I enjoyed my placement year very much - it gave me a good idea about teaching as a profession and in a state school in particular. There was a lot of networking and socialising with employees in schools across the country. Most participants were like minded in the sense that we all wanted to start out or continue our careers in teaching and this enabled everyone to share ideas and good practice with each other.
We were treated as potential full time teachers within a state school environment. Since teaching is a profession with a high turnover rate, Get Into Teaching made a real effort to make us feel welcome. They also provided us with mentors who have been through the programme to support us in making an informed decision as to whether we wanted to continue teaching in the long run beyond our placements. The work was tough but we did feel valued.
We had one week full of development at the beginning and end of the placement scheme and the rest of the time was spent in our placement schools. I felt that the first week was significantly better than the second week of development in terms of the support we received because the second week was very much based around our individual school experiences. Moreover, we had a mentor system which was very useful throughout the placement.
It did not help me during my undergraduate degree as I had already finished it. It did help with my teaching qualification (the PGCE), especially with learning the theories and practice of classroom management. The development weeks were great because we were able to network with various educational organisations and people from other schools. Since I intend on pursuing a career in teaching for the long term, this has helped me to build connections with various teachers and schools across the country.
The classroom environment was difficult as I was placed in an Inadequate school, so there was low staff morale. The atmosphere among participants was good - most participants were my age, straight out of university. Although Get into Teaching have partnerships with other organisations, and this sometimes leads to people who do not necessarily want to teach full time participating, I feel as those most participants were genuinely interested in teaching, which fostered a good atmosphere.
Very well structured. I joined in a year where there was a increase in the generosity of bursaries and scholarships offered to teachers who wanted to train in a state school, so this had an impact on the amount of resources and morale of the staff to deliver the programme.. Moreover, the programme had a high satisfaction rate to my knowledge, and they have continued running this placement scheme event during the coronavirus pandemic so clearly something is working well.
There was a lot of training on personal development skills during the first development week. This gave us a lot of time for reflection about our strengths and areas for improvement, with a particular focus on how they apply to a teaching context. The second development week was also a good insight into how we could apply these skills for when we were to join a school full time. I have found this investment in my development crucial.
It was decent as I was part of a large cohort of teachers across the country but also specifically in my area of the country. This helped us to support each by being involved in various networks and we were able to attend multiple events to improve our professional development. There were also opportunities to get involved in exchanges - although I myself did not participate in there. The majority of teachers were very outgoing.
Decent - I was able to rent and have money left over post expenditure to save up for other things. This was not true for all people - the placement year in teaching is often poorly paid, and so if it were not for the bursaries and scholarships I received during my placement year and beyond, I would have found it difficult. Compared to other cities, I would say that Coventry was an average cost city.
I was doing my placement in Coventry so there was a decent nightlife scene. I often went to Scholars and the Kasbah with teachers from my placement school as well as other participants working in schools across Coventry. I got to know the nightlife scene in Coventry quite well by the end of my placement year, and I have since stayed on to teach in the city, although not at the school I did my placement in.
Placement (5-9 Months)