Alex Rippingale – My experience of placement one.

The start of my teaching journey felt like it took an age to come around. From deciding to apply, to having an interview, gaining a place and then finally starting in September. It was just under a year from the date of applying to the start of the training year and I was itching to get started. The first thought, to wear a tie or not wear a tie? I decided to go for the tie and haven’t looked back since!

The autumn term was full of highlights and challenges. Meeting your placement class on your first day is one of the first highlights of the term as you start to get to know the children you will be teaching over the next year. One of the first hurdles is teaching the class on your own, your mind whirring with possibilities – many of which thoughts about what could go wrong, but by the end of the term when you’re teaching on a daily basis it’s amazing to reflect and look back at your personal growth over such a short amount of time.

One of the most enjoyable memories was a practical lesson I planned and taught on perimeter. The class were tasked with using their perimeter skills to measure objects around the room as part of a group. We then moved onto devising how we could measure the perimeter of the whole classroom. To see the pupils working together to problem solve and apply their skills practically showed me how important these kinds of lessons are.

As the term tailed off towards Christmas the talk of the school turned to the nativity (which was wonderfully acted) and yoghurt. Yoghurt may seem an odd topic for this time of year, but it was the talk of the staff room. Following my retelling of a tale about peeling the lid off a yoghurt without damaging the top layer, lunchtimes in the staff room became a game of trying to replicate this phenomenon. Rumour has it Petit Filous is a good choice, but I don’t believe it counts unless it’s a Muller Corner!  

Alongside the school experience, CTTC training days covered a range of topics with highlights being making rockets in a science session, learning about how to use our voices in a vocal coaching lesson and a visit to a school to observe their SEND procedures – which turned out to be my old primary school, bringing back some fond memories. The first term was full of memories, in school and at the training centre. As I sit here writing this just a few days before my second placement begins, I’m sure the next term will also be full of wonderful memories, but also challenges along the way.

“See challenges as opportunities”