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Preparing for your PGCE year

New trainee teachers – 7 important tips

new trainee teacher in science

The SCITT approach is a practical method of teacher training, meaning as new trainee teachers, you’ll be in the classroom from very early on in the course. For some new trainees, this can be quite scary or worrying at first. This is completely normal, especially if you’ve never worked in a school before.

Are you anxious about starting your SCITT course? Here are 7 bits of advice to remember for when you start in September!

1. You made it this far!

Firstly, well done on getting a place onto the course as a new trainee teacher! You wouldn’t have been accepted on the teacher training programme if we didn’t feel you’d be a great fit. Remember how far you’ve come and all you’ve achieved to get you to this point so far and it will give you great momentum for the school year ahead.

2. Mistakes are OK

Remember, you are here to learn and receive training. You won’t get everything right the first time and there’ll be a learning curve to overcome. It’s perfectly OK to make mistakes, as that is often how we learn. Don’t dwell on the past and look forward to improving in the future.

3. You learn by doing

You chose to do the SCITT course because you learn best by doing. You’ll have already thought long and hard about all the different routes into teaching and come to the decision that the SCITT path is best for you. If you’re nervous or feeling unconfident, try to focus on seeing your challenges as opportunities to learn. This will make you less inclined to shy away from them.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others

Whilst training to be a teacher, you’ll be surrounded by mentors, colleagues and fellow teacher trainees who will aid you on your journey to becoming an NQT. However, people pick things up at different paces, so it’s important not to compare your progress with that of other trainee teachers. Focus on your own journey and you’ll find yourself in a much better frame of mind.

5. The course structure

It’s true, you’re in the classroom from week one, but this doesn’t mean you’re thrown in at the deep end and expected to deliver a full lesson by yourself. We wouldn’t do that to you! The SCITT course is structured to ease you into teaching gradually, at a pace you’re comfortable with.

As the course progresses, you’ll be fully immersed within your placement schools, which will allow you to build valuable relationships for your future career. The practical experience will give you valuable preparation for the job at the end of the course. It will also allow you to experience contrasting schools, meaning you’ll become a more well-rounded teacher.

6. Give yourself time

If you’re worried or nervous about starting teacher training, it’s likely that you’ve not worked full-time in a school environment before. Familiarity will come eventually, you just have to give yourself some time and be kind to yourself. You won’t become the perfect teacher overnight, it will take time. The course is a year long for a reason. As you get more used to the school environment, things will come more naturally and you’ll want to push yourself further.

7. Use the support available

Finally, remember that you are not alone! Leeds SCITT has a great mentor system for trainee teachers. These mentors are experienced in the field of teaching and are there to help you when you need assistance.

Since you’re a trainee teacher working within a school, you’ll also come into contact with a number of other teachers and trainees, who will be more than happy to help you should you need it. We encourage you to share your experiences with fellow teacher trainees who will act as an extension of your support network throughout the course.

Ready to apply for a course with us? Visit our How to Apply section for what to do next

How to apply