The University of Nottingham provided me with not only an exceptional foundation in pedagogical knowledge and practical skill but also developed my dedication and commitment to my subject.
The tutors based at the university truly care and are passionate about creating a next generation of teachers that are prepared to enrich and develop the lives of young people throughout the country. Students are placed right at the heart of all theory and practice, through the exploration of a multitude of approaches. The institution does not prescribe or dictate teaching methods, values or beliefs, but equips each budding practitioner with the skills and confidence to explore, trial, and develop their own approach in the classroom.
Such programmes are not set up to train adequate or ‘perfect’ teachers, but to create self-reflective, research driven and creative practitioners. This ensures the future teachers of tomorrow are not solely concerned with their lesson tomorrow, their next job application or their NQT year, they are already on a journey towards improving and adapting education to enhance the holistic experience of their students.
ITE afforded me a subject specific grounding into enquiry driven, concept focused learning that has encouraged me to build knowledge rich schemes of learning and be ambitious in the classroom. This was built upon the expertise of tutors who shared a wealth of experience both inside and outside of the classroom. Such access to dedicated and skilful staff provided an excellent and reassuring grounding in the practicalities of teaching. In combination with school mentors and access to a wealth of resources, I was given a well-rounded education in order to facilitate the education of others!
Such a positive experience has allowed me to take responsibility for building a new curriculum in my current role alongside providing my mentee(s) with the same opportunities and advice afforded to me.
ITE organisations are committed to training the best teachers – who are reflective and can adapt to changing scenarios and environments. Practitioners of the future will need a deep understanding of their craft, their subject and the confidence to drive each forward. ITE provides the best possible basis for that to happen.
Going forward I would like the Department for Education to take direct advice from such providers in how best to equip the education sector; seeking to take a collaborative approach that relies on research, practical experience and a deep understanding of pedagogy to inform future policy. It must provide for, adequately fund and not proscribe to such institutions.