Meet our Cohort 2021-22Back
Milca Mianda: Primary Graduate
"What have been the benefits of in school experience?"
There are multiple benefits of having an in school experience, but the greatest reason would be the hands-on experience that cannot be gained through other teacher training routes. Particularly in a primary setting, it is extremely useful to see the day to day development of students and this helped me to understand the real progression that children can make throughout the year. Due to this experience, I do not see myself as a trainee teacher but as the classroom teacher. Although this a course combined with an element of studying, the majority of time is spent at my placement school, rather than feeling like a student, I just see myself as teacher. There are friendships and bonds that I have formed with my class, which could not have happened if I had chosen an alternative route.
Likewise, being in a school setting has allowed me to prepare for the other aspects of teaching that cannot be taught, for example, liaising with parents, putting up displays in time to match the children’s learning or data collection and use. Some may say these are mundane tasks and you can pick it up as you go along. However, with the teacher workload, being in school has helped me juggle all the responsibilities as well as focusing on teaching and learning.
Furthermore, I have been given an opportunity to develop skills outside the classroom, I joined a subject team and will help lead and write the curriculum which will be used throughout two schools. There’s constant room for development, challenge and reaching my full potential as an educator. Having an in school experience allowed me to build strong connections not only with my children but with the other staff in my school, who could help me improve where I was weaker and built on my strengths.
January 2022"How was your first term as a trainee teacher with Harris ITE?"
The first term as a trainee teacher has been quite an experience, I have learnt a lot about myself and about the real dedication that teachers show to their children continuously every day. It is deeper than the mere moments we see of a teacher standing at the front of the class imparting knowledge. Unless you join this profession yourself, you will never fully understand the behind the scenes work that goes on.
Apart from the deep reflection, the pedagogical development and the exposure to great individuals that work directly with Harris Federation, Jaz Ampaw-Farr, Tom Bennett and Dean Beadle has been outstanding. I have learnt an incredible amount that I would not have guessed would be so significant. An example, looking after myself to be able to give my best for my students (I accredit that one to Jaz Ampaw-Farr). This has to be THE BIGGEST lesson I have taken in.
“How did you prepare for your first few weeks?”
Before I started the Harris School Direct course, I was already working at a Harris school; I was a teaching assistant for some time and then I started teaching Spanish between two Harris primary schools. Before I knew it, I found myself signing up to become a primary school teacher. Interestingly, I originally wanted to teach Spanish at a secondary school. Spanish is my specialism and I thought I would enjoy teaching one subject more.
My first week was only two days long, we – my mentor and I – used this time to get to know the children and set the standards for our class, lessons had not started yet. It was lovely! It gave me a chance to just settle in and get used to the idea of being with one class. The following week was the first full week and I taught my first PSHE lesson (*patting myself on the back*). Honestly, I think I enjoyed the lesson more than the children did!
Overall, it has been a great experience so far. Switching from a specialism to class teacher is overwhelming at first – I do feel like my brain is thinking about a million things at once – but I’m slowly starting to find my feet.
In preparation of the teacher training year, I did a the pre-reading that was given to us at Summer School and I had the privilege of speaking to the trainee who was teaching Year 6 that year. Her advice was extremely beneficial, it helped me get into the right mindset for what was coming my way.
I would recommend bringing a water bottle with you and remembering to drink water! It is so easy to carry on working and forget that your body needs to be hydrated, and not just by coffee and tea. One of the teachers at the academy has a water bottle that shows her how much she has drunk, perhaps that would be a good investment for those that struggle to remember.