What Was The Most Important Thing You Learnt During Your Training?
My main take away from my training has definitely been that schools and, especially, classrooms are complex systems with many different parts interconnected. During my first placement, I realised the big community that teachers, heads of department, data officers, maintenance staff, senior leaders, admin staff, mentors, safeguarding officers and head teachers create. They, just as the nodes of any network, depend on each other and work together to ensure that every student is safe and has access to learning. This showed me the complexity of the work that is done outside the classroom.
On the other hand, whilst taking over may classes, I came to understand that this complexity is also found inside each lesson. To create a positive environment inside your class, it is necessary to take into account factors such as the school environment, child and brain development of your students, behaviour management, planning, use of TAs, teacher’s confidence... Clearly, too many to be able to master all of them in just one year!
During my second placement, I took over a Y8 class which particularly helped me to comprehend better how to improve my lesson planning and behaviour management. Personally, I found that the pace, the breakdown of the information and the clarity of my instructions were essential to be able to successfully communicate with my students. Therefore, understanding how I was going to present the new material and what were the key words I wanted to transmit were crucial to engage my students. Moreover, it was really useful the use of timers to make sure that the lesson followed the right pace. Not too fast, not too slow.
In addition to this, I learnt that it is really important to know the WHY of each of your slides. Why did I choose to include each of them and why in that order? What was important about them? I found this was linked to clearly understand when I was teaching a new skill, when I was modelling a question, when I was assessing and when I was providing support or a challenge. This allowed me as a teacher to deliver more structured and meaningful lessons to my students, helping me to improve my B4L.
There are other factors that I could talk about such as the importance of having a variety of activities, keeping boundaries, communicating with parents or using correctly your voice. But that will take more than a blog post. Thus, to sum up, during this training I learnt that a classroom is a combination of different elements that are interconnected. This might sound really challenging, but remember your training is just the beginning of your career as a teacher!
By Yaiza Parajon Rodriguez