Molly ReeveReflect on your experience of your first term of teaching

Teaching is all about reflection – reflecting on pupil progress, reflecting on teaching methods, reflecting on the success of an activity, etc. However, when you piece all these small reflections together and think about an entire term, well that is huge. Especially your first term as a trainee (oh, and during a global pandemic!).

I have loved my first placement. It has been challenging, rewarding and exciting. I remember how nervous I was before my first day on placement, possibly the most nervous I have ever felt. That was, until it came to teaching my very first lesson one week in. It was a year nine class and the topic was probability. My hands were shaking with nerves as I tried to log on to the computer and load the starter onto the smartboard ready for students returning from break. My brain was in overdrive – who knew there were so many things a teacher needs to focus on during a lesson? Not me, that’s for sure!

An hour after that first lesson I received a text from NHS Track and Trace. I had to go home to self-isolate for 14 days. Such is training to teach during a global pandemic!

The nerves (and excitement) came back as I returned to school after self-isolating. With the potential for schools to close any minute, or for that dreaded NHS track and trace text to make a second appearance, I knew how precious school experience was this year. With this in mind, I just wanted to get on with teaching my classes and putting into practice advice from the class teacher who observed my very first lesson. 

At some point during the term, my brain began to process the small things and the cognitive overload decreased. Minor things like taking a register, sorting out equipment and working the smartboards became more natural. This meant I could focus on improving my modelling and questioning for example. I haven’t felt nervous about a lesson for a while now, instead I really look forwards to them. So much so that I was gutted today when the entire year 9 bubble was sent home to self-isolate prior to my last year 9 lesson. Such is training to teach during a global pandemic!

My biggest takeaway from this term is that resilience and ensuring every day is a fresh start are key. This is particularly challenging when you training under Tier 3 restrictions and there is little to distract your brain from reflecting on what you could have done better during your lesson. But, such is training to teach during a global pandemic!

By Molly Reeve