Hi! I’m Sophie and I am currently in my third month of training with the Haybridge Alliance SCITT, having started in September 2020. I am a Trainee Modern Foreign Languages Teacher (French and Spanish) and I am very fortunate that my first placement is with Haybridge High School and Sixth Form Centre. I came into teaching after five and half years of working in the recruitment industry and I am already confident that it is the best decision I’ve ever made!
What interested you about becoming a teacher?
For me, there were two main motivators for wanting to become a teacher: one was that I wanted a more rewarding career to what I had previously and the second was that I had realised over many years that I really enjoyed being around and helping young people. I am a 3rd Dan black belt in Shukokai Karate and have previously coached and trained alongside young people of varying backgrounds and personalities, which I have always really enjoyed. In karate, when I see my fellow teammates picking up gold medals, it is an incredibly proud and rewarding experience. So, with teaching I was searching for that same sense of reward and pride by helping to shape the futures of young people to enable them to have the lives and careers that they desire.
What interested you about your chosen subject?
I graduated 6 years ago with a degree in French with Film Studies but, until I started teaching, I hadn’t put my degree to good use. I have always been passionate about learning different languages and so I am hoping to impart some of that passion and enthusiasm onto the young people that I teach. I know the struggles and misconceptions that come with learning a language as I have been there myself! I want to be able to help my students learn French (or Spanish) with confidence and to guide them to overcome any obstacles that they may face along the way.
Why did you choose a school-based route into teaching?
I explored various routes into teaching but for me school-based was always going to be my first choice. I think there is a really personal touch to training within a placement school, as you know that you have direct support at your fingertips whenever you need it. Also, I really liked the idea of getting straight into the school environment from day one and I know some non-school-based schemes take several weeks until they have you teaching in a classroom. I have only been teaching for a few months but I already feel confident to deliver my 10 hours of teaching (or team-teaching) a week thanks to the support I have received.
What have you enjoyed about the programme so far?
I have really enjoyed getting stuck straight into life at my placement school and getting to know all the fantastic staff and students. My colleagues in the MFL department have been really helpful in giving support and feedback and have placed great confidence in me by allowing me to teach part-of, or all of, some of their lessons which has been really fun! I was a bit apprehensive about the thought of teaching up to 10hrs a week by October half term but I have been eased in slowly and feel perfectly comfortable planning and delivering my own lessons now. I also really like the weekly professional studies and fortnightly subject pedagogy support that we get alongside our teaching hours. It is great to learn different theories, techniques and ideas in professional studies and subject pedagogy sessions and then get to trial them out in the classroom.
What have you enjoyed about teaching so far?
Getting to know the fantastic students and their varied personalities has definitely been a highlight and has reaffirmed why I love being around and helping young people. I have also really enjoyed planning and delivering some of my own lessons from scratch as, when they work well, it gives you a really big sense of pride. Being a teacher is definitely very busy and there is a lot to think about but if you can finish the week knowing that you have delivered the best teaching that you can then it is all worth it.
Give an overview to Professional Studies and how this links to your teaching?
As a trainee teacher on the Haybridge Alliance SCITT, we have weekly professional studies sessions to support our classroom teaching. Professional Studies sessions allow us to learn about different teaching theories, practices and techniques and then encourage us to incorporate these within our weekly lesson planning. Professional Studies also covers the PGCE course content and allows us to look at our assignments in more detail. Above all, it gives us the opportunity to meet up with our fellow trainees within a lecture-hall style setting and to share our different ideas and experiences which is really helpful.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in getting into teaching?
Mainly to just go for it, take the leap! It was a massive career change for me to go from being a city-based Senior Recruitment Consultant to a village-based Trainee Secondary School Teacher but I do not regret my decision at all. However, I would say that before applying make sure you are prepared to work really hard and that you are a very organised individual, as once you start training there will be a lot of things to do and remember before you even step foot in a classroom to teach! Also, make sure you are going into teaching for the right reasons. Yes the school day may be shorter than most jobs, yes you may get a good amount of holidays but term-time is relentless. I have only been teaching for a few months and although I am enjoying it, I can already say it is incredibly tiring!
