Reading and research
The time between accepting your place and starting your training programme will involve a great deal of preparation. Check with your training provider to see if they have a suggested reading list, or any pre-programme activities to complete before you begin.
As well as course texts, there are hundreds of practical ‘how to teach’ guides available to support your continuing professional development. Our trainee and NQT bloggers have reviewed some popular teaching books you might find useful as you start your training, to help you prepare for the classroom.
Social media for teachers
In addition to working through your reading list, and keeping up-to-date with the latest education news from the TES or Schools Week, there’s an easily accessible resource on hand to help you get a head start – teachers.
You can tap in to a thriving community of teachers and educators sharing ideas and best practice via Twitter and blogs. Using social media can be a good way to enhance your development during and after your training, giving you the chance to build a professional learning network of educators from around the world.
- Lots of teachers and educators blog about their experiences and share their resources, from lesson planning to classroom management.
- Read blogs from past and present students as well, as they might have useful tips for you – anything from buying (lots of) stationery, to checking your writing is legible on a whiteboard.
- Depending on what phase or subject you’re training to teach, there are hundreds of teachers, senior leaders, and teacher trainers on Twitter you may wish to follow. Your training provider, mentor, or tutor may already be tweeting, and could provide a few recommendations to get you started.
Anyone who wants to be a teacher should know this: getting behaviour right from the start is one of the most important things you can do.
Tom Bennett, Chair of the Department for Education Behaviour Group
Current trainees, teachers, tutors, and experts have shared their thoughts and experiences on the UCAS Teacher Training blog. You can brush up on key themes in education and teaching, or hear first-hand from current students for the lowdown on what to expect.
- Tom Bennett – Getting behaviour right from the start
- Andy Chandler-Gravatt – There’s more to assessment than meets the eye
- Tracey Lawrence – Five ways to ensure a successful ITT year
- James Williams – Common myths about the brain and learning
- Geoff Petty – Join the revolution: evidence-based teaching
- Cherryl Drabble – How to support children with SEND in the mainstream classroom
Trainee hints and tips
- Alex Nicholson – Top five tips for stepping into the classroom
- Freddy Ash – All about Initial Teacher Training
- Hannah Londorf – What I wish I had known
Iqra Abbasi – Top three tips for trainee teachers
From application to induction
You won’t be expected to know everything before you start, but if you can do some wider reading and research before you start your training programme, it may help your confidence and make your introduction to teacher training a little easier.
It’s important to remember that, as a trainee, no-one’s expecting perfection. If you work hard, care about the children you work with, and apply yourself, you’ll be doing a great job.
Tom Savagar, trainee teacher
Chartered College of Teaching
As a trainee teacher, you may be eligible for free membership to the Chartered College of Teaching. If you’ve received an offer to study full-time on a salaried or unsalaried teacher training programme in the UK, you’ll get online access to their members-only networks, an online copy of their termly journal, as well as termly student research summaries designed to support your training.
Continuing your studies
If your teacher training programme leads to a PGCE or PGDE qualification, some training providers may also give you the chance to study for the credits you’d need for a full master’s degree, after you’ve completed your training. If you’re thinking about completing a master’s, find out more about the benefits of continuing your studies as a qualified teacher, as well the programmes and funding available.