What is it like undertaking initial teacher training via the school direct route?
Simply put, it was the best choice for me and one I do not regret making. My particular route is an unsalaried school direct route and works in correspondence with a University, meaning I have the opportunity to further my qualifications by obtaining a PGCE. In my opinion, the best part about this route is that you are in the school from day one and can see how the school operates throughout the year.
The first part of the course is to familiarise ourselves with the SCITT members and staff involved in the programme as a whole. Doing so built a community of trainee teachers that are fast becoming a support network and friends. We then did some basic training covering safeguarding and lesson planning, so that we were prepared for the upcoming school year. My particular course also enabled us a couple of days within our training schools, meaning we could be acquainted with the environment, atmosphere and other teachers. With this route, I feel included within the school, as I am viewed as a teacher by both staff and students. I feel as though this sense of belonging could have been absent with the other routes due to the reduced time in schools.
I enjoy my time in the university just as much, as it allows me time to confer and regroup with other trainees; doing this we often find that we are learning from each other whilst also growing individually. With our training programme, we can obtain both our QTS and PGCE. I find that the PGCE is a vital part of maintaining and advancing our careers, giving us access to the latest and most relevant research. Qualified and active teachers oversee the QTS side of this route, so we can see how the theories taught can be put into practice.
I loved that, by week 3 of being in the school, I had my first set of lessons ready to go and the workload steadily increases from there. The course moves at a fast pace and is very much a hands-on approach to learning your craft. The time allowed for observing other teachers lessons is invaluable and the number of teaching styles varies depending on the staff and classes. Each teacher has a different style for different students. The opportunity to view and ‘steal’ ideas, in teaching, which is encouraged, is simply the most resourceful part of this route. It is the best environment to experiment with the type of teacher you want to become and the best place to make errors, as many people are willing to guide you on this route.
By Rebecca Smith
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