Following the successful completion of his training year, Giorgio Rubbo invited aspiring teachers to ask him questions about a day in the life of a beginner teacher. Here are some of his answers.
What inspired you to teach?
My inspiration to teach was my love of biology and science in general. I am passionate about my subject and am constantly fascinated by the world around us. I want to share my passion and enthuse as many people as I can with it. This love for science (and for talking about science) led naturally to teaching.
How did you find the application process?
I found the application process long! It isn’t a difficult process but there are a lot of forms and hoops to jump through. My best advice would be to get a Teacher Training Adviser, they are fantastically knowledgeable and helpful at all stages of the application. Another tip would be to make a list of all the things you need to do (there will be lots — application forms, personal statements, finding GCSE and A Level Certificates, sorting referees out). Whilst I found the paperwork stages stressful, I found the interview process quite enjoyable! My best advice for a successful application is to be reflective in your personal statement and interview, think about why you want to teach, about the sort of classroom you envisage yourself in (and why) and talk about it!
What were your concerns prior to beginning the course
My concerns generally centred around behaviour management. Dealing with poor behaviour is one of the most daunting things you will do as a teacher, but once you are used to it, and you have your own routines and techniques in place, it is fine. My concerns were resolved fairly quickly, through both university sessions teaching us behavioural management techniques, and seeing and using them in the classroom.
What was the highlight of school placements?
What disappointed me about the course?
Due to COVID-19, placements ended significantly earlier than usual, and thus I missed out on a lot of time in the classroom. It was very disappointing after getting to know classes and students and genuinely enjoying teaching for placements to end so abruptly.
What has been the funniest moment on the course?
We had a university session on teaching science through debate. We were all assigned a position on a town council (chairman, eco-campaigner, local university, etc.) and asked to prepare and debate the pros and cons of nuclear power as a group. We all got into character, some of our cohort even got dressed up! It was a genuinely worthwhile learning experience and added a tool that I will use in the classroom to my repertoire, whilst also being genuinely funny!
What would your answer be if someone asked you ‘Should I teach?’
It isn’t easy, but it’s the most fantastic and rewarding job. If you are willing to put in a lot of hard work, it is genuinely fantastic.
If you’re thinking about a life in the classroom, explore if teaching is right for you.