Emily: Becoming a SCITT trainee
I’m writing this blog on a Sunday evening and I’m just about to go into week seven of my teacher training course. If I think back to how I was feeling this time six weeks ago, I was nervous, anxious and apprehensive about starting my teacher training. But now, I’m wondering where the past six weeks have gone because just this week stands in the way of me and October half term.
Being a teacher is something that I’ve always wanted to do. When I was little, I would line my dollies and teddies up and play teachers. I’d take the register, teach them spellings and their times-tables. When I’d finish University, I applied for a teacher training course, but due to my lack of experience I didn’t get a place. So, I got a job as a 1:1 in a Primary School in Reception. During my time, I got experience in Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 6. In May, this year (2019) and I decided to take the plunge and apply again for my teacher training but I was unsure which route to go down. Did I want to do it through University or through a SCITT? I thought that I would keep my options open and apply for both and hopefully my decision would be made for me because if I got a place on one and not the other, I would take that place. But, if I got a place on both I would have to think about it. So, I got an interview for both routes and was offered a place for both routes too. After careful consideration, I decided to choose the SCITT route, just because I thought it would suit me better.
Deciding to take the plunge and do my teacher training, was one of the best ideas I’ve ever made. I’m absolutely loving it! I’m based in a Year 2 class and I would say this is where my niche is. I was so worried about being put in front of the class on the first day and dropped into the deep end, but I’ve slowly been developing my role as class teacher. For the first couple of weeks, I was observing the main class teacher and working with a small group of children at a time. I feel that easing me in slowly has helped me because I’ve been able to build relationships with the children and understand their capabilities and personalities. Over time, I’ve been given more responsibilities that help me develop my role as teacher. I’ve been taking the register in a morning and an afternoon, I’ve been taking children into assembly and collecting them from the playground after break and lunch time. My teaching responsibilities have also increased in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been teaching phonics and RE. I also worked towards gathering evidence for my Programme Tutor baseline (first) visit (your PT depends on which training school, you chose). After half term, my teaching responsibilities will increase and I’ll start some of the core subjects.
I’m based in my main placement school, 4 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and on a Friday, is a training day. Training days are held at either another Primary school, Lincoln University or the Keyworth Centre. So far, the training that I’ve received has been based on either classroom practice (voice and presence, planning and climate for learning) or specific subjects (such as Phonics and the National Curriculum). I find the training on a Friday interesting, especially when I’m at another Primary school because we have the opportunity to go on ‘Learning Walks’ or observe some lessons, so it improves my knowledge of what good teaching looks like. Each training session, is divided up into PGCE side training and QTS training. The PGCE side of training is delivered by someone from Lincoln University and the QTS training is delivered by either the Hub Lead or someone who works for the Training School (depending on location).
So far, I’ve had no problems but I know if a problem does occur I’ve got several different people who will support me. I’ve got the support from the staff at my main placement school especially my school based mentor because I see her everyday, if problems arise and I need some reassurance, I can ask her and she provides me with this. I’ve got support from my Programme Tutor and all the staff from my Training School. I’ve also got the support from the staff from Lincolnshire Teaching School Alliance (LTSA) and Lincoln University, all the staff are approachable and will help if a problem does occur.
If you’re wanting to do your teaching training next year, but you’re not sure whether to apply or not, take the plunge. It might be one of the best decisions you’ve after made.