Madeline: Settling into School
Within my post today, I am going to talk about settling in as I thought this would be fitting, considering I will be entering the fourth week within my school. So far, the experience has been a blur of emotions, but incredibly exciting and as the days go on, I am really starting to feel part of the school thanks to the amazing staff, children and school structure.
One of the aspects of starting at school I was most nervous about was fitting in among the staff and starting to build those relationships, especially considering I am the only trainee in my school. However, I have been pleasantly surprised at how welcoming everyone has been. My mentor has been great at including me in everything and making sure I am not alone in meetings or in the staff room, but equally, lots of others have always been there to lend a helping hand with the photocopier or to ask how my day has been as we pass in the corridor. This has made the whole process far easier and ensured I have always felt supported in the school.
Another factor I was apprehensive about was fitting in among the class and becoming ‘a teacher’ to the children. Considering I would be the second teacher of the class, I thought the pupils might be confused or may see me as inferior and thus, act to suit this. However, this has really not been the case. From day one I was introduced as another teacher and because of this, the children saw me as that. Alongside this, I was sure to switch on that teacher persona as soon as they came in the classroom, which meant that, although I might not have been up at the front teaching from day one, I was making my presence in the classroom known.
Knowing the segmented structure that a primary school can have with assemblies, playtimes and shorter lessons, the school routines and structure was something else I knew I would have to get familiar with. I was curious as to when and how the children went to assemblies, playtimes and lunchtimes and what role I had to play during these. However the best solution to this was time. Although I was informed of the details, the best way to learn was experience and I quickly picked things up such as the children are to go straight in when the second whistle blows and how to line them up in assembly. I also soon became familiar with the reward and behaviour system, which allowed my classroom management to develop and made me feel more confident standing up in front of the children.
Altogether, my first three weeks within school have been fantastic and I have really enjoyed getting to know the staff and children, despite having to find my feet at the same time. Although I now feel much more confident and part of the team, I also realise I still have a long journey ahead and I am eager to build on my school presence and develop my practice as I progress.
2019-20 Primary SCITT Trainee