If you have been accepted on a teacher training course it is probably a good idea to start thinking about the preparations you will need to undergo in order to ensure that you have a comfortable start to the year.
Whether you have decided to undertake a university lead PGCE route into teaching or a school based route such as school direct or teach first, you are bound to have certain anxieties and worries about the whole experience. Your successful completion of the course will determine your future career as a teacher and this in itself will seem like a daunting prospect, but the key is to have faith in yourself and your abilities; you would not have been selected on the course if the course leaders did not think you were capable. There are a few key points to consider which will be beneficial in allowing you to ease yourself into the training. These are just a few helpful tips which will hopefully assist in making your journey easier.
- Familiarize yourself with the curriculum
Regardless of which subject you have decided to teach, it would be helpful to find out about the course content and the texts that are used by schools to deliver the content. It would be useful to get hold of copies and start doing your own background reading. This will ensure that you will be comfortable with the texts and be confident with the process of delivering the information as soon as the course starts and this will enable you to save time in the first few weeks during which you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with other vital aspects of teaching. Also consider looking at the different examination boards, How do they differ? What is common in all of them? Look at past exam papers, maybe even try to answer a few questions yourself. How would you answer it? How would you advise the students to answer it? Considering these things will hopefully build your confidence for the start of the course.
- Be organised
You may think the start of the training is a long way away, but you won’t believe how quickly the date will creep up. You need to make sure that you are well organised beforehand and whatever you do, do not leave things till the last minute as this will cause unnecessary panic. Ensure that you have the right stationary which will help you to organised your work and lesson plans in an ample manner, for example folders, highlighters, page dividers etc. Have you thought about the work clothes? Make sure you have prepared yourself to wear clothes which are smart, presentable and will create a good impression. What arrangements have you made to travel to the school/university? Will this arrangement ensure you reach there early so that you have time to organised yourself? It may be a good idea to try out a few different routes beforehand in order to make sure you are always punctual; This is a key organisational feature which not only proves you are dedicated but will also make you feel relaxed since you will not be rushing around and panicking about arriving late.
- Speak to teachers
All teachers, when starting off their career, will have been in the same position as you; so do not be afraid to ask them any questions which you may have about the current teaching climate. Their personal experiences and thoughts about teaching can provide vital first hand information which you can hopefully absorb in order to develop a clearer understanding about the field you are about to embark upon. Visit your local schools if you can in order to familiarize yourself with the demands of teaching, the methods used by certain teachers, how behavior is managed etc. Although the training provider will assist you with these aspects, it is always helpful to receive as much information as you can beforehand. This will also help you to prepare yourself to merge comfortably into similar surroundings.