Why was the STTP the right choice for you?
What stood out to me was the practical, 'on the scene' aspect. You are spending time in your placement school from week one, alongside attending central sessions at UWE. This gives you the opportunity to know and understand your school and its curriculum before your main placement starts. As you are settling into the school, you can also get to know the pupils before you begin to get involved in teaching them.
How important was it to you that you were able to attend the school setting before the main placement began and how did it help?
Being able to come into school before the full placement began was so important and is a key part of training I would recommend to anyone if possible. It allowed me the opportunity to get to know the school, the staff and the pupils and understand the way in which the teachers structure and deliver their lessons, and how the pupils demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. It also gives you a chance to talk to staff members about teaching strategies and anything you're worried about - the staff at my placement school were super supportive and very kind.
In what ways were you supported in your placement school(s)?
The support received from the senior mentor was incredible - the advice and guidance received from the senior mentor played a large role in my training year and really helped me grasp the importance of good classroom practice and how to be successful in all of the Teachers' Standards.
I also had a subject mentor who was the person I went to daily for advice and support. Being able to have someone at the school in your subject area be there for you in your training is so important and influenced my teaching heavily. Having the subject mentor felt like having someone always in your corner supporting you and rooting for you.
To what extent did your STTP training prepare you for your first qualified teacher role?
STTP trained me for more than how to teach a lesson. It prepared me for my first teaching job by teaching me the importance of pupil/teacher relationships as well as how each Teachers' Standard is linked throughout our position. We also discussed, at length, ways in which we can protect our own well-being which is crucial if you are going to be effective in what can be a tough and intense working environment.
What doubts did you have when considering applying to/ joining the STTP?
Some of my doubts was the idea of "Was I good enough to become a teacher?" and "Could I do a training course that was so full-on?" but this was all debunked very quickly. The mentors are always rooting for you and are there to watch you and guide you in becoming the best possible teacher you can be.
How important was it to you that you knew that both your placements would be within the STTP schools and why?
The STTP schools for trainees is a safety bubble - the schools know who you are and are able to give the correct and personal support you need depending on your gaps in training and subject knowledge.