GITEP’s main aim is to find and train the best teachers possible for Gloucestershire’s schools, for which we were judged to be ‘outstanding’ at our last Ofsted inspection. Always proactive in our approach, together with the Gloucestershire Association of Secondary Headteachers, we started a paid internship programme at the end of last year, aiming to encourage university students who are interested in becoming teachers to find out more about the profession.
Interns are paid to spend at least three weeks of their university holidays working in Gloucestershire schools and can sign up to do this for all three years of an undergraduate degree.
GITEP’s Lead Consultant, former Head Teacher Anne Stokes, explains:
“Many people think they know what is involved with teaching and what it would be like to be a teacher but you never truly know what any job is like until you ‘have a go’ at it. Our schools will be offering some training to the interns but the main point of it is that they will get to fully experience teaching for three weeks to really see if it’s what they’d like to do. Teaching is not for everybody so this is a great opportunity for undergraduates to see if they would be happy using their degree and passing on their interest in their subject to young people.
“We try to match the school to the intern. All of the schools in our partnership are heavily invested in training new teachers and, coming at the end of the school year, the internship is the perfect symbiosis: the interns are there to work, helping out in class, working with small groups of pupils, helping with school trips, contributing to extra-curricular activities and preparing resources. This not only gives them a fully rounded experience of teaching, it also relieves some of the pressure for teachers at such a busy time.”
Caitlin Church is studying French, German and Beginners’ Spanish at Birmingham University:
Caitlin had some teaching work experience while at school and, as her Mum is a teacher, she’s used to seeing books brought home for marking and felt she had a pretty clear idea of what teaching involved:
“The internship is a really good, totally immersive experience that has surpassed my expectations. I’m finding out loads of different aspects to teaching, which surprised me. We attended an induction course in December. Anne talked to us about safeguarding, readiness for going into schools (what to wear, what not to wear, social media, etc.), took us on a school tour and talked to us about what sort of experience we were looking for so she could match us to the right school.
“Doing the internship in a block is great as the children and staff have got to know me and have made me feel part of the school community. Everybody is so friendly and the staff are all really helpful and positive – they really want us to succeed. My first day was spent observing two pupils in two different lessons each. It was interesting to see the different teaching styles, the children’s reactions to the different lessons and how they brought out different aspects of their personalities.
“I’m having a great time working with the Modern Foreign Language department here. I’ve produced resources for and helped with a Year 6 induction day, delivered lesson ‘starters’ and helped with speaking practice with Year 10s. The teachers have encouraged me to get ‘stuck in’ so that’s what I’m doing. Before doing the internship I definitely considered teaching. Now I know it’s something I want to do. I just need to decide when: whether I want to do it straight from Uni or work abroad for a while first for the experience.”
Keeping it fresh!
As this is a new programme, Anne will be meeting up with the interns after their stint in schools to see what’s worked and what may need to be changed: “Most of the interns will be coming back for another two years. That means we need to ensure that there is some progression with what they’re doing. We will look at a placement in a different sort of school and involvement with different activities. Their feedback will help us to keep the programme fresh, relevant and interesting,” explained Anne.
If you would like to know more about teaching internships in Gloucestershire, contact Anne Stokes or Tim Connole at GITEP by email on email@example.com or call 01242 505945.