Reflections On My First Term 

Coming into my first term as a trainee teacher, I had several concerns.  

My most pressing worry was the workload. Having recently finished juggling my degree and a tutoring job with a baby, I wasn’t relishing the thought of juggling a placement, SCITT course, distance PGCE course and a now incredibly busy toddler! I have always been something of a ‘last minute’ worker and I knew that this was not going to be a possibility anymore. 

My second worry, paradoxically, was that the course may be too slow. I had finished the previous academic year as an in-school tutor with 30 hours a week of teaching time, and going back to one or two hours a week made me feel as though I would be twiddling my thumbs a little. 

Luckily, both of these seemed to work themselves out. The workload adjustment was difficult after the summer holidays, there is no getting around that – but I have found that my reduced timetable has given me plenty of time to organise most of my ‘school work’ during the school day. Once I had gotten into the swing of things and understood how my placement school’s lessons were structured, the lessons took much less time to plan, which matched up with the increase in my teaching hours. My mentor was really understanding of the pressures of training and helped me with strategies to organise my time, so I could spend my evenings (attempting) to simultaneously reconnect with my daughter and relax! For people who are worried about managing their PPA time and maintaining a balance, I would massively recommend talking to your mentor first – they have been through (and survived!) the process before and want to see you do the same. A fantastic tip I got from my mentor is to organise my resources in such a way that I can keep and build on them each year, which will cut down my planning time in the future too. 

My final concern was classroom management. I have taught Nurture classes and small groups before but on my first day of placement I was told I now had two classes of 32 children! I genuinely had no idea how I was going to maintain order in a group of that size, or keep track of all of them at once. I muddled through my first few lessons, and it became clear that the key to classroom management with a group of that size was knowing your class and building relationships. We are at a bit of an advantage in mathematics as we have so much allocated curriculum time to get to know our students. Looking back to trying to take in the sea of faces on my first lessons and desperately link them with the list of names in my hand, I can’t believe how well I was able to get to know all 64 of my students in just the space of a couple of months. Honestly, the incredible students I got the opportunity to teach have been the highlight of my first placement and I must admit I welled up a little at their goodbye messages during my last lesson. I can’t believe how quickly my first term has come to an end, but I am so excited to do it all over again at placement two!  

By Victoria Smart



Message from the Scholarship Team

You can apply to the Scholarships with a 2:2 degree classification, providing you can demonstrate 'significant relevant experience'. Also you can apply before completing your subject knowledge enhancement course. See our eligibility criteria on our About Us page and our FAQs.



Keep up-to-date with the latest Maths Scholarships news:

Find us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram.

Join our mailing list or get in touch Here.