Autumn

This has nothing to do with any ICT, PGCE, SSP, or WWE. But it’s been so long since I’ve written anything creatively, and I thought my scribblings should have an audience of some sort. So, a short story for your – assuming anybody is reading this – amusement …

Autumn stretches out in front of me: a road well-travelled, yet the journey time still unclear. The early days are fine: sunny and warm; fresh yet familiar. But they fade fast, making way for the clouds that stalk, the chill winds that bite, and the leaves that have fallen, mocking us for not being able to do the same.

My toe caught the top of the bag next to me, and knocked me into her, my elbow jabbing her shoulder. She moved back a step before regaining her balance and turning her eyes on me, waiting with an apology that assured her I had been clumsy, not rude, aggressive, or hell, even threatening. Her stare softened, no rings on her fingers as she gestured at me not to worry, and flicked the stray hairs – the shade of chestnut that defined the season – from her cheek. We stood, in silence, side-by-side, until we reached our stop.

She reached for the button to open the doors; I took a step back as she hopped off the carriage, and paced to the exit.

Next day, and we exchanged a smile as we waited for the train to ease itself to a stop. Again, she went first, and I watched as she strolled down the platform, collected, relaxed. Professional. Large, leather handbag; dark, floral, knee-length skirt; flat shoes; hair resting, with a slight curl, down to her shoulder blades, the sun bringing out an auburn twinge. My age, within five years at least. Fresh, yet familiar.

Day three, and we shudder to a halt, just outside the station. The sun is still large in the sky and it seeps through the windows, filling every last nook and cranny, raising the temperature, almost unbearably. She wipes her forehead with the back of her hand, and sighs. We’re not moving anytime soon.

“This happens too often,” I venture with a sideways glance, a smirk, a shrug of the shoulders, and a quick shift of focus to the carriage floor. She smiles with lips pursed: I feel her eyes trying to catch mine, then look away, then return.

“Third time this month,” she replied. “Journey will be the death of me.”

I turn my face toward her. We lock eyes and I nod, eyebrows raised. “We have the patience of saints. At least there’ll be a place in heaven for us when it pulls the trigger.”

“Well,” she clears her throat. “Something to look forward to at least.” We mirror our smiles: broad, light-hearted. I barely register the leaves caressing the windows as they saunter to the ground. Pause: the moment takes a breath.

“To be fair, my boyfriend’s been waiting half-an-hour already. He’ll be the one with the gun in hand.”

I smile. Our eyes meet once more. I divert: a look over my shoulder to an imaginary friend.

We wait.

Silence, as thick as the heat in the carriage, as we wait.

The engine pipes up: tremble, rumble, shudder.

Tremble. Rumble. Shudder.

“Finally,” she giggles. I roll my eyes.

Tremble. Rumble. Shudder.

Tremble. Rumble. Shudder.

Tremble. Rumble. Shudder.

Stop.

“Don’t think we’re moving just yet,” I say.

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SAFETY AND SECURITY … IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Our third ICT session focused on the dangers of internet usage, especially for young people.

After watching a hard-hitting – and for me, uncomfortable – video advert, highlighting ‘stranger danger’ of social media, our group engaged in an interesting discussion about our concerns relating to children and the world wide web, and how we would deal with any issues that arose with young people in our care.

Essentially, it’s a matter of vigilance. But it is an issue of the upmost importance, as the video we saw made explicit. We created a short presentation to demonstrate we understood the gravitas.

The video we watched is available on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o8auwnJtqE – and comes with my own ‘viewer discretion advised’ warning. 

USING AN INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD (IWB)

I have often used an IWB in small group teachings, but only as a medium for videos and powerpoint presentations. When teaching, I knew there was much more power to unleash from the IWB, if only I knew how to unlock it!

Our ICT tutor, Miles, presented a quick demonstration of IWB tools we can use, then let us loose to create our own IWB presentation.

I created a Food Tech activity, dropping ingredients into a mixing bowl to create cookie dough. It would make an excellent KS2 tool, being visual without being messy: a bonus for a DT lesson!

My ICT induction … in 100 words!

My ICT induction, as part of my PGCE in Primary Education, was good fun. My group – Group E – was on good form, and our tutor, Helen made the session very relaxed.

As part of our ICT training this year, we will all be expected to add to this blog after every session. This will allow us to reflect on the potential of blogging as a classroom tool.

I am going to investigate the ‘100-word challenge’: blogging entries of exactly 100 words. This would be a great class project, with links to literacy, but it has already proved, irritatingly, quite difficult!