What Teacher Training Route Did You Choose And Why? 

Sarah JohnsonWhen I first decided to apply for teacher training, there were so many options over how to do it, it seemed like a bit of a minefield.  I decided to go to the Train to Teach event in London, which turned out to be a great decision.  As well as getting advice on my application there were lots of training providers and universities there to talk to.  I had also been talking to a teacher training advisor, who I then got to meet in London, so it was lovely to put a face to a name.  The icing on the cake was meeting the Maths Scholarships team. 

I already had a degree (from many years ago), so I was looking for a 1 year PGCE. Keen to get as much school experience as possible, (especially with more potential lockdowns looming), Schools Direct was the choice for me. I had narrowed down my options to: applying to a university, leaving them responsible for my school placements; or applying to a school who provide all their own in-house training; or applying to a school to do my first placement, with the theoretical training being done by a local university.  I ended up putting a mixture of these approaches on my application, to keep my options open while I looked into it some more. 

Having been a teaching assistant for the past five years in a school I love, it became clear to me that, some of the early stresses of teacher training could be eased if I was in an environment that I already knew, surrounded by supportive colleagues, so I accepted a place there.  There are of course downsides to this approach – I have had to find a new persona so that the many students that know me do not still consider me to be a teaching assistant! On balance this has worked out well for me so far – it’s early days, but I’m enjoying my time in school – getting ready to teach my first lesson this week. 

At Train to Teach, I met the folk from the University of Brighton who impressed me so much, that I asked my school if they would consider opening up a place with this university.  They did, and again, I have not been disappointed – really excellent teaching. 

My only other decision seemed to be whether to take the salaried or non-salaried route.  With the very generous bursaries on offer this year, it made sense for me to take the non-salaried route, and of course this has been enhanced by the Maths Scholarships team!   

By Sarah Johnson