Trainee teachers are learning to be resourceful and resilient as they continue their training during the school closures.
A GROUP of 28 trainee teachers working at BMAT primary and secondary schools in Harlow, Epping and Stansted in Essex are on track to complete their training by July.
Donna Walsh, BMAT Teaching School director, and Sian Cockman assistant head for Teaching School, have brought the group together on Microsoft Teams video calls to provide support and to enable the trainees to socialise with their colleagues and share ideas for remote learning.
The trainee teachers are continuing with their assignments and working remotely to keep on track with their programme.
Mrs Walsh said: “We are working with our school-based trainees who continue training remotely to ensure they stay on their planned trajectory this term.
They are working with their BMAT mentors and external tutors to gather the evidence they need to meet the Teachers’ Standards. We are supporting them to keep on track and to pass and achieve Qualified Teacher Status at the end of the term.
“Normally, our trainees would be teaching a lot in class at the moment, so we are having to be flexible and think outside the box to ensure they still get the pedagogical and subject training they need. Many of them are on the rota to go into their school, so they are spending as much time with children in the classroom as is possible under the circumstances.
“We are giving them lots of ideas about online courses they can complete to show their understanding of topics, podcasts they should listen to and recommended reading. They are taking the time to learn more about their specialist subjects or specific areas of their primary phases and are completing online courses in safeguarding and handling online bullying to demonstrate their understanding.
“We have also kept in touch with all of our trainees to make sure their health and wellbeing is not suffering; giving them advice on how to access support, such as online yoga or simply having someone to talk to regularly.”
During the Teams calls, trainees have shared their working from home routines, study timetables and tips on setting goals and meeting deadlines.
They have also taken part in online quizzes and coffee breaks with their school colleagues and are in contact with students as per BMATs approach to remote teaching during Covid-19.
George Daly, BMAT School Direct / teacher apprentice, said: “Meeting my mentor regularly has been a really important part of my training this year. The continued support and communication during the Covid 19 lockdown has been invaluable, not just in terms of my professional development, but also as a means of staying connected with colleagues during these unusual times. Meeting virtually felt initially a little strange, but it has quickly become the ‘new norm’.”
Lisa Rump, BMAT Straight to Teaching trainee, said: “BMAT Teaching School has supported me to continue to work on applying for Straight to Teaching, even during lockdown. We have met on Teams calls to work through the application and I am now officially starting on a teacher training route.”
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