Thursday, 2 June 2011

Trainee teachers

I have been writing the end of year report for the trainee teacher who has been based at my school since September. As part of a SCITT scheme, we have trainees for their Autumn/Summer placements or the Spring one.
I have been involved with this particular SCITT since 2002 and love it. To any teacher who has never worked alongside trainees, I can't recommend it highly enough.
I really admire those entering the profession via a PGCE as it seems an impossible amount to pack into a year. I did a four year B.Ed (back in the late 80's!!) and at the end of it felt that there was still so much to learn. Several of my colleagues came into teaching after other careers and found the PGCE route the most suitable for them.
Anyway, I digress, back to the trainee teachers...
Yes, there is a heck of a lot of work involved; I would be lying if I said otherwise,but it is well worth it. This year my trainee (I know there has been much animated discussion over the term trainee on twitter; it's the agreed term on the SCITT I work with having replaced student teacher!)  has really blossomed and it has been an absolute delight seeing the change over the year. She is only with me for three more weeks after half term and will be missed by all.
Having a trainee in your classroom really helps you to think about your practice deeply and having the opportunity for professional discussions about lessons is priceless. As a newbie to teaching there is a fair amount of support which dwindles as the career progresses. I feel lucky to be in a school where we all work very closely and peer mentoring is something we want to develop further, but the day to day discussions of classroom practice have certainly enabled me to constantly look at how I teach.
I am in the middle of writing a (very long) report and loving the fact that I can comment on all the progress that has been made. The next few weeks give a chance to consolidate and build on progress made and give me time to observe my class at work which tells me so much about them that I sometimes miss.


  1. You sound like a fantastic mentor. The fact that you feel you can learn from the process as well as impart knowledge to your trainee is fantastic .... and a little unusual!

  2. Thank you :) I really do feel that working with trainees works best when it's looked at as a partnership in which the balance shifts during the training. What begins as mentoring leads to coaching and sharing of ideas...