Lincolnshire Teaching School Alliance

Robyn: My training year with LTSA SCITT

I am a Secondary Geography Trainee. I chose to train with LTSA SCITT over a university PGCE route because I wanted to be in school from day 1 seeing how teachers set up their classrooms and building relationships with staff that I hope will last far longer than the training year.

In September I didn’t know what I didn’t know yet about teaching having come from a coaching background I knew how to work in small groups but hadn’t taught a class of 30+ teenagers at once. I was eager to get going and my mentor and I quickly agreed for me to start with a year 7 class and build up my teaching hours each week

When it came to the lesson planning, I would follow the scheme of work (SOW), look at the available resources in the department and online, then figure out what and how I was going to teach. Before jumping in front of the class, I would talk through my plan and resources with my mentor or the class teacher. As long as they could see the plan working, they would let me go, but they would not point out any potential hiccups because how those hiccups are dealt with while in the classroom can really only be learned from experience.

While teaching is an important part of the training, reflection is what makes the difference. Using observation feedback and own thoughts to work out what went well, what could be better, what you would do differently next time, what needs to be worked on some more… the list goes on but is all for making us all better teachers. These ideas really make the course unique to each trainee in the cohort but with the day of training each week we come together and learn from each other’s experiences.

This year has definitely thrown up some challenges but the SCITT Team have been there with us every step of the way and keeping us informed about the changes that were needed with the pandemic. I have made great friends this year on training and we have supported each other and kept in touch during lockdown.

I do not miss the exhaustion from the 8 weeks leading up to Christmas or the Ofsted inspection, but I do really miss the conversations we would have at training, my classes and sharing my passion for geography. Lockdown has helped me to consolidate my pedagogical knowledge, plan for next year and connect with teachers all around the world thanks to edutwitter but I would still much rather be safely in school teaching.

If you are eagerly awaiting to start teaching and you are trying to brush up on subject knowledge, think about how you would share that knowledge. What order, activities and questions would you want to give? What answers would you expect back?

Mostly, I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone with only the last half term to go I know more about teaching than I did in September but there is so much more left to learn.