Teacher Training as a Parent

I initially considered going into teaching with a fair degree of doubt.. I had been working in marketing for over ten years prior to having kids, and did feel it was high time I turned to a vocation that I could truly feel passionate about. My parents were teachers and I also know a great many teachers who all love what they do, which I found very inspiring. However it took me a little while to take the plunge as I have two small children and I had concerns about how the demands of a full time teacher training year might impact me and my family. It was arguably a bold move, but boy was it worth taking!

To my delight, the people at Redhill SCITT were unfazed by my family situation, and the trust that Sally Barfoot seemed to place in me and my potential at my interview was so encouraging.

I thought I would feel on the back foot for having family commitments, but the truth is it is an achievable juggling act! I have felt so energised and determined to become a teacher that I managed to do an SKE in Spanish during lockdown and also secured a British Council scholarship. I am now thoroughly enjoying my placement at a fantastic school with a wonderful group of language teachers and the students are a daily joy to be around.

To any parents out there who feel hesitant, rest assured that you will have a very supportive team around you, who will listen, encourage and guide you. As long as you are organised, proactive and take initiative, it will fall into place.

I like to get home to my children, squeeze them tight and give them some special attention after their long day at school and nursery. I honestly thought I would feel huge pangs of guilt for having less time with them, but to my surprise I actually feel guilt-free! I think ultimately I can be a good role model to my children, for being a working mother who can find happiness and fulfilment both at home and in her job.

To see more trainee stories from Redhill TSA, click here!

Alex Wilson, Redhill

I’ve really enjoyed the Inspiring Leaders Redhill Secondary SCITT sessions at NTU. The opportunity to learn, listen and collaborate with fellow trainees was vital, creating a productive environment for all to grow into teaching. This was all done with the empathy and consideration from the lecturers and SCITT leadership team for the three-day session with provisions made for a safe opportunity to meet, learn and thrive.

The sessions at NTU varied greatly, which I gained from personally as it kept the content light and digestible alongside a pace that was just right. To begin, the first day focussed on referencing, before moving onto the purpose of education and for the majority of the day, easing a lot of student queries and enabling us all to have the clarity of expectation. Our peer group was really supportive too, instigated by the dynamic and interactions created by each seminar task. Day two helped us understand educational theorists with students able to bring reading and lesson observations along to compare and filter through how education is perceived and delivered. The benefit of having the group in NTU to share this in a socially distanced manner brought a diverse and positive reinforcement to our learning that I really enjoyed and benefitted from. This was epitomised by the vibrant personality that the group presentations contained.

Lastly, day three consisted of behaviourist theory, comparing them to cognitivist, constructionist and humanist thinkers and how they have all influenced our own start to teaching. I was really appreciative of the afternoon session on the final day, enabling us all to start writing our assignment with the support of the lecturers in the form of drop-in sessions to guide our thought and ideas into meaningful and high-quality written work. Going forwards, this was a perfect session to send us on our way, wanting to write, read and learn more as a result. I feel so much more confident and supported and would encourage anyone to consider the Redhill SCITT as a stimulating and truly enjoyable route into teaching.

Alex Wilson (Inspiring Leaders Redhill SCITT Secondary Trainee, 2020-21)

NTU Session Review

Italian Trulli

NTU, Matt and Jamie, provided the much needed “crash course” to an introduction of different learning theories and reassured a lot of the cohort on the realities of NTU’s role in our teacher training year. Over the three full days we were able to collaborate with one another, share our ideas, work in smaller groups, get to know each other as people and get a good grasp on what was expected on the PGCE side of our training year.

Each day was broken down into 4 seminars with a couple of hours for lunch and a task to prepare us for the afternoon. The days were structured in a way that didn’t overload you and instead provided you with little tasters of the avenues you may want to explore in your assignments. We were presented with a wide range of different learning theorists and it was then up to you to decide which ones sparked your interest and aligned with your own views on education.

These first three days on campus were designed to begin to prepare us for our first assignment, and Matt and Jamie would constantly remind us that we can do this and if we needed help then we would just have to ask for it. By going through the mark scheme, he made passing feel achievable for every one of us and linked the criteria to examples that we felt like we could hit. There was every opportunity to ask questions and you really felt like NTU want you to succeed, they care about your views and are interested in you taking your own unique approach in your assignments.