Trainee Stories

Laura Burns
Year 5 Teacher

“Working with children is amazing as they constantly surprise you, in the best possible ways, and every single day is different.”

Laura was a manager at a Tuition Centre for two years before deciding to train to become a teacher. Part of her role included going into schools to run workshops, and Laura enjoyed this aspect of her job so much, that it made her realise that teaching was the job for her. She decided to train with Victoria Academies Teacher Training as she found them to be organised and efficient during the application process, and friendly and welcoming when she went for interview. Laura described her training as the ‘perfect fit’ for her.

Laura’s Story

When I left university, I didn’t feel ready to go straight into teaching. I worked at a Tuition Centre for two years, and this role included going into schools to run workshops. I enjoyed this so much, and it also built up my confidence. I knew at this point I wanted to train to become a teacher.

When I applied, I found them to be very efficient and ‘on the ball’. When I went in for my interview, I was immediately put at ease; everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and I had a great feeling about it. I also liked the fact that the course would be very hands on, but at the same time, would ease us into teaching gradually.

The course was not too full on too soon. As a group of trainees, we had plenty of time to get to know each other and to bond, as we had several weeks of taught sessions together before beginning our school placements. We were a small group, which meant we got to know each other really well, and the friendships that we were able to form with one another at this early stage were very important. It meant that we were able to share our experiences, and help and support each other throughout the training year.

We were introduced into our placement schools gradually, through a series of induction days, and because of this I didn’t feel like I was thrown in at the deep end. I already knew the school, the staff, and the class that I would be working with before each placement started. This helped me to feel comfortable, and much less nervous!

I had placements in two different schools during my training year; in one school I taught year 1 and in the other I taught year 5. This helped to give me a good understanding of the different stages of development, and an experience of the whole breadth of the national curriculum in Primary School. During my placements I got to work alongside very experienced teachers, who were exceptionally skilled, and I learnt so much. My tutor and mentors in particular couldn’t have been more supportive, they invested a lot of time in me, and their encouragement and feedback really helped me to develop as a teacher.

My training also gave me the opportunity to spend some time in a special school and in a secondary school as part of our training year. At the special school I learnt some really valuable strategies for supporting children with special educational needs, including non-verbal communication techniques, and it was an extremely useful experience. Going into a secondary school helped me to appreciate the importance of preparing children effectively for the next stage of their educational journey.

During my training year I secured a job within Victoria Academies Trust. Having a job within the Trust has meant that I continue to benefit from the supportive relationships that I built up with staff at the schools during my training year.

I am really loving my job as a year 5 teacher. Working with children is amazing as they constantly surprise you, in the best possible ways, and every single day is different.They are always so full of enthusiasm, and it is incredibly rewarding when you see that enthusiasm channelled into their learning, especially when you know that you helped to make that happen!

Watch Laura’s Video

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