I really enjoyed my placement year as a trainee teacher. It gave me a great idea about teaching as a career and about teaching at disadvantaged schools in particular. They made an effort to make us feel valued as participants. The role involved teaching on a reduced timetable at the school that I was assigned to, observation of lessons an the completion of a PGCE. All in all, it was a very full on year.
I learnt how to manage a difficult classroom environment independently. This was key because such a skill is applicable in different contexts. We learnt how to present ourselves well to different stakeholders. I also gained a good understanding of the Department for Education's drive to recruit graduates in STEM subjects in particular. There was training on every aspect of the teaching job, from marking and giving feedback to managing a classroom. This will serve me well in future.
I was given a lot of responsibility for a trainee teacher, especially because it is often remarked that teachers need to be eased in gradually and observe lessons during their training year. The level of responsibility given to trainee teachers varied by school, and on other programmes they give them a full timetable straight away. However, my school was fantastic in giving me the responsibility from early on to manage classes of different ages, and I was eased in gradually.
We received a lot of classroom based learning about leadership qualities during our PGCE programme. This was complemented by rather more on the job learning in the schools we were assigned to throughout the year. In this respect, there was far more support on the PGCE element of the programme. Throughout the programme, I was able to contact a mentor - a Newly Qualified Teacher from the same area of the country who had been on the programme themselves reently.
I was able to understand the mission of Get into Teaching well - to tackle inequality in society through education, primarily throughout the provision of good teachers. The atmosphere was great. All of the participants I met were passionate about teaching. There were a few who want to use teaching as a springboard for a career elsewhere however, these were in the minority, and in any case all participants seemed committed to the teacher training Programme.
I really enjoyed my teaching training year at Get Into Teaching. It gave me a great idea about teaching as a career and about teaching at disadvantaged schools in particular. They made an effort to make us feel valued as participants, and that we would be welcome back as mentors for future participants. This is a great model as it is often daunting for graduates to enter teaching without a full idea about what the job involves.
Show the assessors why you are interesting in teaching and not just using it as a springboard for a different career. I realise that this sounds obvious however, the assessors are aware that there is a perception among recent graduates that teaching can be a stop gap between university and the career that students 'really' want. Try and think of examples of previous inspirational teachers and emphasize how you would like to emulate their qualities.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
30th April 2021