What classroom experience did you gain before undertaking your initial teacher training course?
Prior to beginning my ITT year, I had a myriad of different teaching experiences but limited classroom experience. I had run my own tuition business for four years after graduating university; this included pupils of all ages and ability in subjects including mathematics, science, economics and English. I had also run several seminars (3-hour small classes focused around science for GCSE pupils) targeted more towards sitting and (hopefully) passing exams!
My classroom experience however was not absent. I had, for a period of a few years covered and led P.E after-school clubs in primary schools; as well as running and co-ordinating P.E for a term in a school in my local area. This was very enjoyable as, especially in primary schools, for children P.E is a great escape from their other subjects and so most pupils were very keen and excitable for our lessons. It was also my first exposure to behaviour management which was very valuable for me.
With tuition, not only is it one-to-one which lends itself far more to behaviour management, but most of my pupils actively enjoy and want to attend the lessons (aided by the personable relationships I am able to develop with my pupils). This positive attitude towards studying, unfortunately is not always the case when it comes to a whole class of thirty within a school – especially in the face of the prospect of double maths on a Friday afternoon! Thus, being exposed to poor behaviour tested myself into how I would deal with it. One teacher commented “you are not a shouter, are you?”; having recently started teaching I can confirm this approach has not changed for me!
The only other classroom experience I have been exposed to was during the interview process for my I.T.T year. The interview commenced with me teaching a year 7 class about ratios. In the pre-amble to the lesson, I had many reservations about how to engage a class for an hour, how to address pupils when their names were not known to me and what to do if any behavioural issues occurred. The main takeaway I had was how quickly time goes whilst teaching. This ‘phenomenon’ has remained with me through the first four weeks of teaching. An hour and forty minutes seemingly fly by for me and before I know it my lesson has culminated in my exit card or final plenary – hopefully my students also feel that the time is flying by!
I am sure my classroom experiences will fall somewhere in the middle between other trainee teachers – however all my experiences were highly positive and simply fuelled by desire to become a teacher!
By Daniel Pope
Find Daniel on Instagram as Danpopex and on Facebook as Dan Coles.
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