Half term reflections by School Direct trainee, Joanne

After the excitement of tinsel and glitter and all things Christmassy the reality of starting our Placement B’s started to sink in. From speaking to Victoria, Dan and Lucy it was clear that all had the same feeling as the 7th January loomed – relief that our first assignment had been submitted mingled with the nerves of starting all over again in a new school with a new key stage and a new mentor with a new approach to teaching to observe.

Can we transfer the skills that we’ve built up from September to a new class of children in a different school? Can we become a part of the school just like we did in Placement A? It soon became apparent, thankfully, that the answer to these burning questions was a resounding yes – we could and we have!

All four of us have settled into our new schools and I know we’ve all found the experience of a different school with different challenges and demographics a refreshing and valuable experience.

My move from Year 4 to Year 2 has been particularly enlightening as I felt that KS2 was my ideal place until I came to Elmridge as I now know that my true calling is in KS1! The children’s joy for every new day and enthusiasm for each task makes my days fly by and my smile grow ever wider. My laughter lines (not wrinkles!) are definitely more defined since January 2019!

We’ve had the challenge of a second assignment to juggle with the increase in teaching percentages and the relief was palpable on 25th February when the e-mail was received to acknowledge receipt of our submissions – 2 down 1 to go!

We now face the next challenge of writing our personal statements ready for applying for jobs. A couple already have interviews lined up and the amazing thing about our alliance is that we are all such firm friends that we are so supportive of each other and cannot wait to celebrate each other’s successes.

I sit here writing this with sadness that I only have 4 weeks left of my time at Elmridge but I’m so proud of how much I’ve learned and how I’ve grown since I’ve been here. My Placement A mentor visited this week to observe me teaching and it felt amazing to hear her compliment me on how I’ve progressed since she saw me last in December. Hearing about how my class from Placement A are doing makes me excited to see them again and finish my journey back where I started as a nervous and inexperienced trainee back in September.