Reflecting upon my initial teacher training year
Before starting my initial teacher training year I had spent the previous six years working in industry as an engineer. I was excited for the challenge of a new career, but I was most excited about the interactions with the pupils. Now I am nearly at the end of my training year and can reflect on my experiences, I am delighted with my decision to change career. A lot of my experiences have been in line with my expectations and a lot has surprised me as well.
The best part about teaching I have found is how quickly time seems to travel during the day. There is so much about my normal workday that I enjoy now. I want to come home and talk about it and think about what I did well and what I could do better. I was expecting a lot of lessons to feel repetitive as I would be teaching the same sort of material to different classes, but I have found that every lesson is completely different. I am required to think for myself in preparation for lessons or on the spot to adjust my explanations to different pupils or adjust the task or timings of the lesson.
I have been surprised by all the fine details of teaching. I thought that teaching maths was relatively straightforward – you do an example then let the pupils practise it. In fact, I found there to be so much to think about in how to deliver the topic to different pupils. I have loved learning about all the modern theories on cognitive load, assessment for learning, metacognition, behaviour management, and many more. The fact that there is always something to improve your teaching makes the profession so interesting and challenging.
I have found other teachers in my placement schools to be welcoming and helpful. Everyone has their own way of doing things and its great to watch other teachers and try using techniques that you like the look of. I have also received plenty of support from my course provider throughout the year. I have found the workload to be high but manageable. The main part of my time has been spent planning lessons but as I have taught more, this has got quicker.
Overall, it has been a great experience that I would recommend to anyone who is thinking about teaching. It’s a such a rewarding job, and I can’t wait to start my new role in September.
By Fred Leggate - follow on Twitter @FredLeggate
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