Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been getting myself back into the swing of teaching by visiting a nursery and two schools. These were also to complete a pre-course requirement for when I start my teacher training tomorrow.
The nursery I visited was a local one to me, and I spent the day with the pre-school age group. The children were there for a big portion of the day, most arriving around 8am and some staying until around 6pm. It was a long day for them but they seemed to cope surprisingly well. They came in and played or drew until they were all in, then the rest of the day was broken up into play, lunch or tea and learning about their current topic. I’ve always said that I’m not very motherly, so the idea of working with such young children kind of intimidated me. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the day in the nursery! I surprised myself with how natural it felt interacting with the children. The staff and children were so lovely to work with too!
Next was to the completely opposite end of the age range, which also felt rather intimidating! I visited an amazing senior school a bit farther from home that didn’t really feel like a senior school. Walking around the grounds, I felt like I was on a university campus with the different subject buildings and many places for the students to sit and chill between lessons. Like the nursery, the staff and students were an absolute pleasure to work with. I managed to observe as many different year 7 subject lessons as I could to see how the students are introduced to their first Key Stage 3 lessons. I was also based in a year 7 tutor group so I could see how they settle into their new routines. This all helped me to see the differences between primary and secondary education, and this will be such useful knowledge if I ever taught in year 6.
The last school I went to was one of the other schools in the trust that I had worked with over the last couple of years. I spent the whole of last week in one of the infant schools, bouncing between Early Years, year 1 and year 2. It was so nice to be back, and I felt as if I was part of the team again with how welcoming everyone was! I used the first two days to join a year 2 and a year 1 class to observe and help out in their lessons, then I spent the rest of the week using a couple of mornings to work in Early Years and the afternoons dotted around the year 2 classrooms. It was interesting to see what the lessons are like in Key Stage 1 compared to what I had taught at Key Stage 2 over the last couple of years. Considering I will have an infant school placement over my teacher training, visiting this school and the experiences I gained from it will come in so handy! The time I spent in Early Years will also be so helpful as I can see where the children come from academically.
I’ve really enjoyed the last two weeks being able to visit different places. It was nice to just enjoy working with the children without having to call it “work” (which is always a plus!) and it’s really got me mentally ready for Monday’s enrolment onto the course! I think, regardless of how long a teacher has been in the career, visiting other schools and settings gives a brilliant insight into where children academically come from and go to. I’ve even gained a load of teaching ideas that I can use in future! If you’re teacher already, or you are thinking about joining the profession, try and visit as many places as you can. It’ll give you a massive bank of experience that you can draw on at any time and it ensures that you feel really ready to teach and work with children.
Now that those two weeks are over, it’s time to prepare for Monday! My bag is packed, my lunch is made, my tablet and earphones are fully charged and my outfit is laid out ready. Physically I’m ready, but am I mentally ready? The honest answer is that right now I feel definitely ready to train to teach, but ask me again in a day or two once the real work starts and I’ll probably still say yes… but just about! I can’t wait to get stuck in and I’ve even started reading up for the first assignment. All that’s left is to successfully wake up at 5am tomorrow to catch the early train there! Wish me luck!!