My Day as a Trainee Teacher
No two days are the same. That’s probably the most important thing to mention, and where by rights that should mean I can finish this article here, I'll do my best to explain a ‘typical day’.
So, the alarm goes off at stupid o'clock and even whilst I’m watching my porridge go round in the microwave I’m formulating my to-do list, or rehearsing a lesson in my head. That’s my secret weapon, the “to-do list". It is vital that as soon as I get into work, I grab my planner and write my list, down to the most mundane task, everything except breathing goes on that list. The small things are arguably even more important than the big things. They are easy to tick off. Coffee. Tick. Reply to email. Tick. Lunch in fridge. Tick... Little victories are essential.
I’ll have gotten into school about an hour before the school day begins. So I’m probably one coffee down by tutor time. I really enjoy tutor time. It’s 10 minutes in the day you can talk to your students about life outside of school. It’s vital for building relationships, and great to chase up concerns with members of your tutor group.
Tutor finishes. And it’s either lessons, or lesson planning. I’m teaching 8 hours a week at the moment. I share three classes, a year 7 mid set, a year 9 high ability and a year 10 low ability. Each presents entirely different challenges. Which means I learn as much, if not more than the kids do every time I see them. There are some lessons which I walk out from pleased, but aware of some mistakes. Others I’ll leave wondering how that went wrong. My in-school mentor and the class teacher are there to help me trouble shoot those ones. So, no matter how wrong it goes, I’m supported and able to learn from mistakes.
Planning is a long process at this early point in my training. It can be frustrating to spend so long on each lesson, but I can see the difference in my thoroughly-well-planned lessons and my not-so-well-planned lessons. I’ve found that deciding on an objective for the lesson and planning to meet that is best. Consider 3 steps to meeting the objective and plan how to create those in the lesson. Keep it simple. But practice it. Practice which questions you will ask, which questions the kids will ask, which answers you will give and what you are going to do about any behavioural issues you can foresee.
I leave around between an hour or two after the school day finishes. And I leave my work here too. It’s important for my sanity.
Each day is a cycle of the above. But very different to yesterday.
By Laura Albery