It is approaching four years since writing my first blog on ‘Transparent ICT’ when I first started the BEd with ICT. In reflection, over this busy time of teaching placements, lectures and day to day student life I really have no regrets about everything I been involved with. Plymouth University you have been a dream.
This is a re-blog post originally posted by Hannah Shelton and published with kind permission.
The original post can be found here.
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Since finishing final assignments I decided to top up my practise (and student bank balance…) by supplying around Plymouth, which has been an invaluable experience. Yet, from September I am fortunate enough to be teaching at an amazing inner city school in Bristol and I can’t wait.
Nine Signs I’m Officially Ready to Start My Teaching Career:
- New Found Confidence
‘Be a hammer not a nail’ was advice given to me by a very special lecturer during my first weeks of university and has remained in my twitter bio until recently. At the time it opened my eyes to my time at school and sixth form, doing the bare minimum required and slipping under the surface. Now, amongst other things, my confidence has grown enabling me to get involved, share my opinions and make lots of contributions.
- Own Perspectives on Education
Over the course, I have found my own ideas on what I perceive education and schools should look like. In fact, this is the very basis of what made me love the school that I will be working in from September. I guess it comes down to ethos as for me educational environments should allow children to feel special, welcome and care for. Then through this, they will learn, achieve and be able to explore creatively.
Lately, Pinterest has become part of my daily routine, permanently on the lookout for resources, activities, organisation and new behaviour management ideas.
- Vast Amounts of Experience
From overhearing staffroom conversations I sometimes think that people forget how much experience NQTs have (especially from a BEd). Through teaching placements, interviews and supply I have taught in twelve schools on more than one occasion. True, the majority of these have been in the South West, however, that has still shown me so much variety of children, teaching styles, classroom setups and assessment methods. Last week I began supply in a secondary school and when I move to Bristol my school environment will open my eyes to whole new experience.
I have realised that although a degree is all about being academic, I’m never going to be the most critical writer and that is okay. I am so happy to have achieved a high 2:1, but for me my focus has always been on my teaching as my biggest success over the BEd have been achieving outstanding on my final practice.
- University Has Been The Best
Another sign I’m ready to start my teaching career is because of all the fun, exciting and amazing things I have done whilst being a student; meeting lifelong friends and a very lovely BEd boy to move to Bristol with, regular ice creams and barbecues on Plymouth Hoe, ciders in the SU, teaching in the Czech Republic, organising TeachMeets, attending events, completely overcoming my fear of public speaking and so many seminars with inspiring lecturers.
- Continuous Learning
I think I will also be in that four-year-old child, forever asking questions, a frame of mind. I am ready to start my career because that doesn’t mean I will stop learning and just teach, it means my desire to ask questions, learn and understand will continue and hopefully reflect positively onto those children I teach.
- Do What Makes You Happy
A cliché but something I really do agree with. Everything I have stuck with during my teacher training has made me happy, those things that haven’t were tried and given lesser priority. If you’re doing what makes you happy, then others will follow suit.
One of my favourite quotes. Roald Dahl in The Twits: ‘If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’
- Being Involved
Carrying on from signs one and six, being involved in university life has also prepared me for my NQT year in September. From being part of the EdSoc committee during my four years at uni to being in close contact with lecturers (as Tyla Elworthy also mentioned) involvement has been key to my successes. If it was not for these extra things I most likely would have just focussed on the end result of being a qualified teacher, than on the journey itself.
My university experience has been fun, memorable and unique. Despite the length of the course I have been fortunate to not doubt becoming a teacher, but instead, have continued to learn and grow and although I still have a lot more to learn and more experiences to gain I feel as ready as I could to officially start my career.
Over the next few weeks, I will continue to supply teach, get to grips with some reading to prepare for September (any recommendations welcome – particularly regarding EAL), attend the WEICT conference and meet my year three class. A lot to look forward to!