A Day in the Life of a Trainee Teacher

Katy RigbyTypically, my day starts with a vanilla latte, hastily brewed from a sachet. Two days a week, I have university sessions, some of which are in person and some are online. These are usually split into groups of around 15 people and we’ve all got to know each other pretty well over the last few weeks. We have a regular “break-out room” group so I have made some strong friendships there and we frequently check in with each other during the week. It is so important to make those connections and have friends that you can talk to about assignments and teaching. These sessions are a mixture of subject-specific training, where we will try to understand how students think and how we can best impart information, and also cross-curriculum issues such as metacognition and SEN inclusion. 

The other three days, I spend in a secondary school on placement. I arrive at around 8:15am and put my lunch bag in the staff room, greeting everybody that I meet. Everybody says good morning to each other and it’s a lovely way to start the day. At 8:30am I’ll be in my tutor room, which changes every fortnight so that I get to experience each year group! Depending on the teacher, I’ll either sit at the back and observe or I’ll get stuck in and do the register or deliver the PowerPoint/message. I enjoy tutor time because you get to know the students a little more than you would in your subject lessons, although it can be harder to encourage them to focus on the activity that you want them to complete if they have a test that day or they’re distracted by something else. 

At 9am the lessons start, and I’ll already know which lessons I want to observe, and which lessons I am teaching. I try to take any other time to write up my reflections and continue lesson planning. For the first month, I was primarily observing (especially around other departments, to compare with my own) and delivering a few starter activities. Now, however, I am teaching around 4-5 lessons a week to two classes, a Y7 and a Y9. I spend a few hours over the weekend planning and finding/creating my resources. I know that I won’t need to do this as much in a few years when I have collated a bank of resources for every topic and every year group, but for now I have to plan my lessons in a specific way following the university’s guidelines.
After school I’ll either have a PDP session (professional development programme) or a departmental meeting, discussing the latest issues and Covid-19 guidelines. Then I’ll go home and relax!

Katy Rigby 
PGCE Maths at Oxford University

You can find Katy on Linkedin.