As a teacher training leader, I’ve had the privilege of guiding over 400 aspiring educators on their journey to becoming teachers. Each year, a new cohort of trainees arrives with a mix of excitement and nervousness, eager to embark on a transformative path. But this year was different. This year, my own son was starting school on the very same day.
The similarities between these two experiences struck me immediately. It was as if life had conspired to teach me a powerful lesson about the shared journey of growth and learning, whether you’re a wide-eyed trainee or a nervous parent or carer sending your child to school for the first time.
Anticipation and Anxiety
The night before the big day. My son was anxious about making new friends, following the rules, and coping with the challenges of the classroom. Similarly, our trainees often share these same concerns. The anticipation and anxiety are universal, whether you’re five years old or embarking on a new career after many years in professional settings.
On the first day, my son, dressed in his crisp uniform, walked into a world of new faces. The trainees, too, arrived dressed professionally, ready to make their first impression in the world of education. Both groups understood the importance of starting on the right foot.
For my son, it was his teacher and classmates who became his support network. Similarly, our trainees find support in their peers, mentors, subject pedagogy tutors and the training program itself. Knowing you’re not alone on this journey is comforting.
Both my son and our trainees faced steep learning curves. From understanding classroom routines to grasping educational theory, the early days were filled with growth and challenges. It’s a reminder that learning is a lifelong process.
Mistakes and Resilience
Neither my son nor our trainees were immune to making mistakes. But what’s important is how we bounce back. Just as my son learned resilience from facing obstacles, our trainees learn to persevere through challenges and setbacks.
Pride and Accomplishment
The joy of witnessing my son’s first accomplishments at school mirrors the pride I feel when our trainees successfully navigate their initial teaching experiences. It’s a testament to the transformative power of education.
Growth and Transformation
Ultimately, the common thread between these two experiences is growth and transformation. Whether it’s a child taking their first steps into formal education or an aspiring teacher taking their first steps into the classroom, both journeys are about becoming better versions of ourselves.
In the end, my son and our trainees have embarked on their respective journeys with the same promise of growth, discovery, and transformation. It’s a powerful reminder that the work we do as educators is not just a profession; it’s a shared human experience that shapes lives and futures. As a teacher training leader and a parent, I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to witness these beginnings and guide others on their path to becoming great educators.
— Mike SImmons, 11th September 2023