As we prepare to welcome the brand new cohort of Associate Teachers to the Altius Alliance this September, we speak to two recent graduates of the School Based Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) for their tips and advice for those embarking on their teaching journey.

Bethany Bent, who has recently qualified as an English Teacher says: “My key piece of advice for new trainees is to be curious. By being inquisitive and asking questions you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll learn.”

By training on the job, rather than in a lecture theatre, Associate Teachers experience first-hand the flexibility and resilience required in a job where no two days are the same.

Bethany continues: “Teaching is ever-changing so remain open-minded, reflective and curious and you will become a confident NQT (newly qualified teacher) by the end of the course.”

For Associate Teachers, going straight into the classroom can often be a daunting and overwhelming experience but as NQT Madeleine Howard explains, the support of Altius Alliance staff and that which trainees offer to one another helps them cope with those first day nerves. She says: “The course is tough but the work space and the camaraderie between trainees make it such a rewarding experience. The teaching school is incredibly supportive and staff cared for us all as individuals.”

The Altius Alliance has been judged by Ofsted as outstanding in all areas and the organisation prides itself on providing excellent mentoring support to all of its Associate Teachers.

Bethany says: “The course leaders are exceptional. My mentors were inspiring, nurturing and genuinely wanted me to succeed, in my training and my career. I have felt in very safe hands, all the way through my placements. They were only ever a call or an email away and have been fantastically supportive, throughout my training. Their commitment really does show their love for the teaching profession and I have felt very privileged to work alongside them and learn from their expertise.”

Having now achieved their PGCE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through their training at the Altius Alliance, Bethany, Madeleine and their fellow graduates will now move onto pastures new as they embark on their teaching careers and make way for this year’s new cohort.

Bethany finishes with one last piece of advice for those who are about to follow in her footsteps: “Reflect regularly on your teaching and work with your mentor and SLE (Senior Leader in Education) to consider how you can continue to grow.

“The sessions are based in years of excellent school-based practice, and have helped me feel prepared to step into my own classroom, this September, as an NQT.”

Wishing Bethany, Madeleine and the class of 2020 the very best of luck in their future careers and extending a very warm welcome to our new Associate Teachers. Here’s to a successful and enjoyable PGCE year.