A reassuring story...Watch
I have applied for teacher training with zero classroom experience. That’s right, zero, zip, zilch, nada! I have of course tried to get classroom experience but it just isn’t possible with Covid. Full disclosure, I have been actively involved with Girlguiding for quite a long time.
I applied to two establishments and got offered interviews with both. I attended an interview with my first choice this week and was offered a place shortly after.
- Make sure teaching is something you really want to do, passion shines through
- Be yourself
- Research the place you are applying to
- Watch some online classes
- Read up on the curriculum a bit (especially English and maths)
- Utilise the get into teaching advisor service, they are helpful
- Attend open evenings online, both with your individual choices (if offered) but also the get into teaching ones (you get to speak with providers 1 on 1)
If anyone has any questions I will do my best to help.
Don't take yourself too seriously.
You can know the course in and out, you could have been wanting this job for your whole life, but at the end of the day, if your students aren't interested, they're not going to be engaged; your knowledge isn't going to be helpful. This is more important, the younger the students, as older students have more of a choice over the subjects they learn, and will have more interest in the subject. In terms of how to be more engaging, one option is to tell jokes, preferably around the subject and topic. For example, I used to have a Maths teacher who had some maths jokes on the walls and would sometimes add some to the bottom of emails. They don't need to be that funny, just don't make it too forced and students should be more engaged.
Get to know your students' strengths and weaknesses.
Specifically, you want to learn which students don't have the confidence to ask for help when they need it. When a student that lacks confidence gets stuck, they will prefer to figure it out for themselves(from textbook or internet), or not at all. If you can Identify these people, and give them help, they will perform better, and will likely be more confident as a result. This also links with my last point, if students are in a better mood, they will feel more confident to ask for help when they need it.
Honesty and Passion.
If a student asks you a question that you are unsure of the answer to, say that you are unsure. Give suggestions if you have them but don't lie in order to not feel embarrassed (easier with tip 1). From there, speak to other teachers, inside or outside the school, and get back to the student, or even the class. I had a teacher that was quite new from Uni that did this, and it significantly improved my opinion of them. Students prefer a teacher that can be engaging and that can teach, to someone who is overly formal and thinks they know everything.
Congrats YorkshireBorn on the new job, and good luck to any other aspiring teachers.