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Advice to those about to start GTP

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Sparkley84, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. I've just finished my GTP year and I remember this time last year wondering what I could do to help make my GTP year easier. So I thought I'd post a few thoughts/tips/pieces of advice which might be useful :)
    Before you start:
    Don't worry too much about doing lots before you start the GTP. If you want to prepare, buy a revision guide for your subject and key stage and have a look through to familiarise yourself. You could buy yourself stationery such as lever arch files, plastic pockets, dividers, pens, pencils and paper. You could also start looking at the practice skills tests online. Finally, I'd recommend reading 'How to survive your first year in teaching'. It's aimed at NQTs, but as the GTP is a whole year, its very useful to read.
    First few weeks:
    I remember feeling very overwhelmed during the first few weeks. There was so much new stuff to take in, and everyone was talking about the standards. I remember feeling like I had so much stuff to do, but it was so early that I couldn't actually do any of it yet!! These first few weeks just take it easy and find your feet. Keep all paperwork you're given and keep notes from meetings etc, but don't worry too much about filing yet. I'd recommend using the extra time you have now to get your skills tests done. You'll have to wait until your Uni register you with the GTC before you can do them, but you can still practice. I booked my tests as soon as I got my GTC number and had passed them at the beginning of October. It's great to get them out the way and you have your first standard ticked off!
    Once you're into the course:
    You'll spend your first few weeks observing, but you'll soon start teaching. Nothing is as scary as that very first lesson! Don't worry if you don't enjoy it, it doesn't mean teaching isn't 'for you'. After you've taught a few times, the nerves will diminish. When you first start teaching there is so much to think about. I remember writing out every single word I was going to say! It soon becomes second nature, and very quickly you'll find yourself doing things without even thinking.
    At this stage, you may want to start thinking about the standards. The best thing to do is keep an electronic table. You can download a table of all the standards from the TES resources. Every time you go to a Uni lecture, or a professional themes session, have a lesson observation, complete an essay etc, open up your standards table, find which standards it relates to and note it down. If you do this throughout the year it makes life sooo much easier at the end. In terms of the actual paperwork, it doesn't matter too much at this stage how you file it, as long as you know where it is and can find it again.
    As you start teaching more and more, you may find yourself getting very bogged down. My only advice is to just stick with it. Prioritise what is most important, and accept that you can't put your best effort into every single lesson. Give yourself a break by planning a few poster lessons or computer room lessons. There will be some evenings where you're up late planning for the next day, but you will get through it.
    General tips:
    Keep everything!! I got told this, but still deleted some emails I wish I hadn't! It's amazing how the tiniest little thing or a conversation can count towards the standards!
    Never be afraid to ask for help. Teachers have all been there and are always willing to help. If you're really struggling, tell someone. They will take a few lessons off your hands for a while or will help you with the planning.
    Take copies of all resources! At both my placements I took in a portable hard-drive and downloaded everything!! All teachers share ideas and most ideas come from other people! I keep an excel spreadsheet of good ideas I've seen teachers use - divide them into starters, plenaries, games etc
    Good luck to everyone starting in September. It's an amazing year. It can be hard at times but enjoy your holidays and always try and spend one day at the weekend doing no school work. I really loved this year and am so glad I chose to do the GTP. If anyone has any questions I'm happy to answer - I did secondary Science GTP :)
  2. I have read your post with real interest and just wanted to say thank you very much for spending the time to write such positiive advice!

    I start my GTP in September and am always encouraged to read such fantastic words of wisdom.

    I really appreciate it : )

    Congrats on getting through your year : )
  3. I have just read your post with great interest. I'm starting my GTP in
    September and despite working as a TA for more than 8 years am still
    feeling a little daunted after my GTP induction meeting - so many things
    to think about. I'm printing off yout suggestions, and those from vs123 to stick in the front of my folder otherwise I'm bound to forget them too!

    Many thanks - your time and trouble is appreciated.
  4. Hi

    I about to start my GTP in September, and with the stuff I've been sent from uni already, and the amount of information out there to absorb, was starting to panic a little! I know it will be a lot of hard work but your advice has reassureed me slightly that I am doing the right thing. Some of the tips are really useful so thanks a lot. I hope my year is as successful as yours was.

    Cheers [​IMG]
  5. Excellent post by Sparkley84!
    Would echo the comments there regarding GTP especially the skills tests! (Get them done as early as possible).

