A trainee heading towards the end of their course

A trainee heading towards the end of their teaching course

by Verity Cullum

With only 6 teaching weeks to go until the end of the course I have been thinking about the last few months with SCITT. It’s been a pretty eventful 9 months, learning to teach in the middle of a pandemic; with lockdowns, online teaching, testing, wearing facemasks, disinfecting and isolating being just a few of the additional challenges. Learning to teach is a massive journey and a steep learning curve, I actually can’t believe the progress myself and my cohort have made, from taking hours to plan one lesson at the start to now teaching full busy timetables. Now almost ready to go it alone, very much looking forward to having our own classrooms.

Once of the my personal reflections is my perspective of the job before I began training compared to now. At the start I was worried that it was all going to be about me, I was worried I might fail because maybe my subject knowledge wasn’t good enough or would I be confident to control a classroom full of lively teenagers, sometimes adding in a chemistry practical with fire and chemicals for extra excitement. But I have learnt that teaching is about the students and to facilitate their learning its not about knowing the most, it’s about knowing them. This might sound obvious to say, but for me learning this has made the experience of training to be a teacher a really positive journey. My initial fears were unwarranted and the skills I have learnt since September mean that now my thoughts are not around can I maintain control and do I know the most. Now I think about the students, how can I ensure I engage the whole class and so they progress and grow? It’s so rewarding when you get you first lightbulb moment from a student.

Only a few more weeks, the finish line is in sight. Well done to the class of 2021, we’ve almost made it! The three assignments; all that reading! The evidence bundles when your chosen class gets sent home to isolate and so many post its! The online teaching and the online lectures, way too much time spent in front of a screen! Good luck to all of you in your new jobs. Ridiculously we haven’t ever all met in person but I’m sure we will meet each other face to face at some point because teaching is a small world!

To those new to the course, good luck. I have a couple of tips, stay on top of the paperwork and don’t leave assignments to the last minute, that can lead to a long session on the laptop! You are going to have a rollercoaster of a year. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have. The SCITT team, Nina and Rhi are amazing, you are in excellent hands.