Things I Know Now That I Wish I’d Known Then
There are many I've picked up over the last few months that I wish I'd have known before commencing an initial teacher training (ITT) course. Here are a few that I would like to share.
1. Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses (SKE) can last up to 28 weeks and they pay £200 a week. I wish I had known this as I would have loved to have left my previous job earlier to fully focus on revising the maths I had forgotten since A-level.
2. I felt like I didn't belong as a teacher to start with. By meeting other career changers, especially through the CPD events offered to Maths Scholars, I found that I was not alone. There are other people who are in the same boat as you and you can help each other on your journey. So, apply to the Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarships.
3. Maths teaching has changed dramatically, and there is a world of resources out there. For example, NRICH, TES, Mr Barton etc. Familiarise yourself with these resources before your course starts as you will find them invaluable.
4. Teaching is difficult when you are being constantly evaluated, which can also be upsetting. It is important to remember that your mentors are not there to criticise you, their help is designed to make you a better teacher.
5. Your colleagues will be an enormous help to you as they want you to succeed; talk to them, share ideas, pick their brains, observe their lessons.
6. Gain as much experience in schools as you can prior to your ITT course and find a school that is right for you. Your ITT year is a hard year without being in an environment you are not happy in.
By Matthew Treeby