Helen MacInnes - SCITT trainee 2020/2021

"I feel supported during the pandemic, by my mentor, and by everyone on the SCITT programme, as communication is excellent and I always feel I have someone to turn to if I have any issues".

Helen MacInnes - SCITT trainee 2020/2021

We chat to another of our remarkable trainees Helen MacInnes about her experiences of teacher training with The Sheffield SCITT during the Covid pandemic. 

The pandemic has affected training firstly by the delivery of training and meetings by zoom. This has reduced face to face contact, but I do feel that I have opportunity to participate still in these training sessions. In school it has caused disruption to the school, children and again face to face contact with parents and other teaching staff. This has reduced opportunities to interact with other school years and other professionals.  I have been lucky to have remained in school during the lockdown so have still been able to have direct training with my mentor. 

My current placement school have adapted by providing pre recorded lessons via our online platform, with direct teaching for children of key workers etc. The school is divided into class bubbles.

 

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I am thoroughly enjoying my year so far and wished I could have done it sooner. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to be in school for the whole academic year and the support and training are first rate.

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The online teaching has affected me by teaching me different ways of delivering lessons, and thinking about different ways to support children’s well being. As I am still in class everyday it has increased workloads for everyone.

I do feel supported during the pandemic, by my mentor, and by everyone on the SCITT programme, as communication is excellent and I always feel I have someone to turn to if I have any issues.

My home life balance has been affected by the additional work load that is unavoidable during this time. But due to the restrictions this has negated it in some ways as I have more time on my hands as a result.

The hardest thing to adjust to has been teaching a much smaller group of children and keeping them engaged. I have been trying out different techniques to overcome this. Strategies such as different types of questioning and more interaction for the children.

My typical day is spent in the classroom, during and after school I also help with giving feedback to the online work which is placed on the platform. 

I feel just as enthusiastic about teaching, these challenges have made me think deeper about certain aspects of teaching with the challenges that this situation has produced. 

I have learnt that I am far more resilient than I thought I could be and better at reflection than I thought I would be. It has also made me aware that I should take more chances and not be so hesitant.

If someone was thinking of starting training I would advise that the quality of training is still first class, and it teaches you to be adaptable, and do things outside your comfort zone.

I am thoroughly enjoying my year so far and wished I could have done it sooner. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to be in school for the whole academic year and the support and training are first rate.

Be organised, don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day, there is always plenty of time to reflect and try again. Enjoy your time and take every opportunity for additional training. Always ask if you are struggling as there is always someone there to help.