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Your University Training. Feedback

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by lpeter92, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. lpeter92

    lpeter92 New commenter

    Dear NQTs,

    I am currently researching attitudes towards teaching training for a research project. I am researching the state of teacher training and whether the system needs to be changed.

    If you had the chance to anonymously give feedback to your university what would you say?

    Here are some questions as a guide:
    - What did your university do well in preparing you for your NQT year?
    - Was there anything about your training year that you would change?
    - Now in your NQT year, are there parts of the job that you realised you were never trained for?

    Would be very grateful for responses
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Be careful not to identify in any way the university or training provider, as that would be contrary to the T&C.

    Best wishes
  3. surfblue33

    surfblue33 New commenter

    My University prepared us really well in my opinion... apart from one area... working with SEN children.
    It was touched on but not covered enough I felt. My NQT year was in a school with a high percentage of SEN pupils and the first few months were a steep learning curve. The other NQT’s at my school felt similar so I guess it’s a universal thing across the board of Uni’s. Luckily the school provided in depth training as they’ve identified this as a common gap of knowledge in NQT’s, plus we were encouraged to get advice on individual pupils where needed. A pen portrait is great but doesn’t always state minor tweaks we can make to accommodate personalities and learning needs.
    lpeter92 likes this.
  4. lpeter92

    lpeter92 New commenter

    Many thanks for the response. Really interesting and if I am honest not would I expect to hear so I really appreciate your honesty. SEN is an important issue and a growing one so it is great that you have identified this.
  5. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    We got no training about teacher wellbeing and how to look after ourselves, how to deal with being bullied by a HT, very limited EAL training and all the ways to differentiate. I would also have lived more guidance on how to plan lessons well particularly topic lesson, computing, music and PE.
    lpeter92 likes this.
  6. lpeter92

    lpeter92 New commenter

    Many thanks for your reply. Another suprise as teacher well-being is so important and topical now. Many thanks! Hope you have a restful summer.
  7. inkymark

    inkymark New commenter

    - What did your university do well in preparing you for your NQT year?
    I went via a SCITT (although did a PGCE via distance learning as well) and they were very good when it came to NQT year. They ran a session via distance learning (it would have been in person if it was not for the pandemic situation) about what we should expect and how things will change. We have been given lots of warnings although clearly, as I have only just finished, we will see how good these are. They did mention the need to be careful with our mental health and remember that the word 'no' can be very useful and we should not be afraid to use it if we feel that we are being assigned inappropriate tasks, etc.
    - Was there anything about your training year that you would change?
    With the exception of the pandemic, I found the disconnect between the SCITT course and the PGCE quite difficult to manage since it was not as well integrated into the course as it could have been. However, I passed in the end so I am not going to complain too much!
    - Now in your NQT year, are there parts of the job that you realised you were never trained for?
    I have literally just started and so there is a lot for me to find out about but it is a hell of a jump from trainee to an NQT where I will be responsible for my own form etc. I think it is perhaps the pastoral side of things where I will find most difficulties but one thing my SCITT course taught me was just to give things a go and give it your best - which I will! I was lucky to co-tutor a class in my placements but being given sole responsibility is quite a jump! Oh well :)
  8. lpeter92

    lpeter92 New commenter

    Thanks for the reply and especially for the detail! I admire your positive attitude. All the best for the year ahead!
    inkymark likes this.
  9. hankay

    hankay Occasional commenter

    I would echo this. It was touched on in a very breif (4 x 1.5 hour sessions) module about Autism, but nothing else. And even then, the workshops didn't go beyond just describing what Autism is and how it can affect behaviour socially, with some reccomended reading. I didn't really learn about Autism in Education, and when I did encounter autistic students I was pretty much left to just figure things out. There was a supportive network around me who I could discuss things with, like "Student X behaves this way, how can I manage this?" But we weren't given any kind of toolset for managing the behaviour and learning of SEND students on the PGCE side, which I think is missing a rather big trick as it is a very prevelent thing now and can easily catch you off guard.
  10. lpeter92

    lpeter92 New commenter

    Many thanks for your feedback and again, really interesting. I hope you are having a nice summer and good luck for the next year!
  11. Fresa82

    Fresa82 New commenter

    I did a SCITT PGCE (partially run out of a university, partially out of the lead SCITT school).

    The SCITT were overall excellent and I feel as well-prepared as I could be for my NQT year in September. However, it did feel very much sink or swim at times. Only the very determined lasted the course and did well. We were not given sufficient information on how we would be assessed early-enough on in the course, which led to everyone having a bit of a panic at the end, when they realised that a lot of their evidence would not be sufficient. Some examples would have been useful. One area lacking in training was how to help EFL pupils and practical experience with pupils with SEN. No training was given on data, so I wait to see what that will be like in September...

    For me the main downfall in training was the extent that your placement has on your training experience, which seems to just be down to luck. One of my placements was fantastic (I am still in touch with them now) and one of my placements was truly awful. The staff were horrible and clearly did not want a trainee there. They did everything they could to make my life difficult. I felt like I was being hazed. Luckily this was my short placement. On my first day there they told me how much they hated their main trainee and listed their faults and how I was 'so much' better. They didn't know me at all. This made me feel very uneasy straight away. The unlucky 'main' trainee tried to get support from the SCITT in a diplomatic way, but were basically viewed as a failing trainee and not given help. This trainee was very highly qualified and had experience teaching in another country. I never saw him teach, but I do feel that he should have been given the benefit of the doubt, especially given their school's clear negative bias towards them.

    The university-side of things (mostly assignments to be completed) was a bit half-hearted. They also offer the traditional PGCE route and invest a lot more in those trainees, I felt a bit like an afterthought or annoyance. They were very inflexible with us and not particularly nice. I would be surprised if any of the lecturers knew any of our names (there were only approx. 40-50 trainees in our group, so not a huge number). However, their facilities were great, the lecturing style of learning suits me well and they used a really good online system for accessing documents and submitting assignments. So that was positive. I don't feel that any part of the university-led course prepared me for anything.

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