I was always going to be a teacher. It isn’t one of those situations where I say ‘for as long as I can remember I wanted to be a teacher’. No, in fact I wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter when I was younger (who didn’t want to be able to make the Thunderbird Island and go on all those adventures?!). But teaching seemed to find me. For many years I thought I would be a Primary School teacher but after about 4 years of voluntary work during my college and early degree years, I realised it wasn’t quite the right fit for me.
So I started to look into different options for teaching older students. There was no question in my mind that I wanted to teach Philosophy and Ethics in the hopes of re-creating the intellectually stimulating environment that I was so fortunate to experience myself at college (mainly due to my wonderful teacher who I am now very fortunate to teach alongside). However the thought of having to do my teacher training in Secondary RE, in order to teach A Level, frightened me to the core (those stories will definitely be kept for a future blog!)
Still I persevered and when the time arrived I applied for the one year Secondary Religious Studies PGCE at Durham University. My interview consisted of a written activity, group activity and then panel interview. Now I was as prepared as I could be, don’t forget this was prior to Google been the fountain of all knowledge but one question in particular threw me through a loop!
“You have ten minutes to design a scheme of work on any topic of your choice to teach to a year 8 class last lesson on a Friday.” My first thought…you want me to design a what?
So with this in mind, last year I piloted an Enrichment course with any students considering teaching. This course was meant to run for the whole year but due to lockdown was of course cut short. I am once again running the course with a new cohort of students for one hour a week. I designed the course to explore many different areas of teaching including: looking for the right route into teaching, preparing for an interview and the pedagogical practice behind teaching. All the things I was naively unaware of.
I wanted to share the Toolkit Pack I have designed to help, guide and encourage any other students exploring the possibility of teaching. It comprises of a multitude of questions, with some reading, to help focus students on important aspects of teaching. It is catered for Primary teaching through to Post 16.
The Teacher Toolkit Pack contains (download here):
- What makes a ‘good’ teacher?
- Teaching Acronyms: what do they mean?
- Myths about Teaching
- Avenues into Teaching
- Writing a UCAS Personal Statement (This also might help: How to write a UCAS Personal Statement)
- Interview Preparation for Teacher Training/ Degree
- Lesson Planning
- Teaching, Learning and Assessment
- Special Educational Needs (More on Autism can be found here: Autism Awareness: How aware are you?)
- Ensuring Questioning Impacts Students’ Learning (Check this out for more: Ensuring Questioning Impacts Students’ Learning)
- Dealing with Behaviour Issues in the Classroom
- What is Happening in the World of Teaching Today? (This is a great website to help with this: ResearchED: Keeping a finger on the pedagogy pulse.)
- Lesson Observations
- Preparing for Work Experience
- Reflections of Work Experience
I hope you find it useful when preparing for a future in teaching.