Settling Into Teacher Training And Being A Maths Scholar

Before you know it, the 3rd of September is here, the back to school insomnia has hit the night before and armed with your new rucksack you walk into your first placement school. You can sympathise with the new year 7 students, apprehensive about this year and how ‘tough’ everyone tells you it is and nervous about how you will fit in and quite importantly – will I be able to make friends? This question never disappears no matter how old you are.  

I chose to do a SCITT - School Centred Initial Teacher Training, where I am in school from day one. It’s almost like you hit the ground running and luckily by the end of week one you feel like a piece of the furniture. It is a great training route to choose if you have already had experience of schools or teaching. 

Week one feels like information overload – you just have to bare with it! All the safeguarding and PREVENT training etc. You can sometimes feel you are solely responsible for making each child safe and be able to achieve but remember it is not solely down to you, you are a piece in the whole school community that provides support and guidance as well as education to all the pupils that attend the school. When you remember this it all becomes a little less daunting – I promise! 

Week two is when reality hits, you realise just how busy teachers really are and how hard it can be to hear the typical ‘you only do 9-3 and you get loads of holiday’. By now you have seen the students settle into their classes and you are observing colleagues. These first two weeks are vital in setting expectations with the students and its really good to see as many first lessons as you possibly can – top tip! 

The weeks then begin to merge as you get into your routine of attending classes, writing up observations and if you’re brave enough – start to dabble in a bit of teaching yourself! I would suggest just jump right in if you feel ready – the first lesson is the scariest but once it’s done the adrenaline kicks in and you leave absolutely buzzing! Make sure you take time to reflect on this experience as you will gain so much from it.  

At the end of my third week I attended the first Maths Scholars event in Birmingham. This was a lovely end to the week and nice to hear how others were settling in on all the different training routes. The speakers and activities were great and really got you excited about what you can do in the classroom. Safe to say I walked back into my placement school Monday beaming with ideas and fun things to start incorporating to my lessons, which the department were also excited to learn about. 

It’s safe to say this career choice is not going to be like any other, but the feeling you get when you help that one student understand why something is the way it is, is completely priceless. 

Beth Freeman