Teacher Training Diary – Part 3

Christmas feels like a lifetime away now but, as promised, in this month’s blog I reflect on the run-up to Christmas in my home school and the transition to my new school in the New Year.

Christmas in school was the time of year I was most looking forward to. After having two years of COVID, schools were really hoping to have a bit more normality this Christmas. Christmas time in schools comes with a lot of joy; making Christmas cards, putting up decorations and Christmas parties. However, this means that there is a lot of disruption to the usual timetable and so as a trainee teacher, you need to be adaptable and sometimes just be ready to ‘go with the flow’.

“Goodbye for now”

Christmas was also a sad time for me, as I said “goodbye for now” to my home school. On a School Direct placement, you spend a term in an ‘alternative’ or ‘away’ placement. This is a placement in a different school in the alternative key stage. As you know, I have been in Year 1 in my home school.

As such, in my away placement, I knew I would be placed in KS2. I was really looking forward to seeing a different side of teaching. One question I always get asked is, “Do you want to teach in KS1 or KS2?”. I always find this difficult to answer, because until you’ve had experience in both key stages, it’s simply impossible to know! Perhaps this is a question I’ll finally be able to answer in the next instalment of my blog.

I found out that I was going to be in Year 3, and I was really excited! In order to prepare, I brushed up on the Year 3 programmes of study within the National Curriculum over the Christmas break. I also contacted my new school to introduce myself to my new mentor and find out more about the expectations for my upcoming placement.

Academic Work

The majority of my Christmas break was then spent writing my essay for university. In order to obtain a PGCE, our university requires us to complete two essays. One is worth 20% (which was due in November) and the other 80% (due in January). Of course, every university may be different, but you will have to complete some element of academic work in order to obtain the PGCE qualification.

We could choose one core subject pedagogy and one foundation subject pedagogy to critically analyse. As such, there was quite a lot of freedom to discuss pedagogies you found interesting. This directly fed into my own practise too, as I was analysing what I had seen in the classroom and the theory behind the practice. This allowed me to reflect upon my own teaching and how I could improve.

A New School

With Christmas over, essay submitted, bag packed and laptop charged, I got ready for the first morning on my new placement in a new school. We started with an Inset Day which involved some phonics training and assisting the subject-leaders with some preparation for the upcoming term. I have been extremely lucky to be placed in yet another school with supportive, friendly and welcoming staff. I settled in really quickly and I am loving my time there so far!

In next month’s blog, I will be talking about my teaching time in my alternative placement and how I have been finding teaching in KS2. In the meantime, if you would like to follow my teacher training journey and get more insight into the things I’ve been up to, follow me on Twitter at @BAFTeacher.