Name and current position:
Teacher of Physical Education & Extension Studies Coordinator
A levels: PE, Psychology, Sociology
Degree: BSc (Hons) Psychology (Sports)
Date that I started/completed the Trainee Teacher scheme:
September 2015- May 2017
Why I applied for the Trainee Teacher Scheme:
I have always found that I learn best practically and so saw the opportunity at Esher as a great way to learn on the job. I really liked the idea of getting stuck into a classroom environment and having regular contact with students. The trainee teacher scheme at Esher offers exactly that. I felt that this was the best option for me as I had already gained experience working with young people and so felt comfortable taking on classroom challenges from the outset.
My experience of the Trainee Teacher Scheme:
At Esher, initially I was allocated 8 hours of teaching alongside 10 hours of learning support. My teaching commitments included teaching lessons in both BTEC Sport and A level PE. I found this a really useful experience as it enabled me to become well versed in all areas of the curriculum. This also meant that I was able to come into contact with students who had a variety of learning needs which further enabled me to develop my skill set. In addition to this, my commitments within the learning support team were also very helpful as I was able to work with students in a smaller setting. This allowed me to develop a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for individual learning needs as a large proportion of my time was spent working with students on a 1 to 1 basis. It also allowed me the opportunity to observe other teachers across different subjects as part of this role involved assistance in lessons.
In my second year, I was given the opportunity to take on more A Level and BTEC teaching within the PE department. Though tough at times, this provided me with a realistic taste of what to expect once I completed the scheme. This was a hugely insightful experience which tested my organisation, time- management and resilience. Looking back, I am very fortunate to have experienced this so early on as it made the transition from my PGCE year to my ‘newly qualified year’ that bit easier.
Whilst on the PGCE scheme I received excellent mentoring and support throughout from both an academic and teaching perspective. As part of my PGCE, I was allocated an academic mentor who I would receive regular feedback from as well as one to one support on how to improve my written work. Alongside teaching, trainee teachers are required to attend a weekly lecture. All of the PGCE lecturers were approachable and had up to date knowledge of teaching methods and strategies. It was also a useful opportunity to liaise with other trainee teachers where we could share our experiences and learn from one another.
What I enjoyed:
- the hands-on approach to teaching
- the holistic experience - seeing students progress through the whole academic year
- getting to know and understand the ethos of the College
- developing strong working relationships within my department
- the feeling of accountability! It was really rewarding when I received my classes’ results at the end of the academic year!
- juggling the demands of coursework and assignments alongside teaching
- persevering and learning to rectify mistakes (teaching and learning)
- teaching a broad range of the specification - my advice would be to avoid spreading yourself too thinly by teaching lots of different content! Focus on the delivery of teaching.
What I’m doing now:
Since completing my PGCE, I have taken on several department responsibilities. For instance, I am in charge of ‘assessment’ where I am responsible for devising mock examinations and coordinating internal standardisation. I also play an active role in promoting our gifted and talented students through managing our college’s ‘Role of Sporting Excellence (ROSE)’ programme where I coordinate workshops to help support students in their chosen sports.
I am also very fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to take on the cross- college role of ‘Extension Studies Co-ordinator’ where I am responsible for planning and co-ordinating the delivery of the whole College Extension Studies Programme for students in both the 1st and 2nd year. This has allowed me to develop essential leadership skills, as a large proportion of this role involves communicating with all staff and students on a regular basis. This opportunity has definitely been testing at times, however it has been hugely beneficial in developing my organisation and time- management skills.