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All our education and teacher training courses at the University of Bolton have educational placements, which for some can be nerve-racking at the best of times. See how Barry Phillips, PGCE in Secondary Computing with QTS, helped to combat those fears and anxieties, and what their experience of day one on placement was like….
The day before…
I thought I would feel more nervous than I do. It’s more trepidation than actual nerves about tomorrow. I have received several documents from our contact at the school and coupled with the school’s expansive website, in which I have done lots of reading. Thanks to the website and staff handbook we were sent, I have notes on the SLT, DSL’s and names of important teaching and non-teaching staff. The staff induction document I was also sent has enabled me to make notes on pupil behaviour policies, staff behavioural policies, and all the systems used for safeguarding, behaviour, and attendance monitoring.
We were advised to look into Google classroom, as that’s the system they use to give and receive work and give feedback for submissions. I watched a few hours of YouTube tutorials about it to get to grips with how it works.
I have plotted and planned my route using Google Street view as I can’t think of anything worse than being unprepared and late for my first day. This means that I now know the route I need to take, and I have a good idea of what the entrance to the site looks like, including where the car park is.
We were sent a message to say that most of the day would be taken up with paperwork, system access, training, and tours. The honest truth is, the thing I am most worried about is that I’ll be walking in without a valid DBS-check as it’s yet to come back! Can’t be helped I suppose. Being chaperoned is the way it’ll have to be for now!
And like that, I’m all ready for the big day ahead of me tomorrow; clothes laid out, lunch made, and travel coffee prepared.
My first day!
Phew… what a day. Honestly wasn’t that bad. I set out nice and early and arrived nice and early too.
My fellow students and I were shown to a conference room where we had to hand-over our IDs and other required documentation.
We were then enthusiastically greeted by the headteacher! She spoke about how happy the school were to have students in the school again. We then sat through a few hours of presentations from several members of the SLT, mostly content from the staff induction handbook. As I mentioned, I had already read it so that calmed my nerves as I knew I was adequately prepared.
After all that (about 3 hours worth), we were taken to our mentors’ classes, where I observed the lesson. That was quite nerve-wracking initially. I then settled in a little and started moving around the room; even managing to chip in with one of the subjects being discussed in a year 10 class, where my mentor was presenting the case of Netflix and Blockbuster.
After that, I had the chance to go and speak to a 2nd year Early Career Teacher (ECT) who is also in the Computing, Business, and ICT department. He was really nice, and we chatted for a while about curriculum, schemes of work and lesson plans. Being a fellow ‘techie’, we even talked about various technologies, such as their use of Google classroom. He talked about a trip they want to do and how I can help, and I volunteered to help out in his newly created after-school computer club.
Then we had a short debriefing with another SLT member where we sorted out the photos for our staff IDs and did one more presentation. That was the official end of the school day!
It wasn’t nearly as scary as I feared it would be. Everyone was super nice, and it was a tremendously positive experience.
If you are interested in studying to become a teacher or want to know more about key issues that face education then the University of Bolton offer a wide variety of Teacher Training and Education courses. Click here to see our full list of courses or take a look at some of our upcoming events.