5 things to do today from third year trainee teacher Alison Newton

We are very grateful to Alison Newton for these 5 things.

I am currently in my third year of teacher training at the University of Worcester. I am near the end of my primary initial teacher training which is the undergraduate route. I am sharing with you my five things to do today.

1 – Get organised – If you are just starting out on your journey to becoming a teacher or if you have already started, get yourself a good-sized planner/diary with plenty of space to write down your lectures, tasks and assignments etc. Write yourself a ‘to do’ list as you go along. You will soon have mini tasks to do as well as assignments so making a to do list, I think, is essential to help you remember everything, especially if you are like me and struggle to remember what you had for breakfast!

2 – Extend your network – join social media platforms such as Facebook groups, Edutwitter, Instagram. This will widen your network of support and it’s great for gathering ideas of activities, topics and lessons. I would also recommend joining the Chartered College of Teachers, it’s free for students and then a reduced rate for NQTs, it has an impressive range of professional development articles and resources.

3 – Accept help and support – I have been very fortunate to study at the University of Worcester, so I can only speak of the support I have received, however, there should be a good level of support wherever you study. Accept any help, you are not doing this alone, lecturers are there to offer support as well as impart their knowledge and expertise. The support at Worcester is amazing, staff go out of their way to help if they can. It should be a journey together so don’t ever feel alone.

4 – Develop reflection skills – This has been something I have had to get better at, but it is a vital skill to enable you to improve your practice. There are lots of articles, books and online support for this. “Reflective Teaching” by Andrew Pollard is a good place to start. It is worth reading around this subject before you start, as it can help from the very beginning with your ability to reflect on a multitude of areas including your teaching, values, lessons and your teaching pedagogy.

5 – Stay positive – This is really important. There are times when you will probably question everything you are doing, am I doing the right thing? Will I ever qualify? Can I really be a teacher? How am I going to write these assignments? And many more concerns and worries. But all I can say is stay positive, there is so much to gain and yes is the answer to most of the questions. I am sure that most trainee teachers will doubt themselves and that is ok, even teachers doubt themselves after many years of teaching.

So, enjoy the journey, it may seem like a daunting thought at the beginning, but I can assure you the time flies, so enjoy as much as you can. I am at the end of my training and can look back and realise how far I’ve come, so trust, have faith and stay positive.

Good luck to you all.