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Roisin Daly: History trainee

Roisin Daly: History trainee

Cohort 2018/19

18th May 2019

As I get closer to the end of my training year, it seems unbelievable how much I have learnt about both myself as a person and the teaching profession. Being role models for our students is an important role. We can inspire our students to be the best possible version of themselves by having high expectations, which can help them to reach their potential.

One of the greatest discoveries I have made in recent weeks was the importance of using our role as models, to enhance our students’ work. I was encouraged to use the visualiser to help some of my year 12s to access a question on historical interpretations of the fall of the Soviet Union. I got students to watch me as I annotated the interpretations, then the mark scheme and, finally, an exemplar student essay. I found this method really useful as it allowed students the opportunity to see both how to access the question and also provided a model answer from one of their peers. Modelling also allows you to differentiate, as giving students clarity on what you expect from them allows them to problem solve for their own work and it successfully allows you to guide their practice. 

A great CPD session I attended recently was on lesson sequencing. This session drew directly on Barak Rosenshine’s Ten Principles of Instruction on the importance of long-term learning. If we want to successfully improve our students’ learning we need to ensure that we are constantly reviewing the content we teach them.  To do this effectively we need to ensure that the lessons we teach them are connected. The more we evaluate students’ learning and check their understanding, the more chance there is that it will enter their long-term memory. 

Teaching, with the right support, can allow you to try out different techniques as you continue to build relationships with your students. Harris ITE offer that support. In the past few training sessions, we have had opportunities to visit a primary school, a sixth form academy and a Special School. These visits are a wonderful opportunity to see great teaching in action and to further increase your support network. 

The final piece of advice I would offer any person considering getting into teaching is use your training year to learn about yourself. During the year you will be exposed to various theories of pedagogy, teaching trends and curriculum knowledge. Use that to your advantage to explore what kind of teacher you want to be. Your training year will not always be an easy year, but it may surprise you just how much you learn from the ITE team, your colleagues at school and even your students!

 

8th March 2019 

Living in London we are so fortunate to be surrounded by History: from architecture and museums, to famous faces of the past. As history teachers, it is our job to inspire our students to engage with that history and to appreciate how things that have happened in the past have shaped our future. 

As a career changer, I had originally thought about going into teaching after completing my BA (Hons) in History, Sociology and Politics but I didn’t feel ready. The wonderful thing about the Harris Schools Direct route is it allows you to train while you teach and, to me, it seems the most practical route. You become part of your school’s framework from that first day in September and this really helps to enhance your relationships with your students. It is these relationships that will test you on your longer days, but will also bring a smile to your face and make you feel like you are really making a difference. 

Throughout the year, every week,we have attended a variety of training sessions to help improve our practice: from behaviour sessions with Tom Bennett to subject specific sessions with History consultants. This allows you to really engage with up to date thinking and trends in teaching and you can return almost immediately to your classroom to implement what you have learned. The network and level of support you receive, from the ITE team, your subject consultants and colleagues in your placement school means that whenever you have a question, no matter how trivial it seems, there is always someone to answer it.  

Every lesson provides you with the opportunity to, not only engage with your students, but to learn something about yourself. You will soon learn about yourself through your teaching style. You will develop resilience and get to engage with a subject you love everyday. A recent Crime and Punishment lesson on Jack the Ripper with my Year 9s has shown me that if you take the time to plan effective lessons, the students can really engage with them. And when you have that lesson where their faces beam with excitement and they have a hundred questions they want to ask you, that’s when you know you are doing the right thing. 

If there is one thing that makes teaching inspiring, it is the fact that every day is different. Much like the British weather, even if you make a forecast for your week, something unexpected can always happen. But the real impact that you have on your students’ lives and the relationships you build with them, that’s what makes it worthwhile.