After all this time I can finally say I have started School Direct and am officially a trainee teacher!
My first two days in school were INSET days, or Professional Learning as the academy I'm at calls them. I've been to all the same sessions as the usual staff as well as some specific sessions for new staff members and trainees/NQTs. I have a feeling that I'm going to be swimming in paperwork this year, and next for that matter. I have journals, assignments and reviews to complete for my university, but at the same time I have reflective logs, records and more reviews to complete from the academy. It's going to feel like a lot but hopefully it should make it all easier for me at the end of the year. For those that don't know, there are 8 teachers standards that all trainees must meet in order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status and these have to be evidenced in a portfolio at the end of the year. At the end of the day it's all about ticking boxes but if I don't collect all the information and evidence as I go along it will be a total nightmare. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to go about managing all this yet but I'm sure I'll get used to it once I'm settled into school.
I guess I'd never really considered how much has to be done in those couple of days before school starts. As well as attending all the training sessions the staff were sorting out timetables, seating plans, books and boxes. As a new member of staff I had to get my laptop sorted, get an ID badge, class keys and access to the car park, not to mention sorting out somewhere to keep all my stuff in the day. All seems straightforward enough but it takes a while to deal with.
Today was the first day of term at my school but unfortunately Wednesdays are my training day out of school and so I missed it. It was good to see all the other trainees today, there's been so much going on that it feels like ages since we last saw each other, in reality it was only Friday but we had plenty to catch up on. It's at this stage that we realise the variations from school to school. We have all been assigned different amounts of hours on our timetable, different expectations for when we will take over the class and access to different resources in school. I think this is part of the draw of the programme, in theory it can all be tailored to our needs, although at the outset it does seem a little inconsistent. We still don't have a concrete schedule for our training, and there is still some confusion on where we will be, when we'll be there and who we'll be with but I'm sure it'll get there soon enough. What I do now know is that I will be spending the first half term in January in two other schools, 4 weeks in a school contrasting to my own and 2 weeks researching in another school before returning to my main school.
There is just so much to take in that I'm trying to take as many opportunities as I can to write my thoughts down and get things straight in my head! I'm observing classes tomorrow and Friday before the weekend so I'll be able to get a sense of things and start with that in mind next week.