What are your roots of teaching and how do they contribute to your practice?
At 1st Note Education, there is a plethora of teaching staff that come from all varied teaching backgrounds. Some teachers have a degree in music, others have a degree with a certificate in education. Some teachers have a degree in education or the equivalent of, and others have taken a more practical route and started their teaching lives as teaching assistants or part time supply teachers. There are teachers with buckets of experience and there are teachers that are very new to the profession. However you have made it into teaching, whichever route you have taken, it is important to know that help is always available at 1st Note Education. Alongside lesson observations that 1st Note Education carry out regularly on every staff member, offering helpful and constructive feedback to ensure the absolute best in teaching standards, there are teacher training days available to add to and enhance further learning for teachers. The days are designed to maximise and strengthen every teacher attending, aiding them to better practice within the classroom.
All teachers are treated the same at 1st Note Education, and through personal experience, I have seen that different backgrounds can offer different styles and approaches to teaching. I was reading an article on TES by Carolyn Clarke, who is an employer of newly qualified teachers (NQTs). Carolyn discusses the importance of varied routes within her article, stating the benefactors and the importance as an employer. Take a look for yourself as it makes of good reading!!
‘We need different routes to attract the best trainees into the classroom’
30th September 2015 at 16:26
There is nothing wrong with the university route for teacher training, writes headteacher Carolyn Clarke ahead of tomorrow’s final Ucas figures for trainee teachers, but it has weaknesses
As an employer I‚Äôm always keen to take on newly qualified teachers (NQTs).
NQTs arrive in school with fresh insights, energy, enthusiasm and an optimistic view. But nowadays, NQTs can come to teaching through a broad spectrum of training options, and this often leaves me wondering which teacher-training programme best prepares our future educators for the classroom. I need my teachers to hit the ground running, so they can deliver outstanding results.
For the past two years we have been running a School Direct programme for primary trainees ‚Äì but in January 2015 we won accreditation as a School-Centre for Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) and our first 31 trainees under this route began earlier this month.
Being a SCITT puts us more in control of pedagogical practice. We are able to choose the people doing the training and we know exactly the quality of those teacher mentors.
With School Direct, trainees get 40 days of out-of-class training a year. This was split into 20 days in school and 20 days at the university, in our case the University of Southampton. With the¬†SCITT they still get 40 days of training, but these are all school-based days, so it maximises the amount of time we have to train the students in what we think is important.
The university route is by no means the wrong one, but it has two weaknesses: a number of years ago the postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) would leave trainees relatively skilled in teaching maths, English and science but was a bit thin in the other areas of the curriculum. Also the quality of mentors on teaching practice was difficult to ensure.
Now we run our own programme with additional elements of history, art, geography and other subjects, and we know that every tutor we are working with meets our standards. They are good or outstanding practitioners in good or outstanding schools. We have taken on that responsibility.
We have worked with the University of Southampton and the University of Winchester on School Direct and both have been excellent.
We will be working with the University of Winchester on the SCITT and are very happy with the deal. It has a strong academic background in teacher training, will¬†provide the academic research support and facilitate the academic elements of the assignments.
The teaching profession needs university education departments to keep up with research. They need good links with practitioners to do research. And we do not want to remove academic rigour from the development of teachers ‚Äì I think that is important. Everything we do is linked to master’s credits and, I believe, we need to move towards a master’s qualified profession.
But we do need teachers who can deliver outstanding results after a year of training. If they have already trained for a whole year in school and been immersed in learning how to prepare and plan lessons over time, rather than just when they are on a six-week or 10-week placement, that helps them. We need to make sure that public money is being used in a cost-effective way and we have people training our trainees in the best possible practice.
I believe we offer high-quality training for people in our local area, but it is not for everyone. Some trainees would rather do traditional postgraduate study than follow the route we are offering and with the country needing to increase teacher supply, we need different routes in order to get the best candidates into the profession.
If the university training route was removed we would lose a section of potential teachers of the future, so it is a fine balancing act.
Which route have you come from to get into teaching? Why not share with all of the other 1st Note Education¬†teachers in a blog!!
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