Life as a trainee

Secondary SCITT (PGCE and QTS) Birmingham – A day in the life as a Titan trainee……
By Andrew Hall.

7.30am – Equipped with a slice of toast and a bottle of water the front door slams shut behind me. I set off, ready to tackle the day ahead.

7.40am – Traffic can be horrendous in the inner city of Birmingham. On some days, the volume of traffic can increase my journey time fivefold. Thankfully today is not too bad and before long I am pulling into my school car park – as usual locating a suitable car parking spot proves challenging.

8.10am – I head to the work room to prepare for the day. Each lesson plan requires meticulous planning to ensure challenge is provided for all students. I take time to look over these before going to briefing.

8.30am – Briefing – hot on the agenda today are issues around the school fence which several year 8 boys have been trying to climb, the forthcoming Year 7 parents’ evening  and the new boy on a managed move from a local school.

8.45am – Registration, my chance to see my form. Check all is OK and that they, like me, are ready for the day.  I particularly enjoy building and developing a relationship with the pupils in my form. I am starting to gain a greater appreciation of the wider roles and responsibilities of a teacher.

9.00am – Lessons begin. I march down to the local leisure centre trailed by 30 impeccably dressed year sevens.  We arrive at the pool and am greeted by a barrage of: ‘sir I’ve forgot my kit’,’ I’m injured’,’ I’ve got a note’,’ what are we doing today sir?’ I find that being organised, enthusiastic and having good decision making skills is key to coping with lessons. Above all learners respond well to being treated fairly.

9.30am – First lesson ends. Officially it runs until 9 50 am but it’s time to get the boys out. They are tired from their exertions and somebody’s trousers will have no doubt gone walkabouts…

9.50am – We arrive back at school and it’s straight to my school based tutor meeting.  Here I discuss with my tutor issues around pedagogy for the subjects I am teaching, current issues I may have around my assignments and meeting my QTS standards.  These sessions are a good source of reassurance and support. You also get a chance to keep your SBT on their toes by asking deep questions. I always leave with a sense of my strengths and areas for development.

10.50am – Today is my break duty and revenge is sweet as I joke jovially with the boys on the playground who have made my life hell over the mauling Pakistan gave to the English cricket team in the test series as England are currently leading the one day series 3 -0.

11.10am- Next up it’s outwitting the opponent in Table Tennis but first the boys record their summative assessment grade in their planner and write their targets for PE to be verified and signed by myself. The lesson focus today is the backhand drive, the boys are mad for table tennis  and the bid for bragging rights begins after the skills practice ends and a king of the court tournament begins.

12.10pm – Lunch time but normally this is a working lunch as I scour the TES website for resources to support my teaching and complete my lesson evaluation in my development log.  At frequent intervals the work room phone rings or there is a knock on the staffroom door as a student needs to hand in homework or to get his report card signed which was forgotten during the lesson.

12.45pm – GCSE controlled assessment lesson observation alongside the Head of PE at my placement school.  The focus is upon designing a training plan to improve the performance of a performer in a specific sport. I carefully analyse and evaluate the delivery style of my mentor. I’m looking at his pace of lesson, differentiation, behaviour management and the assessment strategies put into place.

1.35pm – It’s a double session of outwitting opponents and 90 boys are shipped down to the fields on the green bus in sub zero temperatures. Rugby Unions are like Marmite initially; the boys either love it or hate it, but the emergence of the tackle bags leads to a reassessment and the boys are hitting the tackle bags with endless levels of enthusiasm. The final whistle goes and this is greeted with a plea of two more minutes; possibly the best feeling in the world as a PE teacher as it means the lesson’s been a success.

3.15pm- End of school day and until the Badminton coach arrives I supervise the Badminton club. Assistance is provided in assembling the badminton courts and valuables are collected in to be locked away in the office.

3.45pm – Is the end of the of the official school day but a subject training session on Net and Wall games means that the day doesn’t finish until 6pm. The session provides an opportunity to gather with fellow trainees and liaise with a current professional on possible schemes of work and teaching pedagogy to support pupil learning.

6.00pm – And it’s off home to prepare for it all again tomorrow!

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