I’m a teacher! … well, trainee.

You’re off to great places, today is the day! Your mountain is waiting … so get on your way! – Dr Seuss 

Woo! The start of a new adventure, how exciting. If you haven’t seen my latest Instagram post this week, I shall give you a little life update. I am now officially a trainee teacher! The last two weeks have been pretty hectic as I have been moving to a new house and starting my PGCE at Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT but its super exciting to be starting the next new chapter and starting my career as an English teacher. 

Why have I chosen to teach?

Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to teach and everyone’s journey is unique. If I’m going to be honest, one of the main reasons that I am training to teach is the job security and the career progression associated with the profession. In October 2019, I was fortunate to have secured my place on the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT teaching course for 2020-21. The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has made me realise how lucky I truly am to be able to train in such a highly regarded profession which is beginning to receive more positive recognition than ever before. In addition to job security, I want to make a difference in children’s lives. I want to be able to share my passion for English literature with students and help them to recognise the power of language and education. We are very lucky in the UK that regardless of background or income, every child has access to education. As a teacher, I hope to inspire students to take the opportunities they have to follow their passions and be in charge of their own futures. 

What is a SCITT course?

The course I have chosen to do is the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT. There are lots of different routes into teaching but this practical route with limited university days is what I thought would work best for me, I’m a bit sick of uni – Year five! I have a number of school placements throughout the year including a week at a primary school and a week at an international school alongside two longer secondary school placements. During this time, I will be observing lessons, learning about the art of teaching and beginning to plan lessons and teach classes. The course is a PGCE course with QTS status which means I will be a qualified teacher at the end of this year. The course Is accredited by the University of Nottingham so I will be doing a number of academic assignments throughout the year, in addition to being observed and judged on my teaching within the classroom (scary!). 

What has the experience been like so far?

I have just finished my first week of core training at Toot Hill School and it has been so much fun. During the week we have been learning about a range of different topics from the history of education to the knowledge-led curriculum, safeguarding and teacher voice and body language training. It has been a great opportunity to meet other people on the course and I’ve already met several people who I know are going to become close friends and a much-needed support network throughout this year. It’s a bit strange having to be socially distanced in the classroom due to COVID-19 regulations and having to masks when we are inside, but it is so nice to mix with people again after the lockdown earlier this year. There has been a lot of training online during the afternoons which we are being asked to complete at home, so we don’t spend too long in the classrooms. I am really enjoying this! I love being able to work from home and I really hope that this will continue to be incorporated into our training throughout the year. 

What has been your favourite part of the course so far?

Ok, so I’ve only just finished my first full week, but my favourite part of the course so far has been wearing professional workwear. I love it! I really enjoy dressing up for work and it puts me in the right frame of mind for the day ahead. Liking what I wear also gives me confidence as I am able to express myself whilst still fitting within a dress-code. My outfits are smart and professional, but I love to spice them up with some bright pieces, who said workwear had to be boring?!

What are you most looking forward to?

I can’t wait to start my secondary placement. I want to get in the classroom and have some experiences, so I know what I need to work on and improve. There are going to be challenges that lie ahead, but it’s super exciting to be able to teach a subject I love and hopefully draw on the arts to enable others to connect with English literature too!

What are you most apprehensive about?

I would say that one thing I am nervous about is my subject knowledge. Although I studied English Literature at university and got a first (unashamed self-promo), I don’t often consider how a sentence is constructed or how to teach this to others! As I don’t think about these things every day, I will have to take some time to revise the basics which I have already started to do. As a trainee, we are told that we will never be perfect, and this definitely gives me a confidence boost. In addition to that, I am most nervous about living back at home. It’s been four years that I have been living independently in York and I think that often the change from living independently to moving back in with your family can be underestimated. 

How is the blog going to change?

The blog is still going to be called York Talks. The name has given me the opportunity to build a following of foodies across the UK who want to find out more about the food scene and the amazing people behind it in York and Yorkshire. Whilst the food content will be paired back to make room for my own stories and lifestyle content, food and hospitality is a large part of my life and will therefore always have a place on this blog. I hope that you will all continue to follow my journey and enjoy hearing about my endeavours into teaching and beyond!

I can’t wait to speak to you all soon, 

E x

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