Stuff like this is really sad to see. We need to start thinking about how we approach ITT as a profession. Hopefully the ECF will be a significant first step, but there’s lots of improvements that we could be making to help avoid this kind of thing:
1) Stop grading trainee’s lessons. We’ve started to recognise this is nonsense as part of performance management, why haven’t we called this practice into question in teacher training?
2) Stop using the Teachers’ Standards as level descriptors. They aren’t a progression model, and the need to use them as such means feedback focuses on surface level features, instead of things that might be more constructive.
3) Why is so much paperwork needed? Seriously!?
4) There needs to be more information about ITT courses available before the point of applying. Currently it’s very difficult to make any informed decision about which courses are best.
5) More effort needs to be made to shift the onus of mentor training towards subject communities. This makes for better mentors, and therefore better trainees. @Counsell_C has done some amazing work here, yet so much mentor training still focuses on how to fill in the paperwork.
6) Schools can do a lot to improve the experience of their trainees. Ensuring that trainees are treated as full members of staff is an important start. There’s also lots we could do to improve the quality of in-house professional learning.
7) If there was a greater emphasis on research-informed practice in ITT, then feedback could be more constructive, and more empowering. Trainees will be able to make better decisions about their practice once they have access to the ‘best that has been thought and said’...
... which will in turn give them greater autonomy in the classroom, and avoiding needlessly having to reinvent the wheel in their first years. Again, subject communities are central to this.
8) We need to sort behaviour in schools. Should we really be surprised if trainees are put off of the profession by the need to fight fires in the classroom, and having to watch the lesson plan they carefully created being torn to figurative pieces?...

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