Reflecting On My First Term In Teacher Training 

Now that I’ve finished my first term of teacher training, I can officially say that I’ve never done anything quite like it. While it has been extraordinarily busy and stressful at times, it has also been immensely rewarding. The first and most obvious reason for this gratifying feeling is seeing your students learn and achieve, knowing that you helped them reach that cliché ‘lightbulb’ moment. With this satisfaction comes a sense of responsibility and purpose like I have not experienced elsewhere. To use another cliché; I feel like it is my chance to ‘make a difference’. 

Another reason why teaching is so rewarding is the personal achievements. Teaching uses a huge range of transferable skills every day and every trainee will find some that do not come naturally to them. By practising my weaker skills during my training, I have had the opportunity to face new challenges outside of my comfort zone and develop myself professionally. For example, I have noticed substantial improvement in my ability to multi-task, manage behaviour, and balancing my workload with my personal life. As I continue my training, I look forward to honing these skills further as I gain more experience. 

In fact, the last few months have been a huge learning curve – even though I’m the one teaching. From students’ names to school rules and from safeguarding policies to education theories, there is so much new information to learn that at first it can feel quite overwhelming. However, it’s important to remember that all trainees feel the same way (and so did your colleagues during their training year). It would be impossible to learn everything immediately and, instead, you generally learn things as you go along. 

Another reason why I have enjoyed my first term so much is the excellent experiences I have had at my placement school. It has been a privilege to work with such talented and supportive colleagues in my department and to be welcomed as part of the team. In particular, my subject mentor has been an incredible source of encouragement and wisdom, always finding time in their busy schedule to help me out. The students have also been a pleasure to teach, never ceasing to surprise and entertain me. One of the most important lessons I have learnt in my training is that building positive relationships with pupils where possible really does make teaching easier and so much more fun. 

After the Christmas holidays, I will begin working at my complementary placement school. Having enjoyed my first term, I am excited to start the learning process again in a new environment. However, this time I am equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience that I have gained… and also a teacher’s mug with my name on.  

By Ben Walter


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