What advice would you give to yourself if you were to go back in time to when you started training?
I would tell myself to ask more questions, to not be afraid to ask if I am not sure what I am doing or where I am supposed to be going at any given time. I would also tell myself to get ahead of admin as best as possible, as soon as lesson planning comes into play it gets much harder to successfully juggle everything.
Would you recommend Haybridge Alliance SCITT / the SCITT route?
Yes, I definitely would. Haybridge Alliance SCITT have worked really hard to make sure we are all placed in schools where we can develop as trainee teachers and hopefully all succeed! The support is great and you know exactly what you need to do and who you need to go to if you do need any help. The SCITT route allows you to dive straight into school life and start teaching as soon as you feel comfortable; the training and professional studies sessions are guided by the individual trainees and the speed at which they develop as teachers.
Any other information?
If there are any opportunities to visit the SCITT before applying, I would definitely recommend it. I came to a taster day and met with some of the SCITT team, students and staff at Haybridge and also undertook a full interview day which included getting to observe lessons and to teach a Year 8 class myself. It allowed me to make sure that teaching was definitely for me and that the SCITT route, specifically the one with Haybridge Alliance SCITT, was the one I wanted to take.
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Why should trainee teachers or schools choose Haybridge Teaching Alliance? Hear from real people and their stories on how Haybridge Alliance SCITT have helped them in their teaching career.
Training with Haybridge Alliance SCITT has been life changing. It has given me access to the very best advice, support and teaching practice to enable me to develop as both an individual and a teacher.
During my placements, both of my assigned mentors went above and beyond to make sure that my experience was as beneficial, yet at the same time challenging as possible. The knowledge and expertise shared by both the SCITT staff and the staff within placement schools has been invaluable and has undoubtedly helped me to develop on my journey to becoming a teacher.
Love, love, love this course! The support from the SCITT team is incredible, really outstanding. Learning to teach straight away and teaching almost immediately was such a benefit. The students only see you as their teacher and you can take it at your own pace.
I am so happy that I chose to go down the SCITT route as I have loved every minute of it and would recommend it to anyone looking to do a teaching course.
So far, I have learnt a lot on this programme and I am really enjoying learning how to teach to the best of my ability. The support on the course has been exceptional. I know I can ask for advice on anything in school and I will get good guidance. Completing the Paid Mathematics and Physics Internship was a great experience for me. It gave me a month in the educational environment and really made my mind up that I wanted to go into teaching. Without completing that, I feel I would not have enrolled on this course.
Everyone has been really supportive, positive and reassuring. It has been good to be back at Haybridge – now as a trainee, rather than a student! The year has been very rewarding and engaging.
It has been full of content with lots of lessons to learn, but also truly inspiring and an excellent platform to start my teaching career. Thank you for all your help.
I would recommend Haybridge Alliance SCITT 100% today, tomorrow and forever. This journey into becoming a teacher would not have been a success for me without their dedication. Every push and all feedback that came my way from the SCITT was essential to master the art of teaching. Haybridge Alliance SCITT has provided me with the most exceptional environment, which a trainee teacher needs to exceed.
I would highly recommend Haybridge Alliance SCITT as a training provider. The support and encouragement has been immense, in particular from the SCITT team and teaching staff. The subject-specific mentors based at Haybridge have been incredible at imparting their knowledge and providing guidance and I am extremely grateful to them all!
Teacher training is a very rewarding, but at times very difficult journey. The team at Haybridge Alliance SCITT understand that it can be difficult and have been very supportive at the times when the going has been tough and for this I would definitely recommend then. I’m glad I decided to go with Haybridge as I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot more teaching than I would if I’d picked [a university route].
I chose Haybridge Alliance SCITT because I wanted to gain hands-on experience in an outstanding school where I can learn how to teach. The programme is challenging but also very rewarding.
The Monday professional sessions are of high quality and were designed to complement the practical modules. I really feel more confident and passionate about becoming a teacher than ever before. The support of mentors and staff is phenomenal.