So what's it really like to be a School Direct student?
Training as a teacher via the School Direct is (in my opinion) the best way to become a teacher. You get to have a ‘home’ class and school from the start of your training in September and observe an experienced teacher for full days right from the beginning.
The application process felt like it was comprised of many relatively small steps, especially as I am not British, which meant that I had to take an equivalency test for GCSE English. The Professional Skills Tests are viewed as a horrible event, but everyone I know passed them on their first try; even though they sound scary, they will be over before you know it. Once you have all this, all you need to do is get excited for September and all the new people you’ll be meeting (not just the children, but you will see some incredible teachers who will definitely inspire you too).
During training there are obviously highs and lows. However, even at the lowest you need to remind yourself of why you are doing this. You might be feeling really tired one day and the thought of all the academic work you have to do after work is making you feel stressed, but one child comes to you and shows you their work and that’s when you know it’s worth it.
Most School Direct or PGCE students I have spoken to have had times when they wondered if teaching is for them, but as our course has progressed, they’re all still here, excited to be NQTs. All it takes is a few inspiring moments: seeing a teacher do something amazing that you’ve never seen before, children enjoying being at school or feeling like you’ve done something right. All you need to do is keep your eyes open and enjoy the experience.
It is a difficult year, yes, but if you look around there are plenty of small things to remind you that you got into teaching because you want to make children’s lives better in one way or another.