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What makes trainees really stand out on their placements?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Teacher-in-Training42, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    My last placement didn't go so well. Well saying that...it had good times and bad times but I really think there were slightly more bad times than good. As a trainee I feel like the staff looked at me as if they knew more - that wasn't straight away though, it was like after the first time they saw me teach , before that I was just assisting.

    This time I really want to do well and do something that gets me noticed ..like A LOT in a good way. I want to be amazing a be on the organisations website saying something about me organising a project for the learners that's gone really well or maybe participate in projects and things that are already running and encourage students to join. Whos the best person in the organisation to ask about projects and things...?

    Also are there any other things that would get me really noticed in a good way?

  2. FarSideofParadise

    FarSideofParadise Occasional commenter

    You say you want to impress, you want to be noticed. Then you go on to say that you'd like to do this by getting on the website? For organising a project?

    You want them to notice you for your hard work, your subject knowledge and your teaching. Impress them by showing that you reflect on your teaching practice and you're constantly looking for ways to improve in the classroom.

    Projects and enrichment isn't something you should focus on, your teaching needs to be good first.
    bonxie, pepper5, Lara mfl 05 and 3 others like this.
  3. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    yes I agree the teaching has to be good. However we are also told that we should get involved in the 'life' of the place too. Are there any other ways as well as reflecting? I already do that as I have to keep a diary log of my progress.

    Thanks for your suggestion
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I agree you need to reflect on exactly what your priorities are. You remind me of a ' wanna be ' looking for a quick fix or a way to make your name which seems to me rather shallow. The bit about your wanting to be ' amazing ' is slightly ridiculous. Suspect you are confusing the profession with an audition for a reality programme - harsh possibly but you really do need to focus on getting it right in the classroom - you owe it to your students and they rely on you to put them first
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    The thread title lead me to think that it was trainees who showed a certain maturity in their attitude to the children and the work that stood out for me. Then I read your post. Calm confidence and clarity of purpose always went down well and it was classroom performance that counted.
    bonxie, Flere-Imsaho, pepper5 and 2 others like this.
  6. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    It's like that one a few weeks ago from a wannabe SMT looking for new initiatives to propose.
    Lara mfl 05 and minnie me like this.
  7. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    For the sake of it - yes I recall
    Lara mfl 05 and sparkleghirl like this.
  8. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    How is it being a wannabe when it is one of the standards to get involved in the other things going on outside the classroom too?
  9. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    I'm actually just trying my best to make a difference to all areas of my work and not just ONE
  10. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Why not organize a school concert or a school play?? Offer to stay after hours and work week-ends. Offer to ease the load of your mentor - this could be by doing extra marking or maybe just printing and preparation.
    Get involved in extra activities - teach the violin, run an after school club. Forest school is fun at this time of year - lots of rolling in mud. Get down with the kids and be Miss Popularity.
    I didn't have time for any of the above on my PGCE because I was cream crackered with writing lesson plans and swotting up on my subject knowledge not to mention researching and writing Uni essays.
    pepper5, sparkleghirl and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. exploration

    exploration New commenter

    If anyone is telling you that you need to impress when you’re doing fine with your observations and general progress, I personally wouldn’t listen. There were, of course, the people on my PGCE who wanted to do everything and be amazing. At the end of the day, you all pass with the same qualification. The only thing that matters is your performance at interviews when you begin to apply for jobs.

    I volunteered at the school's Christmas show when I was doing my PGCE, but believe me my input was beyond minimal, mostly just turning up to rehearsals o_O But it meant that on my applications I could put that I assisted. (I didn’t assist lol.) Chill out OP, it’s really not as important as it seems.v
  12. FarSideofParadise

    FarSideofParadise Occasional commenter

    But the ONE that you're being advised to focus on is the single most important aspect of your job. Getting involved in school life can mean really simple things like helping our other members of staff with preexisting enrichment activities. You're looking for easier ways to impress than just being a great classroom teacher and there isn't any.
    pepper5, Pomz and minnie me like this.
  13. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I know the OP's choice of language has left them somewhat open to ridicule, but to be fair, there is a teaching standard about wider school involvement (standard 8, I think...).

