Realising a dream

Nathan Sproule, School Direct (salaried) trainee

Nathan Sproule, salaried teacher trainee

For Nathan Sproule, salaried teacher training offered the ideal opportunity to earn an income while he trained towards qualified teacher status (QTS). His course also included a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), Master’s-level credits and the chance to apply previous job experiences to the classroom – perfect for anyone looking to transition to teaching.

“From the outset I was working within the school, learning and training in the classroom whilst being supported by qualified teachers and mentors. This gave me valuable experience of school life and a real feel for school. It also prepared me thoroughly for my newly qualified teacher (NQT) year.”

Nathan emphasises that his teacher training was well paced with a range of activities designed to aid him in his journey to become a teacher. “At first I had plenty of opportunity to see teachers delivering their own classes, and this really aided my development as a teacher before taking on teaching duties. Throughout my training year I was regularly supported by a mentor, who I met weekly. This really helped me to improve; we developed targets for future lessons and discussed what areas were going well and which required improvement.

“I also spent some time teaching in another school; again this was to help and improve my teaching style and learn from different outstanding practitioners. Having the opportunity to teach in another school was a very valuable experience, and helped me view other teaching styles, as well as experiencing teaching a class with completely different needs and barriers.”

On top of his practical training, Nathan also benefited from an underpinning of theory that he could immediately apply when back at school: “Most weeks during the first term I also spent one day at university developing knowledge on how to improve my teaching against the teaching standards. This time was extremely useful, providing valuable ideas to take back and use instantly in the classroom.”

 “On completion of the course, I gained a PGCE which included qualified teacher status and which I could use as the first third of a Master’s degree, if I wanted to continue with this accredited professional development.”

Now a fully qualified teacher, Nathan has realised his long-term dream: “Teaching has always been an ambition of mine for as long as I can remember because I had such great role models as teachers at school. Without a salaried course, it would not have been possible.”