Looking back on my year as a school direct trainee

So, I survived the year (hurrah!).  I knew it would be tough, I expected it to wear me down, but with a job secured in my host school as a School Direct Trainee and a whole heap of positive memories from my first year ever working in a school, I can’t deny that it was worth it!

Challenges of the School Direct route

Teaching up to 90% alongside weekly lesson observations, mentor meetings, constant evaluations, masters’ level assignments, updating individual child profiles and what feels like a daily average of a billion hours of planning.  So, I said goodbye to my weekends right at the start and often found myself trawling through textbooks, Ofsted documents and government policies late at night.    Doesn’t everyone enjoy the National Curriculum as bedtime reading?

Without a doubt, the hardest part has not been one individual task, but fitting it all in.  In the beginning, planning one lesson took me an eternity.  Even once I was happy with the lesson content I would have seventeen goes tweaking the learning objective.  I’ve made sincere apologies to my social life, fitness regime, bank balance (returning to student-ism, eeek), diet and boyfriend.

What helped

Apart from surrounding myself with positive people, remembering the reason why I took this on has been crucial to my endurance.  I wanted to be a teacher for a long time for the love of working with children, helping them to thrive and being part of a constantly varied working environment.  Of course the holidays are pretty peachy too!

Making use of the support around me has been crucial to my success.  Worrying about the standard of PE lessons is something I haven’t done, thanks to using the PE HUB scheme.  Saving me time and stress, it’s been reassuring to know objectives and assessment opportunities are already in place.  I’ve been observed teaching PE on several occasions and feedback has been excellent.  Tutors noted engaging tasks, good questioning within the lessons and a fluent progression of activities.  The literacy and numeracy links are what made me look really super though!

What’s next

So I say farewell to teacher training I look ahead to my NQT year with year 6 (apparently the school trusts me!).  I’m not worried about it; I call it nervous excitement.  Nervous that the hormones in year six will be the end of me, but excited to embrace the challenge!

Bryony Raine

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