Despite learning to teach during a pandemic, I have been able to benefit from two really enjoyable placements.
My first placement was at Thomas Lord Audley School. After spending 18 months working in an industry completely unrelated to what I had studied as part of my degree, I initially wasn’t sure if I would have the subject knowledge to be able to teach Computing – particularly at GCSE. One of the reasons that I enjoyed my time at TLA so much was because I had such a brilliant support network, not only within my department and Professional Tutor, but from all members of staff. This really helped me build my confidence in my subject knowledge and re-sparked my passion and interest in computing to the point I now spend a lot of my spare time doing extra courses to up-skill myself – something that I would never have even considered after I finished university! They also provided a safe environment for me to try teaching in different ways, and if things didn’t go to plan I was supported in changing things ready for next time. I am really lucky to have secured a job at TLA from July and I’m really looking forward to continuing my teaching journey there.
I started my second placement at Honywood School during a period of remote learning – this I found really really tough as I love being able to interact with and build relationships with the students, which is a lot harder to do online! Being at Honywood has allowed me to teach my second subject, Business, which has taught me how to teach different subjects as how you would teach Computing and Business are very different. I have also have lead responsibility for a Year 10 Computing class which is a brilliant development opportunity but can also be stressful, particularly with mocks fast approaching for the year group and having to make sure the class is as fully prepared as possible for them. Honywood is also going through an exciting time in that they are introducing Computing for KS3 for the first time. As part of this, to prepare Year 7 for learning it in September, I am putting together a series of taster sessions for them to take part in after the May Half Term so they know what to expect in September.
As Honywood is in a different Trust to TLA, it has been really good to see a complete different school in terms of how their timetables work, how the two manage COVID differently and even the systems they have in place. Although this has made it tough to adjust at times, I can only see it as a benefit in helping me to become a better teacher.