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Advice for 2nd year of Undergrad QTS

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by zed99, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. zed99

    zed99 New commenter

    Hi everyone,
    I've completed my first year on the BA Primary Education with QTS and I'm looking forward to the second year. I can honestly say that, although stressful at times, I genuinely love the course. I've enjoyed and excelled in the academic and placement parts of the course.

    I've put together some advice I have utilised during my first year (hopefully this may help someone else).

    Before I started the course my dad gave me some advice that I've stuck to:
    - Be professional at all times (personality clashes are natural but you're walking into someone else's class and being entrusted with their kids)
    - If any problems arise then talk to your class teacher/school mentor/university mentor as soon as possible
    - Take constructive criticism and act on it
    - Always tailor lessons to the needs of the specific class
    - Never turn your back on the class (unless it's literally for a second or two)
    - Study the school's behaviour management policy and engage with it
    - Reinforce expectations of behaviour and work
    - Model
    - You can either be a perfectionist or have a life (this one was personally targeted at me as during my teenage years I was a perfectionist)
    - Prioritise (I can't remember the name of this chart I've found helpful but it's a square you fill in under the four headings: important and urgent, not important but urgent, important but not urgent and not important and not urgent. Find a system that works for you even if it's just listing and stick with it.)
    - Make sure you know who the DSLs are.
    - Smile around the school because it makes you feel better even if you're down and it reflects well on you.
    - Actively ask for criticism and be willing to ask how your mentor might have gone about a task differently or what they would have changed (my mentors were shocked when, after my first observation, I walked into the feedback meeting with a mental list of what went well and areas for improvement within the lesson and when they asked how I thought the lesson had gone I was able to explain specifically which parts would need improvement and why. Personally, this has led to a deeper understanding between us and we have been able to talk about the pros and cons of different techniques I have employed during lessons. Obviously this is quite a personal experience so I guess it depends on your mentor)
    - Spend time to get to know the children

    Sorry about how long this post is, if you've made it to here then I was hoping someone with more experience than me in teaching (which is more or less everyone) would be able to give me some tips for next year's placement.

    I'm focusing on sorting my PDP out this summer and getting all the evidence annotated and perhaps reading a few of Sue Crowley's/Bill Rogers' behaviour management books. I don't think there's much else to do this summer apart from relax and celebrate my 19th (if there is something a trainee teacher has found useful doing the summer before then I would appreciate it if you could point it out to me).

    I've tried to hit the ground running with the course as I really want to be the best qualified primary teacher I can be.

    Again, would really appreciate any tips that you think a trainee would find useful that I haven't mentioned.

    Thanks a lot!
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  2. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    Universities were a sanctuary for theories, some long dead, some new, and some pretty thin ones - but still they had to be married in practice. The theory / practice accommodation is avoided with a technique and management implementation of education that you have recounted, or am I being unfair?
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Universities are a sanctuary for nothing. Gove's smearing of ITE continues to work well.

    The basic tenet of university is that there are no right or wrong answers. There is a spectrum of ideas and there is competing evidence for these ideas. University exists to provide criticality - the very nature of what it does is to provide academic and independent criticism of ideas as a separate process to the delivery of them. This is why ITE is centred around universities and delivered in partnership with schools. (All PGs are school centred 120 days and B.Ed QTS are 160 days - mandatory)

    If a school says growth mindset is gospel, a university will say on the course -there is competing evidence for and against growth mindset: make your own mind up, but be aware of the limitations of such an approach. Such a stance ensures the trainee retains autonomy of thought beyond the placement.

    The OP has written up some helpful advice and asked for helpful advice in exchange.

    My advice would be that you have to filter contexts. You are better suited to some schools than others. Reflect on the sort of school where you do well and why this is. Even when you are in a school that is not a good fit, you can learn from this school and use this to carry forward to future placements.
    pepper5 and blueskydreaming like this.
  4. ralphee11

    ralphee11 New commenter

    The best part of the university courses are 100% the placements. That's where you learn EVERYTHING! I can't remember one useful piece of information that I was taught at uni that I've applied in practice.

    I'm sure I probably do. There'll be theory behind my teaching and learning style but I certainly don't think about this in any great depth as I'm going into it.

    Absorb as much as you possibly can during your placements. If you get the chance to volunteer at an SEN school (as my course provided) then do it. The more classroom based practice you get the better.
  5. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    avoid getting into other people's duels
    pepper5 likes this.

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