.

I loved Naas CC, it is such a brilliant school with excellent teachers who go out of their way for students and student teachers, it was a really welcoming environment.

My host teacher, Cliona, provided me with everything I needed and made sure I was accommodated on my placement. Unfortunately she was also quite busy, so opportunities to plan team teaching didn’t really happen as she was away quite a bit.

My scheduled classes were always up in the air because TY were heading off on trips or there were talks scheduled. For my animation UOL, I literally had only started one class with TY and then the school was shut down. My other TY class was situated in another school but that had been going well.

I had issues with class discipline (1st Yrs and 3rd Yrs) that was a real eye opener for me. I was being too much of a nice teacher and made the mistake of not implementing class rules early so I had to adapt if I was to get any work done with the students.

Apart from that, I enjoyed the challenge of this SP, I learned a lot in my short time there and look forward to an even better placement next year.

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