What teacher training route did you choose and why?

Alex NuttallTo summarise in a sentence, I am doing a school direct course at Newcastle University. This means the university acts as a matchmaker in a way, where local schools in the North East take on trainee teachers supplied by the university in a range of subjects.

Whilst this may not be the approach taken by everyone, I believe this route gives me opportunities that may otherwise not have been present for me. I am a proud Yorkshireman at heart, so I have no real concrete links to schools in the North East which could give me an insight as to what school would work for me. I have had input from friends in the area as to what certain schools are like, but I think you can only truly see how you would fit in somewhere if you are thrown in there. As I don’t have this insight, this means that I will more than likely be in completely new surroundings for my placement, but this importantly gives me no preconceptions. I will not be going into a school with a sense of impending dread, nor will I be expecting a school where everything is perfect. I will be able to form my own opinions about the school and then decide how I can combine my own techniques and strategies with that school’s ethos.

After completing my undergraduate degree at Newcastle, I chose to stay there for my teacher training for many reasons. After moving up here around 3 years ago, I instantly felt right at home in the city and the people you meet are all lovely. This has been shown in the range of friends I have met during university, both locals and people from further afield, and the exceptional university staff. Both the PGCE staff I have recently met and the maths staff that have supported me previously have always been extremely helpful, and this was the environment I knew I’d have a large support network to help me through my PGCE. After all, we all need to help each other to be the best we can be! I hope that the connections I have made at the university will mean wherever my placement is, I will have a large amount of support to allow me to become the best teacher I can be. This network along with the benefits of the scholarship, especially so many memberships and subscriptions to outstanding organisations, will hopefully give me the best possible start to a career in teaching and education.

By Alex Nuttall