In another instalment of our Trainee Talks series, Maths teacher trainee Kwaku fills us in on the rewards of teaching the language of numbers, the surprising benefits of being thrown in at the deep end and his dedication to development!
The Surprising Joy of Numbers
I chose Maths essentially because it was my favourite subject at school!
I remember the enjoyment I got from studying it in secondary education and wanted to give others the opportunity to experience the happiness that comes from being able to “do maths”.
You can imagine my sheer delight when near the end of the term one of my year 10 students said, “Sir, I’m starting to like Maths now, it’s fun when you can do it!” It’s little things like this that drew me to teaching: equipping students with the tools to succeed in the future. It was great to see the impact of my training with Ark Teacher Training in the responses from my pupils – quite possibly the cutest thing ever and the one of the main reasons that I’m enjoying teaching!
Making Friends with the Deep End
I was one of two trainees who started in my Maths department. I was on the Ark Teacher Training programme and the other with another provider, and it’s been very interesting looking at both our journeys in the first term.
The biggest contrast between the two programmes is the workload: the other trainee was inundated with lessons and 18 hours a week of teaching. He had six periods of teaching on his first day, so a busy week even for experienced teachers!
I think Ark Teacher Training has hit the sweet spot. While my first week was thankfully a bit more relaxed, and a lot of credit falls on ATT for the excellent preparation before the start of term, it was still challenging and surreal taking responsibility for 3 classes of 30 students with no previous practical experience in teaching.
But throwing you in at the deep end is really one of the greatest merits of both programmes, as you develop through practical experience – and very quickly. You do get some additional breathing room with ATT though, as the teaching hours increase gradually, giving you longer to acclimatise and become proficient in the skills you’re developing before taking on greater responsibility.
A Focus on Feedback and Progress
The main quality that drew me to Ark Teacher Training is the focus on feedback and improvement. Even during my interview, I was tested on my ability to take and use feedback.
It was important to me to develop my teaching practice as quickly impossible, so being thrown in the deep end with an emphasis on feedback, I knew I’d be in the very best position to improve. I was confident that Ark Teacher Training was the right programme for me.
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