I have worked with children for 10 years and love inspiring and educating young people to help them to achieve their potential so training to become a teacher was a clear next step. I chose to train as a primary teacher because my TA experience in a primary school had allowed me to see the gold in each of the children I worked with and I wanted to find the best ways I could to continue to nurture their potential.
Having looked into other SCITT course providers, I chose CTSN because of their experience in providing high quality support and development. I was attracted to the SCITT option because of the extra time you get to spend in the school environment, working with the children. The experience I gained in my two placements have taught me so much that I am using on a day to day basis in my current teaching job.
Initially as an older applicant, I worried about juggling home and work life, but the support that I received from my mentors and the course staff was brilliant. I found that the best thing about the course has been meeting so many other trainees and sharing experiences from schools with varied cultures, this helped me to understand that we will all find our own way of teaching and enhancing the children’s experience of school. These are the things that I feel, make schools a rich and diverse place.
Throughout the course the visiting experts and visits to teaching schools gave me so much practical knowledge which built my confidence to teach subjects as varied as Mandarin to contemporary dance! These experts showed us how we can integrate subject knowledge practically into the classroom.
I feel we have been lucky to visit so many schools, it is unlikely I will get the opportunity to get such wide-ranging experiences again.
The core training each week was a wonderful time to share experiences with other students on the course and to learn from visiting experts. I have revisited the notes I made during these sessions over and over to help me reflect on my current practice.
I feel that being in the classroom environment 4 days a week prepared me for the day to day routines of teaching. The importance of consistency and clarity when thinking about behaviour management becomes clear when you spend extended periods of time in the classroom. This time also afforded us the opportunity to make close connections with the children and understand their individual needs. It also gave us time to integrate in the wider school community, spending time in CPD sessions with other staff members reminded me that as teachers, we never stop learning.
The mentor model supported my professional development as we worked together in weekly mentor meetings to find gaps in my knowledge and activities so I could undertake practice in order to fill these gaps. She was always there to encourage me to be brave and try things I had learned at core training. The relationship we developed boosted my confidence and ultimately my ability to teach. Her professional reflections on my lessons were gratefully received. My senior tutor was my sounding board and her approachable understanding nature saw me through times when I was struggling. Her professional knowledge was second to none and she encouraged me to experiment with different teaching techniques. I feel that she will also be there to support me in my career.
It was vital for me to have two different placement schools as it allowed me the opportunity to experience working in a very small school and also a larger than average school. Having experienced both, I have the knowledge about what size of school I would like to continue in for my career.
In fact, I applied for and was offered a place at my second placement school, it was a joy to train there and I am thoroughly enjoying my NQT year at the school.