Lincolnshire Teaching School Alliance

Amy: "Are you crazy?"

"Are you crazy?" is the question that most people ask me when I tell them I am a trainee teacher. I have two small children, who were aged 2 and 4 when I started the course in September. I knew that it would be hard to complete this training year, however it was something that I have been working towards for the last few years and felt that I was ready to take on the challenge.

This year has been the busiest year of my life. Balancing the demands of parenting, teaching and completing a PGCE is most certainly a challenge. I have had very little sleep and my mind is always full of lists to do. Despite this, I have had an amazing time. I have learned so much about teaching and about myself.

The training provided by the LTSA has been great, we have covered a range of topics from behaviour management to stretch and challenge. All the programme leaders are incredibly professional yet supportive. I was able to arrange my own main school placement which permitted me to visit the school months in advance to get experience. This allowed me to become familiar with the school, policies and students. When I started on the first day of term in September, I was able to go in with confidence and teach my first class. Student knew me as their teacher, and this allowed me to start building relationships from the very beginning. I have discovered that knowing your students beyond the data is critical in achieving progress for both them and you.

I have met so many fantastic people and found nothing but support. My school-based mentor has always given me the opportunity to try new teaching strategies and helped me to reflect on my practice. He has congratulated me on my successes and encouraged me in times of need.

I was nervous about moving on to a second school placement during January, but the school made me feel extremely welcome and gave me the opportunity to develop my skills further and return to my main school with more confidence.

My number one tip to all future trainees would be to make sure that you are full of determination and be prepared to work hard. It is not an easy year. However, seeing a student make progress and getting the occasional "thank you Miss" as a student walks out the door really does make it worthwhile. There is a tendency to focus on the negatives, but it is one of the most rewarding years' experience.

So, my question is "are you crazy too?"