Learning in a classroom goes both ways


 Whether it’s emerging from the sparks and flames of a welding and metal brazing workshop, or pressing pause on the classical music that has soundtracked the delicate transparency of watercolour painting, the feeling that comes after each lesson I teach is one of fulfillment. This may come from having fulfilled my responsibility of ensuring all pupils in my class have made progress, learned or improved a skill, or engaged their curiosity for my subject. But equally, it comes from what I have learned; something new about how teenage minds work, how to (or not to!) explain a complicated skill that I take for granted, or a creative response to a task that I hadn’t considered myself. The learning in a classroom goes both ways. 

I started my training with a very open mind. I was ready to absorb all of the information I could from the MSC sessions as well as my mentor and colleagues at school. I was aware that the biggest learning opportunities would come from the teaching itself, where I could test ideas and find my own manner and rhythm as a teacher, seeing what worked and what I would need to work on. The structure of training allows for this and is a real strength of the school centred route. The weekly session and regular meetings with you mentor give you the support you need, providing a forum for meaningful discussion and reflection. The teaching of Design and Technology is centred around the ‘iterative design cycle’, where you explore and idea, put it into practice and then evaluate its effectiveness. I can draw parallels here with my development as a teacher on this course, with the MSC training being a successful example of an iterative learning process. 

Alongside this, I feel the personal developments can’t be ignored. Being in charge of a classroom full of pupils naturally builds your self-confidence as you settle in, sharpens your communication skills and deepens your understanding of human diversity. Each class is composed of individuals with their own complexities and strengths, and it’s your job to cater to those and drive their progress as best you can.

 As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I find that I am learning as much from my pupils as I am from the training course. I am inspired daily by their ideas, their curiosity and their perspective on what I am teaching. My love of Design and Technology also grows as theirs does, with their engagement and enthusiasm prompting me to continually build my skill set to be able to enhance theirs. I would implore anyone who has a love of learning and a desire to grow as an individual to consider a career in teaching, especially through MSC; you may just find yourself as inspired by the whole thing as I am.