“I went into teacher training straight after completing my Religion and Philosophy degree. It’s a subject I love so much that I couldn’t think of anything better than teaching other people about it. My university wasn’t running a PGCE course that year, so they suggested I talk to GITEP. I liked what GITEP offered, which was a great opportunity: their school placements were well-considered and they truly care about the experience given to the trainees. I certainly enjoyed the experience!
“My school placements were incredibly supportive. They were both comprehensive schools, with children from really mixed backgrounds. With RE it’s really important to consider where the children come from, which is why the curriculum is locally, rather than nationally, agreed and that understanding is central to the way you plan your lessons. Some of the resources I made weren’t great at the start but were greatly improved with the help and guidance of some great mentors!
“The hardest part of teaching is the unexpected moments – you can plan all day if you want to but you’ll still have moments that are unexpected and make you think on your feet. You have to be good at managing your time and that includes finding time to do things you enjoy and to rest. If you don’t, you will wear yourself out and you won’t make it to the end of the year – and your pupils won’t get the best out of you. So it is important to look after yourself and to use your time effectively. Being organised is the key to success – I couldn’t live without my planner!
“I haven’t found the NQT year as arduous as the training year. As a trainee, you’re doing all the things you should be doing but there’s still somebody at the back of the room observing every lesson. As an NQT you’re on your own a lot more, which some may find scary but I found it liberating.
“Never in a million years would I have expected them to make me a birthday cake and write ‘Happy Birthday’ on the board, but they did!”
Charlotte, RE NQT