What Advice Would You Give To Someone Deciding Which Provider To Choose?
It seems like a long time ago that I was deciding which training provider to choose. There were several questions I was asking myself; do I want to do a PGCE course with a University, or do I want to do a School-Centred ITT course? Do I want to stay local, or do I want to choose somewhere else to learn?
To help me decide, I decided to focus on what I was most nervous about, when thinking ahead to my training year, and trying to minimise that feeling. For me, it was being stood at the front of the classroom, and having thirty pairs of eyes staring back at me. So I then had to decide how best to tackle this obstacle. Do I go with a School-Centred ITT course, try and get in the classroom and get my hands dirty as early as possible? Try to confront my nervousness head on? Or do I go with the PGCE/University route and try to build my confidence gradually before entering the classroom?
I concluded the best option for me, was to jump in at the deep end and go for an ITT training course. My thinking being that the sooner I get in the classroom, the sooner I can be comfortable stood at the front of the classroom. This then left me with problem number two, which ITT training provider do I go for?
For this, I would recommend doing as much research as possible for the different training providers. I am lucky that I was in a position (geographically) that there are only three ITT providers near me and I made a list of all the pros and cons I could find. One of the deciding factors for me was that one of the providers had been running for nearly 20 years, whilst another had only been running for 3 years. I liked the idea of picking the more established provider, and so that put it into pole position for me. I then had to decide between one that was run by the local authority, or by a school. I picked the local authority one as the school was partnered with schools that weren’t in the local area, and I didn’t fancy travelling far to get to school each day.
So that’s how I did it, I picked what works for me, and that is ultimately the best thing you can do. If you are really struggling, then I would recommend picking a School Centred provider. Mainly because, as my first mentor told me, learning to teach, is a lot like learning to drive – you can only really learn, when you are sat behind the wheel!
By Jamie Roe