Start To My ITT
I have had a great start to my time as a trainee teacher and I have felt extremely fortunate that my ITT provider sets up their course to get us in school from the very first day! This gave me and my fellow trainees a great look at how teachers prepare for the start of the year, from classroom layouts and seating plans to the unwrapping of some new textbooks! It’s not all rosy though, there have been IT problems, lost items because of building work and some teething problems with a new school building, but these were all sorted without the students realising too much!
I have been given some great opportunities to start with, such as shadow a Learning Support Officer, shadowing a student and to be a part of Open Evening. However, I will forever remember my first ‘teaching episode’. My mentor gave me the floor to deliver a starter to a Year 10 class. I prepared a game of bingo, with the students answering Maths questions to mark off numbers. I had set myself an estimated time for the starter. However, I realised rather quickly that this was going to be ambitious. The earlier questions in the Bingo recapped a topic they did at the start of the week and some needed reminding of the method but this was dealt with well overall. Some questions on proportion followed this and, during my preparation, I had the level of questions okayed before, so I hoped this would be okay for the students. However, they struggled with the questions much more than I anticipated and the starter ended up taking over two times longer than I had planned!
Upon reflection, I needed to be better at breaking down the question. The easiest way to do this would have been to use the whiteboard but I didn’t do this until my mentor intervened and worked through an example halfway through. Despite this, I did notice some progress in a few students, which really was nice. This experience really has given me a sense of realism with timing and I am sure I will be better for it, though there will be many creases to iron out, I am sure.
I discussed this with my professional mentor afterwards and, to my surprise, she was really pleased to hear about my struggles! She explained that this is a common problem with trainees and she could tell that I had learned a lot from it.
I have now started my first ‘Training Block’, where we cover all the training you would expect. I can’t wait to get back into school, though. I really want to get back in the classroom and try to put what I have learned into practise and especially work on what my teaching episode taught me.
- By Stephen Williams