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Train To Teach

Life as a beginning secondary teacher

We spoke to Josh, Business Studies, The Polesworth School

"The CAT IoE has allowed me to unlock my teaching potential. The program has offered an enriching experience filled with opportunities to collaborate."

Josh Business 2023

 Why did you choose to teach?

The ability to shape the minds and characters of future generations is an incredible privilege and responsibility that I do not take lightly. Moreover, teaching is a constantly evolving profession that challenges me to continually learn and adapt. Each day brings new experiences, diverse perspectives, and fresh ideas from both students and colleagues.

The satisfaction that comes from witnessing the progress and achievements of my students is immeasurable. Additionally, teaching is a profession that promotes lifelong learning. It enables me to delve into various subjects, explore different teaching strategies, and stay updated with the latest educational research and advancements. This continuous learning process not only benefits my students but also keeps me intellectually stimulated and motivated.

What did you do before you chose to get into teaching?

I initially pursued a part-time career in retail while completing my studies, which taught me the importance of empathy, patience, and adaptability. Following my time in retail, I worked in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, collaborating with a diverse team of professionals.

Witnessing the impact of consumer behaviour and the influence of marketing strategies highlighted the role of education in empowering individuals to make informed choices and fuelled my desire to contribute to society by becoming an educator and equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of the world.

What did your training in school look like?

My training incorporated a combination of coursework, practical placements, and enhanced opportunities to enrich my learning journey. The guidance and mentorship received from experienced educators during my placements were invaluable in shaping my teaching practices. My training program offered an enhanced placement opportunity that allowed me to visit primary colleagues where I gained insights into the developmental stages of younger students. One aspect that distinguished my training was its school-based approach, which provided hands-on experience from day one. I was immersed in the school environment, working closely with students, teachers, and administrators. This approach allowed me to actively engage in the teaching and learning process, take on responsibilities gradually, and develop practical skills such as lesson planning, assessment, and differentiation. The school-based approach also fostered a collaborative and supportive atmosphere, where I could seek guidance from experienced educators and reflect on my teaching practice to continuously improve.

What other opportunities did you have outside the classroom?

One significant opportunity I had was becoming a program representative where I served as liaison between my fellow beginning teachers and the university. It allowed me to develop leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as a deep sense of responsibility towards my peers and the program.

Engaging in extracurricular activities, educational visits and field trips played a vital role in broadening my knowledge. Exploring these venues with my students allowed me to create memorable learning experiences, reinforce academic concepts, and promote a sense of curiosity and wonder. It also provided an opportunity to interact with experts and professionals in various fields, offering insights and inspiring both my students and me.