Reflecting On My First Term In Teacher Training 

I began my teaching journey only 3 months ago. Having already read 2 books on how to teach, I must say I was feeling pretty confident. When it came to teaching my first lesson, I made sure to include as many of the research-backed methods I had learnt about as possible. I planned what I wanted to be doing minute by minute to optimise the time available. I was naïve. I quickly realised that teaching is not a knowledge-based career, there are no quick tricks. That being said, my planning style changed little throughout the term. I would plan a lesson that seemed effective on paper and then when it came to delivering it, it never went to plan. This became frustrating. Not to mention as my workload increased, I had less time to come up with my lesson plans. Finally, something clicked. 

During the first term of teacher training there is a lot of feedback. I found it impossible to consider every piece of feedback I was given while also managing my planning workload. To resolve this, I had to sieve through the feedback and consider which would have the greatest impact when implemented. The best piece of advice I received was to make sure that I was enjoying my own lessons. I entered teaching because I wanted to teach, to be present within the classroom and enjoy the small, unexpected moments. I was treating my lesson plans like a script and becoming frustrated when they inevitably failed. This began to show in my lessons, making it hard for my true passion for teaching, as well as my subject, to come across. So finally, I let go. In my school we had 50 minutes in a lesson. What happens in that 50 minutes would never be completely under my control, but all I had to do was guide it in the right direction. My lesson plans didn’t become any less important, I simply changed how I perceived them. I adapted my lessons as things unfolded. I began to enjoy myself and the engagement from the class reflected that. Finding my own style of teaching was a big part of this. I found that I loved writing on the whiteboard, where other people my prefer tablets or smart boards. 

So far, I have found teaching a lot more challenging than I expected. However, that challenge has made me a much more organised, confident, and resilient person. I have grown more over the last 3 months that ever before and am excited to see what lessons I will learn in my next placement.  

By Jamie Westwood


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