How have you found your school placements?
Having just started my placement in my second school, I am glad to be back in the classroom. I absolutely loved my time on my first placement and relished being in the school environment and teaching the subject I love.
The staff in my first placement welcomed me into the team with open arms as though I was a permanent member of staff from the very first day. I never felt as though I was a guest in the school and I always had the support of my subject and professional mentors.
I was eager to get started early on and was up to my full timetable after spending time observing a range of teachers in the department. My mentor was incredibly supportive and allowed me to take over the classes. They also encouraged me to experiment with new ideas that hadn’t been tried by them before. I enjoyed teaching the classes that I taught, both solo and collaboratively.
Working alongside different teachers gave me a taste of different teaching styles and I have started to develop my own teaching persona. I formed good relationships with my classes who responded well to my teaching style and, as a result, behaviour issues were minimal within my classes. I am pleased how I changed some pupil’s initial perceptions of trainee teachers with some of the classes responding negatively to the idea of losing their teacher to another trainee due to previous bad experiences. By the end of my placement, classes were sad to see me leave.
Due to Covid-19 cases in school, many staff and students were absent throughout my placement, and I joined extra cover lessons to TA and even teach maths to other classes so that they had a subject specialist in their lessons. I am grateful to the Maths team for that opportunity, and it was good to be taken out of my comfort zone having a topic to teach on the spot with no planning beforehand.
I recently started my second placement in what seems a contrasting school. It was a strange feeling going into a brand-new school, starting all over again and having lots of new names to learn. Despite the new start I had a much greater sense of confidence than the start of my first placement. The staff in my new school have welcomed me into their team. I am going to have to adapt to a new department and different school policies and rules that I will have to implement. Seeing my new timetable was quite daunting now teaching double the number of solo lessons than I was in my first placement but at the same time, I feel more like a teacher this time around.
by Harry Johnson
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