School of Teacher Education and Professional Development
“My teaching practice placements have been the most challenging, but rewarding aspects of my course.”
I have always wanted to teach or look after children, particularly since gaining experience working with 3-5 year olds whilst at high school. At college I studied Health and Social Care, learning about older and younger people. This included a block placement working with 6-7 year olds where I observed and did basic tasks.
My teaching practice placements have been the most challenging, but rewarding aspects of my course. In my first year I spent several weeks in two different schools, both local to me, learning how teachers work as a team to create a positive learning environment for children. We were encouraged to observe the teacher, analyse the ways in which he or she taught and how we could adopt these in our own practice.
Since then I have gained a lot more placement experience, including working for a supply agency at several different schools with a diverse range of children, many with challenging backgrounds. This gave me experience dealing with different learning needs as well as observing and learning from teaching staff. I also spent two weeks as a Teaching Assistant to gain experience in that particular role and build relationships with the teaching teams as well as the children.
As the course has progressed I have become much more mature and organised. Now I feel I can deal with any difficult situation involving children or learning. I have also learnt the importance of relationship building with teachers and staff.
University tutors have been great - really supportive and I am now able to speak to them and my fellow students with more confidence.
My advice to anyone considering doing this course is to get as much pre-experience as possible as this is the key to becoming a teacher. Go to open days and speak to the tutors who can give you a real insight into what the course involves.
And, finally, if you choose Manchester Metropolitan University, enjoy your time here and value the moments that you will have with the children you teach. They really do make you realise and appreciate how rewarding teaching is.