Photo by Vlad Cheu021ban on Pexels.com “Why aren’t they just able to cope? They need to be more resilient.” UK National lockdown in March 2020 threw all of us into a land of unknowns. In education, carefully crafted spiralling curricula was suddenly disrupted and at every level new ways had to be found to fulfil … Continue reading Lessons in resilience for early career teachers
Back in March I wrote this blog for the UoN Primary Team's excellent Blog considering six ideas for developing primary history, along with some practical strategies. I now reproduce it here in case it is helpful to a wider audience. “Mum you’ll never guess what happened today!” These words we’re delivered by my 7-year-old with … Continue reading From caveman to concepts: Making history count in the primary classroom
I remember the moment I was first asked to be a NQT mentor. The news was delivered as a fait accompli, and my heart sank. It wasn't that I didn't want to do it, I did, but I had just gained my first middle leader promotion and was in the middle of a MA. I … Continue reading Why bother mentoring a beginning teacher? What’s in it for me?
Around this time last year I wrote about how beginning teachers could make the most of their final weeks as PGCE students in the classroom. This year, they do not have classrooms, they only have the virtual PGCE programme to prepare them for NQT in the absence of critical practical experience. I asserted previously that … Continue reading Supporting your new NQT colleague to THRIVE amidst a global pandemic
Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels.com Before I begin this blog it is important to establish that I am utterly convinced of the importance of partnership in Initial Teacher Education. Training teachers ‘outside’ the classroom environment in a purely theoretical realm is just not possible; theoretical knowledge cannot be easily interpreted by teachers into effective … Continue reading Embracing the space: A journey into training to be a teacher virtually
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com It is at around this point in the ITT year when many training teachers begin to get into their stride. They are no longer complete novices; they have built a familiarity with their placement setting and its rules and procedures, they are understanding how to fit into the departmental … Continue reading Moving beyond delivery: The thorny issue of competency
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com Wanda had started to struggle. It was small things at first, a partially completed lesson plan with the promise that the full version would follow and a set of books she’d taken home for marking accidently left in her kitchen on the day they were due to be returned. Finally, … Continue reading Worrying about Wanda: Supporting your mentee’s well-being and workload
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com Edward was a quiet, some might say timid, chap. When he started his teacher training it was hard to imagine him standing in front of a hardened year 8 class, let alone 'managing' them during a wet and windy Friday period 5. Edward was great when working with pupils one … Continue reading Creation not Emulation: Developing teacher persona
Photo by Nikolay Draganov on Pexels.com "Come on then, what makes someone a good PGCE student?", I was asked by a friend during the summer break. The faces of those successful beginning teachers I've supported over the past few years flashed through my mind. How do you answer that question? All of those people successful, … Continue reading Optimistic, Observant and Open: What makes a successful PGCE/ ITE student?
As we pop into school in the next two weeks for results days, it's worth giving a thought to how we can support new colleagues (whether NQTs or more experienced teachers) joining our departments and schools in the new academic year. How can effective mentoring and induction support them and benefit your department?
Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com At the start of the PGCE I use a recurring image with my students of a house under construction. I set out that our aim during the ITE year is to dig and lay the foundations upon which their teaching career (the ‘house’) will be built. This process will … Continue reading Building your house: Teaching in the Long Term
We are entering that often tricky period in the ITE year when most students know if they have done enough to meet the teacher standards and are very much in the final furlong with the finish line in view. They now face a decision - do they gallop to the finish line, driving forward, attacking … Continue reading Galloping into the final furlong: Supporting your mentee to make the most of their final weeks as a training teacher
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com Quinton is a good questioner. On one level he is able to present the pupils with a task and draw out the salient historical facts through his questioning feedback, ensuring the pupils ‘get it’. He feels confident in his ability to do this, and yet his mentor and university tutor … Continue reading Quinton’s Questioning: Unleashing historical discussion in your mentee’s lessons
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com Fernando is a new mentor. He is enthusiastic and keen to be supportive and to work with the university based tutor. He is also realistic, and has taken time to understand his mentee and their needs and to become the ‘critical friend’ discussed previously in another post: Matey Mentor . … Continue reading A Tale of Two Mentors: Mentoring with perspective
Considering how we approach reference writing for those at the beginning of their teaching career
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com What are the conditions required for a beginning teacher to thrive in their training year? Since writing my blog on ‘Bewildered Beryl’, I have been pondering upon the idea that ‘the student teacher needs to develop quickly a feeling of friendship with, and trust in, the mentor’, the key assertion … Continue reading Matey Mentor? Creating the right environment for our beginning teachers
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com For Priya, whilst it didn’t feel like it at the time, Teaching Practice 1 was a time of steady progress and success. Teaching Practice 2 started well; it’s been a long term and she’s tired, but she is also grateful that her classes are cooperative and seem to enjoy … Continue reading Pulling Priya through the plateau: supporting your mentee to continued progress
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com Beryl came to the PGCE feeling confident. Due to various experiences working with children in her past, she felt she understood what she was getting herself into and how schools worked. Surely teaching was just a matter of telling pupils the historical stories she herself had loved as a … Continue reading Bewildered Beryl: Helping your mentee find the end of the rope
A cup of tea and a listening ear Standing outside my son’s primary classroom this week, I observed his teacher deep in conversation over a cup of tea with a new member of staff. When the door to the classroom opened just a few minutes later, this young woman stood (with the class teacher hovering … Continue reading Helping a new PGCE Mentee to start well
On the eve of a new adventure a strange sort of calm often descends; a calm punctuated by the butterflies of excitement, of seas yet to be sailed and lands yet to be explored. As we await the arrival of our new cohort of beginning History teachers for 2018/19 I too feel that sense … Continue reading The Calm Before the Storm