Students on the Step into Teaching course met in person for the first time at West Nottinghamshire College while taking part in their practical micro-teaching session.
The group of six met in a socially-distanced classroom set-up in order to demonstrate to their tutor and classmates the practical element of the course.
The programme, which was free of charge, had been delivered online by tutor Adela Brookes for the three weeks prior to the practical session, and was tailored by the college to offer people an opportunity to get into teaching for a career.
Students presented their own work in a ‘micro-teach’ style lecture to their peers and were assessed by Adela. They had 15 minutes to introduce their topic of choice, to show learning outcomes, differentiation of learning and to address those differentiations in a visual, audible or kinaesthetic way.
The group ensured they were meeting safeguarding and equality and diversity policies while they planned their micro-teaching delivery.
Adela said: “This group have performed brilliantly and they’ve all come from different career backgrounds. Today is the first time they’ve met in person as the past 20 hours of learning has been delivered online. It’s been a very different way of delivering this kind of introductory teacher training programme but it’s been received so well and I’ve been very proud of their work.
“It’s enabled them to dip a toe in the water to discover if they would like to teach as a career. This is what this kind of introductory course is all about. They now have the opportunity to enrol on the Level 3 Certificate in Teaching if they wish to pursue a teaching career and the last few weeks has given them the fundamentals and opportunity to progress this if they wish.”
Student Suzanne Parsons, who last attended the college thirty years ago to sit her banking exams, said: “I finished work last September after a long career in the banking industry. I was unsure whether I wanted to get back into work but someone suggested the Step into Teaching short course, so I through I had nothing to lose by giving it a try.
“I’ve enjoyed working online and I’m quite used to webinars through work, but it’s been wonderful to finally meet the others here at college. It’s been good to study these first steps into teaching – I’m still deciding whether I want to pursue teaching further or study business but I’m glad I’ve done this programme.”
Mother-of-two Georgina Wyld from Giltbrook has gained not only the certificate from the course, but lots of confidence and a lead into a teaching assistant role.
She said: “My husband and I run our own cleaning business which fits in around the children. I was ready for looking to do something else and I’ve always wanted to teach.
“Some years ago I enrolled onto a PGCE but never completed it, so I thought the Step into Teaching course would be perfect and I’m so glad I did it. Adela helped boost my confidence no end and I really enjoyed using Microsoft Teams and seeing all my classmates on screen – it certainly wasn’t a lonely experience. It worked really well studying remotely as I could set my children tasks in another room and I learnt online too.
“I’ve tried to apply again for a PGCE but places are full but I’ll try again next year. However I’ve recently succeeded in an interview via Microsoft Teams with a recruitment agency. I was really confident in my interview because I’d had all this practice on the course. I’m going to be doing some teaching assistant work ad hoc throughout Nottinghamshire and I can’t wait!”