Teaching School Redefines ITE
by Tim Mills - Deputy Headteacher at Latchmere Teaching School
At the LTS Alliance we hosted 20 brand new, just out of the packet, PGCE students for three days. They spent the usual time observing classes, preparing tasks, working with children and getting a feel for life in a primary school.
However, as a Teaching School we feel it our duty to enhance student experience; to be able to offer students more than a place to practice. So we came up with something a little different from the normal classroom observations.
A more effective shared experience of best practice
All twenty students were able to sit together, with two experienced teachers and watch a live IRIS Connect link to two consecutive classes. The first focus was settling a class and introducing a new literacy topic. The second involved integrating PSHE learning through drama and song.
Using IRIS Connect, the students were able to discuss what they saw, as it happened and have pedagogical practice focussed in close up (quite literally), in a comfortable non-threatening and non-judgemental environment. Subtle behaviour management and teaching techniques were pointed out by more experienced colleagues and questions asked and answered in real time. The classes observed were unaffected by the presence of a number of observers.
The two observed teachers were then released from class to answer any further questions the students had – a positive experience for the teachers and enlightening for the students, as the teachers were able to explain specific points of good practice and the reasoning behind them. Elements could then be replayed, paused and explained in detail.
Many of the students fed back that this opportunity was one of the most useful experiences of their three days.
Find out more about IRIS Connect's work with Teaching Schools here.