Tonight I was fortunate to attend the celebration evening for the Merseyside & Cheshire GTP Consortium. As I sat in the audience enthusiastically clapping the achievements of this year’s trainees, I couldn’t help reflect on my own GTP experience.
I am just completing my second year of teaching. I am a graduate of the M&C GTP Class of 2008. It felt like only yesterday that I was one of the people receiving my certificate and looking forward to taking up my first post. And yet so much has happened in those two short years!
Undoubtedly, the GTP was excellent preparation for ‘real’ teaching. The fact that I had responsibility for a 90% timetable in my final term meant that the progression into my NQT year was more a gentle step than huge leap. The rigorous but supportive nature of the mentoring I received, from both my School Based Tutor and my external Quality Assurance Tutor, showed me the importance of being critically reflective of my teaching. Most of all, the simple fact of being based in a school working full-time all year (as opposed to the two PGCE placement blocks) meant that I got a real feel for the cyclical workload of a teacher. I’m thankful: it resulted in me going into my first post with my eyes firmly open.
I came away from tonight’s celebration with refreshed enthusiasm and a renewed sense of certainty that I have definitely made the right career choice.
Roll on the next academic year!