  6. I am an AST with over 15 yrs teaching experience - I am now amalgamating this into a website which you can find here: http://teachingtricks.weebly.com

    Let me know if it is of use or if I can help further.

  7. Thank you Sparkley84 for your advice: echoing other posts here, it is much appreciated!!! I seem to be panicing daily about things that I possibly should have done in preparation but haven't as yet! Despite that, I cannot wait to start the (Art & Design) GTP though [​IMG]
  8. Thank you Sparkley for such a positive post.

    I started some work on my induction tasks today and I am getting a little panicked about the sheer amount I have to do! I think part of the problem is that I have to arrange meetings with so many people to get the information I need for the tasks - my academic experience up to now has just involved hitting the books and researching that way! However, I am taking on board what you have said and trying not to get too stressed out. I know I can do this, it just looks a little daunting right now.
  9. To the OP - thanks for a great post - really reassuring!!
  10. Thanks to the OP for a great post which will be really helpful and thanks to maddy
    for the website which on first inspection is ace. I'm really looking forward to the GTP route
    this year but hope I avoid the crying phase which everyone says you go through. As an older bloke
    I don't generally do crying, although after my last years post 16 (unqualified) teaching I can see where
    they're coming from. :) (thankfully the outcomes were good, but definitely not easy).
    P.S. if you like a bit of tech in your teaching (or not, as a counterpoint) there is a simply awesome
    set of teachers and other professionals sharing knowledge in a form of online CPD at:
    on a regular basis.
    These people are welcoming, helpful and open to new teachers ideas, a bit like this gtp forum but sort of like the anti tes ict forum, sorry couldn't resist.
  11. Hi Sparkley 84!

    I know this is ages after you have written this, but i am a GTP student who has begun my GTP year in secondary Science. thank you for your advice! if you have anymore to offer, that would be great!

    Thank you so much!

  12. As a new GTPer, the advice that you have provided Sparkley84 will be invaluable, particularly collating QTS evidence on an excel spreadsheet. Simple but I imagine a very effective way of monitoring your progression.
    My first few weeks have played out almost as you have described above and I will be taking my first class on Friday (strategically placed so I can reflect over the weekend). I am very excited but I am fully aware that things won't always go to plan but to roll with it. Even in the early weeks, I thought about the importance of maintaining a life out of school so I have been keeping a day free to relax and enjoy myself. I will endeavour to continue this throughout the year in order to maintain my sanity!
    Thanks again and I hope your NQT year has started successfully.
  13. hi sparkey ,

    very interesting forum and your post has given me a sense of direction

    i am looking forward to get on the gtp course next year and filing my application this nocvember but i need your expert advice in doing the cover letter,

    my profile so far is i am doing the EYPS full path way whcih i will finish by july 2011 and then i wish to get a job as teaching assistant ,but then i thought that it would be worth while to start the gtp as i get qualifications(qts and gtc) and experience at the same time

    i am looking forward to teach english for primary school (0-5 years) foundation stage and i am getting stuck in doing my cover letter as it says that the cover letter needs to demonstrate your skills,background,details of experience(in this case i am not sure if its relevant experience with EYPS,as i am going to do 2 placements during the course time)

    awaiting your expert advice and thanks a lot for your post
  14. Hi Just read you advice to anyone doing GTP. When you say create 33 standard files in your memory stick do you mean type each one out. Then when you get evidence mark it in. Sorry yo sound so vague as all new and scary to me. I begin in January 2010.

  15. thank you very much for such valuable pieces of advice. I was just readig your thoughts now and that's what really pushed me to create an account and post to you for the first time.
    I am actually planing to start my GTP ( secondary French) in Sep/2011 and was really hesitating about the step I am going to take. I would like to ask you about the skills test you have mentioned, what are they bout ?do you mean the interview? also I have heard that some schools prefer a native speaker for those who do foreign languages, do they mean English native speaker or native speaker of the language you are willing to teach? (French is my second language and I am not an eglish native speaker)
    I have an experience of 6 years of teaching but in my home country, do you think it will be helpful for someone teaching for the first time in the UK?
    I am very sorry about this pile of questions , I am just worried and don't want to commit myself then feel regreting when I am half way...
    Many thanks again for your time and support
  16. natbar

    natbar New commenter

    Hi you can practice the tests on the tda website, you need to complete these tests in order to gain QTS at the end of your GTP. They are not connected to the interview at all.
    Hope this helps :)

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