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Rachael

Rachael

Harris School Direct Alumni, Geography

The Harris School Direct programme introduces trainees to all the realities of school life from day one! Being an immersive experience, School Direct trainees are encouraged to become as involved with their classes as possible from an early stage.

As a career changer, starting back at the beginning and training in something completely new was a huge adjustment. I chose the School Direct programme because it is fast-paced and trainees demonstrate rapid progression in a short space of time. From managing behaviour to planning lessons and attending parents’ evenings, the programme is the best preparation for life as a newly qualified teacher.

For my second placement, I went to Harris Boys Academy East Dulwich. This was one of the best experiences I had throughout the training year; it was a complete contrast to my current school, which meant I was able to take on some different responsibilities and pick up a variety of new teaching, learning and behavioural strategies for use in the classroom.

The training sessions on Thursdays have been an invaluable part of the programme. They’re not only about learning new strategies and tactics to implement in the classroom, but they also provide the chance to meet with fellow trainees each week. Being able to share experiences acts as an important reminder that you are not on your own; there is a wealth of support available from both the trainers and fellow trainees. It’s a really important forum to share frustrations and gain advice, but also to celebrate the huge achievements being made.

There is always an element of surprise as a teacher, but by the end of the year I feel I will be as prepared as I can be for my NQT year. Having a full year of school experience behind me has not only helped to grow my confidence in the classroom, but has also given me a really solid base on which I can develop my practice.

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