One trainee's experience - in her own words
Meaghan Franklin, a trainee History teacher at Hylands School, has put her experiences into words as she enters the second half of her first term in a school.
"I remember when the end of August was nearing and back to school was on every parent, carer and child’s mind. I was getting ready to begin my training year a secondary school History teacher.
"I felt excitement with a hint of nerves, about how it was going to go, was it going to be how I had expected? Am I going to be a good teacher? All these emotions were running high and before I knew it, I was in school.
"My first two days there were no students, it was staff training days. We covered all aspects of statutory training such as Safeguarding and reflecting on the previous academic year, the impact of Covid on the students and how we, as a school, can move forward and motivate the students again.
"These were some of the most exhausting days with so much information to digest and getting used to early mornings again, after a long summer break. However, I have never had so much fun, and I truly began to feel at home in my school.
"These nerves but mostly excitement extended over into the next week when all the students came back into school. Similarly, it was overwhelming, so many new faces and names to remember (seven weeks in and I still say the wrong names!). But it was great to get my timetable and meet many of the classes I would eventually be teaching.
"After initial introductions for the students back into school, with Covid talks and meeting new tutor groups, the students settled back in quickly. From here I began observing. My observations took place all over the school, not just within my department. I got to watch Science, PE, Drama, Math and English lessons as well as History, Geography and RS lesson. Being able to go back in to KS3 and KS4 lessons but this time with a teachers head on was very interesting.
"It has been an extremely rewarding experience learning skills such as behaviour management, lesson planning and making the lesson accessible for all levels from masters in their field.
"Before I knew it, I was having a conversation with my mentor about planning my first activity, it was with a year 8 class that were so enthusiastic and I wanted to make a good first impression as I knew that they would eventually be the class I take over first. It was a whirlwind, we played bingo and before I knew it the whole class erupted into excitement as many of them reached BINGO, this only fuelled my eagerness to teach more and more.
"From here I am beginning to take over the year 8s along with a year 9 and GCSE class. My mentor has been fantastic in supporting me with lesson planning and constantly giving feedback and new areas to focus on, in order to develop and refine the craft.
"I have enjoyed being able to pick up responsibilities at my own pace and develop my confidence accordingly. Alongside working firsthand in a school, we get to attend in depth training sessions every week. These have different focus each week, for example, managing expectations and an interesting session on how to question students effectively. These skills are then further developed into our specialist areas, and we are given opportunities to identify how we would use them in our lessons.
"The support from my Mentor, Professional Mentor, Lead Subject Mentor, course tutor and everyone at Mid Essex ITT has been exceptional, there is always someone available to help with any questions, and they are great at keeping contact lines open if support is ever needed.
"Overall, my first half term as a teacher has been a rollercoaster of nerves and excitement, but I have enjoyed every second of it and my placement school has welcomed me in with open arms. I am so glad I chose to study with Mid Essex ITT as you can really see how much they care about the cohort and truly wish to see everyone succeed."