My experience of the first month of my ITT course

Michael ParkinsonMy name is Michael Parkinson, and I’m four weeks into a SCITT course based in Lancaster having changed careers after twenty-five years working in accountancy and IT. Before starting the SCITT, I was worried about classroom behaviour (every teacher trainee worries about this!) and my subject knowledge as I finished my A-Levels 30 years ago this year.

Three weeks into my first school placement, I am much less worried about my mathematical knowledge as my 20-week subject knowledge enhancement course has prepared me well. The jury is still out on the behaviour management side. I have been placed in a lovely school and have not seen any serious behaviour issues in the lessons that I have been observing over the last few weeks. I am starting to team teach today, so will know soon if I can gain the student’s attention and respect. Whatever happens I know I have the support of my professional and school mentors and my course tutor. Everyone wants you to become a successful teacher and is very supportive. That goes for all the teachers in your placement school. They all remember their training year and are only too ready to give you advice if you ask for it.

The first two weeks of the SCITT were quite overwhelming with so much information to absorb including: education theories, classroom management techniques, data privacy and how to make the most of lesson observations. By the second week in my placement school things had settled down but you still need to be super-organised to keep on top of the all the suggested reading and other tasks. I have pages of handwritten notes on lesson observations, a selection of which I should have typed up into formal observation records. Everybody tells you to get into good habits with administration tasks early – I was listening when they said this, but it is easy for it to build up.

I started writing this before school this morning, and it is now the evening. My first team teach went as well as could be expected. It was with a lower ability group and the one thing I had not expected was the blank faces when I asked them questions which I had seen them answer for their permanent teacher in previous lessons. She put that down to it being last period, or possibly the shock of someone new standing up at the front of the class. I obviously have a lot of work to do, but I have taken the first steps and am looking forward to the challenge of becoming an inspirational maths teacher over the coming years. Everyone tells you it will take years, and I believe them.

By Michael Parkinson