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Meet our Cohort 2021-22

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Aashni Halai: Primary Trainee - Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich

Cohort 2021-22

July 2022

Ashni halai

"What support have you received and how has this benefitted your teaching?" 

Having an excellent team of mentors and managing mentors has been one of the most beneficial parts of the year. Not only have I spoken to my own mentors about my practice, but it has been incredible being able to access the knowledge of other professionals.

Another aspect of training is the staff at Harris ITE. They have all had our back since the moment we stepped onto the course, where they have helped us grow into the amazing teachers. They have provided support with pedagogy, finance and even wellbeing. I don’t know if you’d find this level of commitment with any other training provider. I honestly think they are all incredible and you will definitely be in safe hands next year. 

My overall experience has been wonderful, and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to teach with Harris. I have been able to document my progress throughout the year and I am astounded to see how far I’ve come. Thank you to all of the staff at Harris Initial Teacher Training.

You have really made a difference in this young teacher’s life.  

January 2022“How was your first term as a Harris ITE Trainee Teacher?”

Don’t get me wrong, teaching is definitely one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever had. As a teacher, you are constantly trying your hardest to push your kids to be their best selves, both in and out of the classroom. I quite enjoy the writing aspect of the HITE course. I have genuinely found it useful in my teaching practice and quite like the topics we write about. Though, it can be quite challenging at times to motivate myself to make time for these essays, as I’m always so engrossed in the teaching aspect of the course.  

Believe me when I say there is nothing that brightens my day more than seeing those 26 incredible humans smiling. And that’s why we’re here. For them.  

I have already grown so attached to this lovely bunch and I know it’s going to be so hard to leave them. But for now, I will leave you with my favourite memory of my Year 3 class.  

It was the penultimate week of term, and I had the class to myself for the whole day. They were so restless, and I was struggling to gain their full attention. It was now period 4 which meant it was the messiest part of the day – Art. A lot of trainees dread these messy subjects, and I’m one of them. But that particular lesson was different. A lot of our art lessons were very technical and didn’t allow the children to fully express themselves. However, that lesson was about letting them run wild. They were painting and drawing and cutting and sticking and it was all so wonderful to see. Each one of their little faces was filled with enjoyment as they designed their collages. What made it even more special was that they were so excited about their artwork that a couple of them even asked to present their pieces to the class. It was such a lovely atmosphere and I hope the rest of the year is full of fun and smiles just like that day.   

October 2021“How did you prepare for your first few weeks?”

Starting my teaching journey with Harris ITE was honestly one of the most exciting parts of 2021. I can’t lie, I’m one of those super organised, planning-everything-in-advance kind of people. So, I felt like it might be beneficial to anyone thinking about starting their teacher training to see what an incredibly efficient person does when taking this huge step in their career. 

 

1. GET A PLANNER! 

I came into this training course straight out of university, and I went into university straight from sixth form. This means that I’ve been using planners for a good 10 years. Now, I know planners always seemed like a nuisance to most in school, but I was one of those weird kids that loved them. I used to write absolutely everything in my planners. So, when I got myself a place on the Harris ITE course, I knew this was my chance to shine and be the MOST organised person in the school I went to. My current favourite is the Clever Fox Planner! 

2. EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU’RE APPLYING FOR STUDENT FINANCE EARLY, IT'S NOT EARLY ENOUGH. DO IT SOONER.  

So, I had applied for student finance (SFE) at the beginning of July. I thought this would give SFE plenty of time to process and set up my loan payments, but it turns out this can take longer than I had thought, which is not ideal! All I’d say, is if you can, apply as soon as you have accepted your offer as SFE are processing so many applications across the country, it can be slower than you’d think – better to be prepared! Once you’re on the course, definitely contact the Harris ITE team if you need help – don’t suffer in silence!

3. IF YOU’RE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT, WEAR TRAINERS ON YOUR JOURNEY. TRUST ME.  

I’ve always commuted wearing trainers, but the pain of carrying a second pair of shoes was really getting to me. So, on a random Monday I decided to wear my work shoes the whole day. This may not seem like an issue to those of you with incredibly comfy shoes made for lots of walking, but for the rest of us? This is the worst idea we could ever have. The journey from my house to the station alone had my feet sore. I could feel the beginnings of blisters forming on my feet. Then, the 15-minute walk from the station to school is where things started to get worse. My feet were really suffering the wrath of those cheap suede shoes. As the day went on it got worse and worse, until the end of the school day, when I had just had enough. I was ready to go home in just my socks. But, of course, no one would let me leave school like that. Reluctantly, I made a phone call and asked my shoes to be brought to school so that I could get home safely. Having that second pair of shoes may be a nuisance, but at least your feet will thank you. 

Honestly, I could go on and on, but all I need you to remember is that preparing for everything, no matter how small, will seriously benefit you in the long run.