The Scholar to Scholar events provide the opportunity for Scholars in their ITT and ECT years to share their experiences in the classroom, as well as consider new approaches, advice and teaching tips from fellow Scholars.
In this session three of our Scholars, Holly Snowdon (completed Year 4, ITT year), Jaden Read (completed Year 5, ECT) and Tom Habing (recent FTS graduate), led the discussion on a range of topics including their best advice for Scholars about to begin their ITT year, planning for the year ahead, and behaviour management.
The session began with a question which asked the Scholars how they prepare ahead of a new academic year. Tom answered, “The main thing that I’ve learned over the past three years is to give yourself a break.” Elaborating on his answer, Tom explained that whilst there is a temptation to plan for the whole first term over summer, plans are likely to change once you receive your classes and your timetable.
Holly, who started her ITT year in September 2021, will be teaching her first Year 11 class this year. “If you’re looking for something to do that’s not planning lessons, something that I’m focusing on this summer is looking at GCSE papers to know where the curriculum builds up to,” Holly mentioned.
Our Scholars also had advice to give to those Scholars who will soon be starting their ITT year. “Don’t do everything from scratch,” advised Jaden. “Especially for maths and physics, there’s so many resources online and so many things in your department that other teachers have done that there’s almost never a lesson you’ll need to make from scratch.”
Tom also spoke passionately about Scholars finding their own teaching styles. “Your mentor’s teaching style doesn’t have to be your teaching style. When I first started teaching, my mentor’s teaching style was very different to mine. For me, I found a teacher within my school that has a similar teaching style and ended up taking notes from them about how I can adapt.”
On behaviour management, Holly uses the warning system in her school. “Naturally, I assume the best in people,” Holly said, “but sometimes students are just going to mess around and they don’t want to be in your maths lesson. There is a fine line, but in some cases perhaps be a bit stricter than you want to be and that will benefit you in the long run.”
Expanding on this, Jaden said that the most important aspect of behaviour management is to be consistent. “Your school will have a [behaviour] policy and if you’re not following it, you’re making it harder for the kids to know how they should be behaving,” Jaden said. “Ideally if every teacher has the same policy and they all stick to it, those are the schools where you see really clear behaviour because everyone knows what they can and can’t get away with.”
A full recording of this event, as well as shorter videos broken down by question, are being made available to Scholars in the coming weeks.
We have once again enjoyed hearing from our Scholars about their experiences and successes so far this year, and look forward to our next Scholar to Scholar event which will be held in the Autumn term.