Having decided that I wanted to explore being a maths teacher seriously, I spoke to friends with years of experience in the profession. Many of them had trained at a time when university was the only way to go but they told me about the existence of School Direct, where you are based in schools from day 1.

I very much saw myself as becoming a teacher, rather than as returning to the classroom as a student so School Direct appealed to me immediately. Furthermore, I believe the best way to learn is through experience, so the chance to start working with and learning from children in the classroom was hard to resist.

I’m lucky: there are some fantastic teaching schools near where I live. These have joined forces to form a local School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme, where we have the chance to teach in two contrasting local schools. There is also a strong possibility of finding a job within the partner schools, which is rather nice.

Given I’ve been working “in the real world” for nearly 20 years, the chance to learn to teach on the job was certainly appealing. Once I’d visited a school and seen not only how they taught maths, but also how they train maths teachers, I knew that was the route to go. Of course, this now means that I’m effectively in a year-long job interview while doing my very best to learn everything I can!

Officially my School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) provider is linked with a prestigious university for the PGCE. It’s been fascinating to get a close look at how universities are adapting to 2020, from a course which would have been distance learning even in a “normal” year. It feels rather like having our cake and eating it: the best of both worlds. I feel very lucky to have found this route.

By Rebecca Haestier