What Previous Classroom Experience Did You Gain Before Undertaking Your Initial Teacher Training Course? By Ellie Keeble
My initial teacher training course followed immediately after finishing my degree at university and so unlike some of my fellow ITT teachers, I had never worked in a role in school previously. However, whilst at university, I found and applied to a few opportunities that gave me an insight and some experience in classrooms, allowing me to confirm that teacher training was the route that I wanted to go down.
My university (University of Nottingham) runs a scheme called ‘Students in Classrooms’ which facilitates university students to go into local city schools, to support departments within lessons in improving students understanding in certain subjects. This experience was extremely useful for me as it opened my eyes to the challenges faced by both students and teachers in education today and reinforced my passion to want to follow a teaching route. During my time in school, as part of this scheme, I was given the responsibility of supporting and working with certain students in maths lessons, and in some classes, given a small group to sit and work with at a different pace to the main lesson. The scheme was optional and additional alongside my degree and so although it added to my weekly workload during my degree, this experience was invaluable, and I would highly recommend it to anyone else who has the opportunity to apply for anything similar.
Subsequently, in my final year at university, now with a certain plan on progressing into teaching and education, I chose to take a few modules specifically about mathematics in education. One of these modules, called ‘Communicating Mathematics’, consisted of joining mathematics lessons within a local school (primary or secondary) for half a day each week, gaining experience of how mathematics is taught in schools. During our time in lessons, we supported students and then progressed onto conducting starters and activities for groups or sets to gain an insight and information surrounding elements of mathematics education which we used to write a project/report, which reflected on our time and relationships between our finding and written research (both current and old) around our chosen title.
Reflecting on my previous classroom experience, I would definitely say that the experiences allowed my journey applying to teacher training to be more comfortable, knowing what my future and training may look like and having confidence that a school environment would suit me. From this, I would certainly recommend gaining school experience, however much or in whatever way is possible for you, before applying to ITT as it can teach you so much more than reading information online.
By Ellie Keeble
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