    So, whilst it is very true that the OP's primary focus should be on high quality teaching, I don't think there is anything wrong with aiming to make a broader impact in the school. I wouldn't mind having a student in my school that is keen to help out, maybe support with running a club etc.

    I also understand that when it comes to applying for jobs, the OP might like something additional to mention in the application...
  14. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I know, and I'm sorry, but it really is the classroom teaching that matters most. After a while in the job you'll get to spot who are the teachers who care about the substance and who are the ones who are all about the froth and attention grabbing initiatives. We had one of the latter here a few weeks ago, that's what my comment referred to
    Teacher-in-Training42 likes this.
  15. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Haha, I was on the doors, checking tickets, at the school musical during my second placement. Yup, embellished that on job apps - 'I was involved in the school's musical production' :)

    @Teacher-in-Training42 Ask your placement mentor if there are any clubs you could be involved in on a weekly basis, any performances coming up, or any future school trips. Even just attending an evening/weekend football match is a way of supporting a school. You also make a contribution to the school through attending parents' evenings, anything related to your tutor group (if you have one) such as school assemblies... But, as others have said, if you want to be highly regarded at your placements then the way to do this is to show you have excellent subject knowledge, have a mature and positive attitude, and are able to make progress in your teaching (you don't need to be brilliant) - the teaching part is the part that matters to the schools, most of the other teacher standards are just about jumping through hoops in order to gain QTS. (Having said that, not sure you're actually doing the PGCE? You mention functional skills on another thread).
  16. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    One thing I did do on PGCE was to prepare displays for Open Day. I was asked to attend but didn't - it was on a Saturday and I had other arrangements.
    I also attended a designated CPD day, which only repeated what I already knew from Uni, and other department and college meetings.
  17. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    Okay thanks for explaining. As I'm just training I do want to get a good understanding of everything and hopefully it will mean that I'll get to know other staff in different areas to me better too so they could possibly help too if that makes sense.
  18. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    Hi yeah I'm teaching young offenders functional skills its in a different type of education setting not a school. thanks for your comments really useful.
  19. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    Yeah I think it was my choice of language too (sorry). Thanks for understanding Pomz :)
    First Snowdrop likes this.
  20. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Hi Teacher-inTraining42.
    I assume you are doing a PGCE PCET if you are in a PRU. There will not be much that you can do in the way of extra-curricular activities.
    May I suggest that you focus on some research. You could ask to observe other teachers teaching different subjects in order to see how they approach the classes and the level at which they pitch their lessons. I would suggest that you focus on behaviour management and motivation. Two areas which present many difficulties in PRUs. You may find that some teachers are really laid back and expect very little effort from their students.
    Try to find out about your students' backgrounds and why they are in a PRU. Some of this will be heartbreaking. I once had a student whose parents threw him out and he was sleeping in his car. When the college contacted them they just said that they had washed their hands of him. Many of your students will come from backgrounds involving drugs, crime and neglect.
    There will be lots of learning difficulties. Research everything you can about dyslexia and other learning difficulties. It is highly likely that you are teaching a student with undiagnosed learning difficulties who is acting up in order to disguise their difficulties. Learn how to approach such a student about their difficulties. They are very sensitive. Show your observers that you understand your learners' needs and how you are addressing them.
    Tailor your lessons to your learners' interests. One of the most successful FS lessons that I ever taught was about prisons. It transpired that all of my students had friends and relations in prison. One was really proud that his dad had held up building societies for a living. There are lessons available on drugs, tattoos and alcohol.
    One thing to remember is that your students could have the mind of a 10-12 year old in the body of a teenager.
    Teacher-in-Training42 likes this.

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