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Want to give the ITTs a good experience ...

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by piglettuppydog, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. I have just been given the role of developing ITT and NQT provision and CPD in the school. I have never done this before and wondered what sort of good practice other schools are doing and what, as ITTs you would want from your senior/professional mentors? I really want to put together an excellent programme for them and ensure they feel supported and guided.
    Please could anybody share ideas/experiences?
  2. Sorry, I should have said I am in the secondary sector.
  3. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I am the professional mentor in my school, and one of the first things I did was find the money for netbooks for them. We require our teachers to do registers in SIMS, and without computers in every classroom, this was impossible - so I attached some of the funding that we get for having them to allow me to loan thm a netbook whilst they're with us. It means everyone gets a little less, but they feel more part of things.
    I also:
    • insist that they have proper school ID badges which say their name and dept and NOT "trainee" or "student". I made the Ass. Head redo one after he put forename surname student teacher on one recently.
    • insist that they havea pigeonhole like the rest of us
    • put their photos in the staffroom and school office so that people know who they are are why they're here - this was after a request from admin staff who didn't know who everyone was!
    • made sure that they met the HT on the very first morning, and that they will see him again just before they leave. He needs to know who they are, at the very least!
    • made sure they had all the "stuff" we have - removal cards, photocopy codes, library cards, email addresses. They might not ever need them, but they need to know they exist.
    • provide tea and biscuits in our meetings
    • make myself available to them when they need me. They all have a copy of my timetable and they know where to find me. It's rare that they come to me other than for arranged meetings, but at least they know where I am.
    • try to be flexible about what they want. We have to have sessions to cover certain things, but I've arranged extra sessions and changed sessions to accommodate them - the NQT year session was delivered by an NQT, which was much better than being delivered by the Dep Head as planned
    • Invite them to social events - we went out as a staff group at Christmas, and they came, and we're having an end of placement meal for trainees and mentors next week.
    Feedback on the placement is due next week - so I'll let you know what they say ;-)
  4. GodOfBiscuits

    GodOfBiscuits New commenter

    I'm an ITT in my first placement. One thing i've found useful is that there is a ringbinder in the staffroom full of the timetables of teachers who are happy to have ITTs observe them.
    Some have notes asking for 24hrs notice or if they have a certain group they don't want you to observe,which is fair enough really.

    The one thing that would make it better is having a photo of the teacher attached to each timetable, just to make it easier to have a quick word with them in the staffroom
  5. Having completed my short placement of my PGCE before Christmas and about to begin my LP serial day's tomorrow I thought I'd share the following that I received;
    • Full School Induction
    we (all trainees in the school) received a full school induction just as any other new member of staff would, this involved a full day session regarding all issues relating to school induction
    • Keys
    goes without saying, but if the trainees can be provided with all the keys that they may require, it helps a great deal (it may be a given, but I have known some fellow trainees who completed the whole placement without them).
    • Provide them with all relevant meeting/CPD calanders
    it helps there professional development and if they are made to feel welcome to attend and involved they are more likely to attend.

    • SEN lesson observations
    We were timetabled an SEN observation lesson each week. Excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of the support afforded in the school and to gather evidence for the QTS standards.

    I would second all of sleepyhead's recommendations, particulary the netbook so as to enable trainees to use SIMS (should this not be possible, ensure they are given a password to access SIMS, and also the training on how to use it and access the features within the software). Additionally to assist the trainees in there work, not all individuals have access to a laptop and a couple of my fellow trainees have been loaned netbooks and this has helped them greatly in completing their lesson planning and lesson delivery.

  6. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I like this idea - I might adopt it myself! In the B placement, we're more flexible about the sessions they have to have, so I'm going to ask one of our most experienced and confident LSAs to do some sessions on differetiation with the trainees. She's amazing, and we'd all learn a lot from her, so that's worth doing.
    I also remembered that I scheduled a extra GES session (the bit they have to do with me) once a week. This means that they're all free at the same time, so I can use that session if I need to, but more importantly, gives them the chance to meet up and talk things over if they want/need to. I don't monitor it, but I hope that it's been useful to them.
    This year, I did the form tutor placements rather than letting subject depts do it. This was partly because the same forms kept getting "got", and partly because I wanted the trainees to meet other people from other subjects. That seems to have gone down well too.
  7. Thank you for all the very good advice.
    Can I also ask- what type off sessions did you timetable for them? I have already picked up differentiation and SEN from the replies but any others I should look at making available for them?
    As a prof mentor what is my role really about? Is it providing structure to their time here and being an ear for help, advice and guidance? I have been a subject mentor before but never a professional mentor!
  8. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    We have a list from the training provider which we have to follow. I can email it if that's of help.
    Being PM is about the general stuff really - classroom management, differentiation, the professional bit of the role that's not specific to the subject. I don't deliver all of the sessions but I have to manage the planning of them so that they hear about pastoral stuff, the special characteristics of the school etc.
    I have an overview of all that they do - sorting out tutor groups, making sure that they have a balance of classes and teachers, ensuring that the kids don't have more than 2 trainees in a year where I can... and I'm their mam at school, so it's me they come to with worries!
    The really time consuming stuff id the bits they never see - all the paperwork before they come, for instance!
  9. Sleepyhead, you sound like the most amazing professional mentor! I am convinced that having to sign in as a visitor every day and wear a big read 'Visitor' badge around my neck (on which it is marked that I am a student teacher) hardly helps set me up as a teacher in the school, and it is incredible annoying having no access to photocopying facilities within the school- it also costs me a small fortune in printing costs for resourses for classes of 35!
    So my input would just be anything Sleepyhead says! That, and make sure not to leave trainees ;out of the loop' about what is happening and being discussed about them- there's nothing worse than being treated like you are an unruly year 7 who needs a behaviour management plan discussed!
  10. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Come to my school!
    Frankly, that's appalling. I know that our link uni would pitch a fit if they thought things like that were happening to trainees.
  11. The schools receive money per trainee to cover printing and other costs. You should NOT be paying for photocopying. I'd moan to school and Uni and ask for reimbursement.

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