Post 16: I’m a trainee teacher get me … – Emily Walker

I’m a trainee teacher – get me out of here!

…is what my colleagues didn’t hear me saying during my second placement. Now, of course this is a good thing, because I was determined to be successful in teaching in key stage 1, when my only experience has been in key stage two. After observing the class and my new daily trainer, I started teaching and it was difficult. I felt like I couldn’t teach anymore. It felt like all my strengths had become my weaknesses. So even though I wasn’t asking to get out of there, I should have asked for help earlier. Luckily, the right people could see I was struggling, and put things in place to help me cope.

I spent time getting to know the children and thinking about the “what” do they need to learn and the “how” are they going to learn it. It focused my planning and got me to think about the various groups of pupils in the class and how best to support them to make progress. This got me to the finishing line. I wish I was able to continue teaching the class because I now know where they are in their learning journeys. Soon I will have to apply what I’ve learnt over the past few weeks to my first placement class and find out what they have learnt since Christmas.

At the end of the placement I can look back and say “I did it!” and I celebrated with a Cadbury Crunchie and a 9.30pm bedtime… but it was worth all the hard work because on reflection, I progressed and eventually I was able to learn from my mistakes. I got to learn who the children were and what strategies I could put in place to try and support them. What is great is that these things still apply to the key stage 2 classroom I will be returning to, and I hope to use what I have learnt to grow my practice further and eventually with a class of my own *gulp!*.