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What University Teaches vs Reality…

As I sit here watching Love Island (yes I am one of those members of staff who asks everyone twice whether they have been watching), I wonder when I begin as an NQT in September how relevant the 4 hour lectures were on… WAIT… What were they on??

With the very little experience I currently have there has still been numerous moments where I’m left to think to myself, did I do what University has taught me to do in that situation? And the answer always falls back down to they never taught me that. University seminars and lectures cannot and never will be able to cover the unexpected, sometimes traumatic, sometimes hilarious events the classroom environment may throw at you.

Forever will be of shock to me, the moment I walked into a seminar titled ‘working with other adults’. Where a lecturer spoke to us about how to talk to a Teaching Assistant (for those Teaching Assistants reading I admire your work greatly), however sitting through a two-hour seminar about how to speak to another adult threw me completely off guard. Subjects were mentioned about: respect, organisation, communication and team work…. I mean come on if you are incapable of having a professional relationship with another adult to ensure the best learning environment for the children in your class I really suggest you leave the profession…

What was the most valuable thing I learnt about being an educator whilst being at University? The importance of understanding every child’s individual needs by building a relationship with children. Where did I learn that? On one of my school-based trainings where a wide range of needs meant some conflict amongst peers often led to classroom disruption. Never will you be able to learn these first-hand experiences with a lecturer stating on a PowerPoint slide that relationships are vital to children’s progression. These are lessons learnt being in school and educating children.

This brings me to the invaluable moments I was lucky enough to experience during my school-based training settings. One amazing placement partner (I only had one), three amazing schools, three amazing mentors and three amazing classes full of individuals. This is where I learnt most, and this is where my passion for educating these young children continued to flourish. A variety of very different schools has allowed me to experience a wide range of opportunities which I am thankful for- especially that west end trip to see Lion King…

For these reasons, I am absolutely over the moon to be starting as a class teacher in September in a school where I truly believe my practice will develop substantially. Just a quick introduction about me and a brief mention of some of my experiences at the very beginning of my teaching journey (I’m sure many more will crop up as my journey continues). But for now, there’s a new islander about to be announced and my glass of wine is getting warm.

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The author

‘Miss S’ is a 21-year-old in her NQT year in a Primary School. She blogs regarding her teaching journey and the interesting experiences she comes across.

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