"I am much more resilient than I had originally thought".
Caitlin Cookson SCITT trainee 2020/2021
How has Covid-19 affected your training?
There has been much less face to face teaching time and a much smaller quantity of students to teach which will inevitably impact upon quality of teaching when class size returns to normal.
As for the training from SCITT, the face to face sessions with other students have been sorely missed but the consistency of zooms has been great
How has your school adapted due to the current restrictions?
Class size has been reduced to only children of key workers and ‘bubbles’ are in place school wide – No one from outside of a bubble should be coming into contact with anyone other than people in their bubble
Home learning is taking place via loom, pre recorded videos of the learning that is taking place in class
How has the shift to online teaching been for you?
Difficult – Overnight I had to become a tv presenter and tech wizard – Pre recording has been difficult as there is no room for error – as with in a classroom where you are able to correct yourself – If you make a mistake online, it is to be re-recorded or remain there forever
Do you feel like your training is being supported throughout this pandemic?
Yes – It is clear that SCITT are doing all they can to ensure that the quality remains.
How are you finding the balance between teaching/training and home life?
I am finding time to have some rest – the pandemic is definitely helping. If there was still free choice of things to do, there would be a lot of things I would be missing out on due to workload – Balancing teaching, an evidence bundle, and 2 5000 word pgce assignments alongside all of the extra curricula stuff that comes with being a teacher is hard.
What has been the hardest thing to adjust to? What has helped you overcome this?
Not being able to be around a big support network – It has been difficult to try and communicate with the rest of the course online and feel as though there is a bigger cohort than myself.
What would a typical day entail for you during the current restrictions?
I am still in class every day, I have PPA time in which I plan for the week ahead and in the evenings and at weekends I will film looms or make flipcharts for my lessons.
I am doing online 1:1s with children when I am not teaching.
Do you still feel as enthusiastic about teaching as you did when you started?
Yes – more so now than in my first placement - I realise how difficult this is going to be and sometimes the idea of dedicating the majority of my life to work, seems hard to take, but I know that the reward, once I am comfortable and trained.
What have you learnt about yourself from your training so far?
That I am much more resilient than I had originally thought
What would you say to someone that wants to start teacher training but is feeling disheartened due to the current restrictions?
If I am honest, now is probably the best time to start, it can only get better after this year! If the restrictions stay as they are, you will miss out on very little social time outside of school.
In a way, I feel there is more support than there would be on a typical year at the moment
How are you finding your current training year with The Sheffield SCITT?
Great – Harder than anything I have ever done in my life, but great.
Do you have any advice for current and future trainees?
Be organised. Stay on top of your folders, your to do lists and when you say you’re going to do something, get it done. Give yourself time when your body and head is telling you that you need it, and ask for help. Also, be sure that everyone is feeling the same as you are.