What Our Trainees Say About Us

Grace Melia

Grace Melia

History Trainee 2019-2020

"Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you have delivered a lesson in which all students have been engaged and have made progress. "

I chose the i2i teaching partnership programme because from the moment I expressed interest the team were incredibly efficient, warm and friendly. This was confirmed when I attended the interview day and was greeted with warm smiles from Tammy and Maria. Shortly after I had the interview I was offered a place on the programme and accepted it. From the first impressions of the SCITT team I could tell they are all extremely passionate about what they do and that I would be well supported. Also, as a recent university graduate the school centered programme appealed to me over a university led PGCE as I felt ready to move on to the next chapter. 

I have always been interested in a career in teaching but after I finished my degree at the University of Exeter all of my friends were getting graduate jobs in London and I felt I should do the same. I began an internship at a PR company and soon realised that type of job wasn’t right for me so I decided to do a weeks school experience at my old secondary school. By the first break time on the first day I knew teaching was for me. I fell in love with the profession and straight away could not imagine doing anything else. I knew I was determined to pursue a profession where I would be able to make a real difference to young people’s lives and teaching history could not be a better way for me to do this. 

I decided to study both QTS and PGCE. I chose this route because I have an academic background and enjoy reading academic literature and writing essays. Also, some international schools require a PGCE so in case in the future I wanted to work abroad I wanted to make sure I would have this option. 

Being prepared for the interview is really important so you are able to reflect your potential. I would definitely recommend looking at the type of questions that commonly come up and try to think of answers that are unique and reflective of your personality. Also, if you know anyone else in the profession I would recommend asking for any helpful hints and tips - teaching is such a unique profession it is really helpful to seek advice from someone within it. The part of the interview I was most nervous about was the teaching task in which you teach an area of your subject choice to a small group of students. I would definitely advise not to put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect at this part, the observers are not expecting perfection - showing your personality and passion are the most important things. I remember during mine I finished a couple of minutes early and rather than just sitting with the students silently I engaged with them in conversation, asking them about their half terms - this was highly praised by my observers as they said it showed my warm personality. So above anything just be you!

There is no denying that finding a work-life balance during your training year is difficult. The best way I have found of managing this is being really strict with myself that I have at least one full day of the weekend off to spend time with family and friends and to relax. Looking after yourself is incredibly important so you really have to prioritise squeezing in some ‘you time’. 

There have been so many highlights of the course so far but I think one of my top ones would have to be during my second placement at Weydon School where I was teaching a double GCSE lesson to year 9. The subject was the Occupation of the Ruhr and Hyperinflation and I was really nervous about teaching this as it can be quite a challenging topic that students can find quite hard to understand. Because of this I seeked advice from a colleague and then went on to deliver a lesson which my mentor described as “one of the best lessons she has seen a trainee teacher teach.” Another highlight was after teaching my first full lesson at Reigate School one of the students came to me and said how much she had loved the lesson and thanked me. Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you have delivered a lesson in which all students have been engaged and have made progress. 

I would 100% recommend the i2i Partnership training programme. The support and guidance you receive is exceptional. Although it is very hard work and you will have low points it could not be any more worth it. 

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