A number of applicants are now on their Teach Again programme, or are looking forward to being placed in schools in their localities in the coming months.
I started the programme myself last week. I had a great experience on the two days I did and will continue to do each week until May. The staff are fantastic, very supportive, and happily accommodating my request to re-train as an English teacher. Being in the classroom is second nature to me, and a school feels like home, so I’m as happy as a pig in the proverbial! I will be assigned a teaching group and also have the chance to support GCSE groups with their literacy, plus access in-house training opportunities. Then in May, I have already been approached to do English supply teaching! I just hope I will have the time to do it, as Teach Again applicant enquiries and numbers are increasing rapidly!
I spoke to Patsy Weighill today. Patsy is Head Teacher at Bilton School in Rugby, and was quoted in the Guardian (education section) on 19th January, stating “Teacher recruitment is definitely harder this year. It is possible that we may have to reduce subjects in the curriculum, put classes together and teach children in much larger numbers. I support the idea of school-based teacher education, but the current system isn’t working. Our School Direct places were abruptly axed with two weeks’ notice this year – so we got no allocation.” As soon as I read the article I contacted Patsy, and we were in immediate agreement that school based training is vital.
Schools are gradually joining the current primary, secondary and tertiary Teach Again centres we have already secured in Hampshire, London, Lancashire, Liverpool, Yorkshire and Tyneside. I am very busy supporting every applicant north of Hertfordshire, while Teach Again Programme Administer Helen, who services London and the South East, is busy with her contacts in London to promote the programme to schools and potential applicants. Although she is busy with her own consultancy service, she’s incredibly enthusiastic about Teach Again and is always contacting me with interesting snippets of news that will help spread the word. Derek, also an education consultant, supports applicants resident in the South West and was responsible for placing the first ever Teach Again applicant on programme. (She’s doing very well and loving every minute, according to feedback!) Easter is an important time for our first programme completers and others due to start after the Easter break, so there will be plenty of news to report then.
So, lots going on! I can’t wait to report back next month on my own placement, and all other Teach Again developments. Have a good February half term, and if you know someone who wants to return to teaching, point them this way!