Do you remember Charlotte, one of the IOP Teacher Training scholars we featured back in October 2013? Well, Charlotte successfully completed her SCITT physics teacher training in July and has recently commenced the new school year as a Newly Qualified Teacher.
We caught up with Charlotte in the summer holidays to find out how things went during her training year…
Tell us about some of the highlights of your training
“One of the first highlights came early on when showing a year 7 group a video of far too many balloons being squished inside a container with liquid nitrogen and then being pulled out, one by one, and the balloons forming their original shape. The video captured the imagination of everybody in the class and I was bombarded with questions on liquid nitrogen. It felt very special to have triggered such curiosity in students.
Also, every single time I planned and delivered an activity that worked exceptionally well I remembered how much I love teaching. These were the times when all of the students completely engaged with a task and were focused on trying to beat the challenge.”
What are you most looking forward to in your NQT year?
“More than anything in my NQT year, I am looking forward to having my own classes and my own room. The saddest part of my training year was having to leave students I had formed relationships with after a few months, so it will be excellent to spend a whole year with the same groups. I’m also looking forward to being solely responsible for their learning, which will give me the freedom to try new ideas for a long enough time to really test them.”
As part of your scholarship award you were assigned a mentor. Did you find this helpful?
“I found my mentor a very useful resource. It was a great feeling that there was someone completely on my side, outside of my training provider or placement schools, who I could contact for support if I needed it. This was particularly vital when I needed unbiased advice on jobs. They were also excellent at connecting me with other physics teachers, and helped me to arrange an observation of outstanding A-level physics teaching.”
What tips would you give to new trainee physics teachers?
“1. Don’t forget to enjoy your training! Remember to savour those moments where things go right and take the time to enjoy them before moving onto the next step
2. Make an effort to form good relationships with the students. This will make behaviour management easier and is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.
3. Talk to previous trainees, your mentor and your training provider to make sure that you are spending time on what counts. On most occasions this is going to be lesson planning and getting enough sleep!”
We were delighted to announce last week that the IOP Teacher Training Scholarship programme returns for the 2015/16 academic year. Once again we’re awarding 150 scholarships with £25,000 tax-free funding, as well as the mentor support Charlotte highlights above. We have also increased the opportunities for networking and support through a series of educational trips.
Follow our blog over the next few months to find out how our 2014 teacher training scholars are getting on.