Primary Education News

30 Aug '13

News Trainee teacher live chat: what you need to know about the year ahead

Whether you're at the start of your career or are a seasoned teacher with lots of advice, join us Thursday 5 September, 4pm to 6pm, to discuss all things teacher training

Cassie Lockwood is about to begin her teacher training. Although she's keen to get started, she's already feeling the weight of the pressures that come with the job.

She wrote to us earlier this year about her decision to change career as a 36-year-old with two young children and neatly summed up the mindset of many aspiring teachers – from being concerned about hierarchy in schools and whether she'll fit in, to apprehension at living on a tight budget while training and her job prospects in the future.

One of the things she's most excited about is the chance to make a difference. She said: "I'm not so daft as to think I will go in like some kind of Robin Williams character and revolutionise a class of children, but what I really want to do is to inspire, challenge and stretch those I teach. To help them fulfil their potential in anyway I can."

Her focus for the next year is working out how to get the best from her training experience and covering all the basics, such as classroom management, marking, curriculum and beyond.

We'll be discussing learning all of these skills in our live chat for trainee teachers, as well as topics such as what to expect when you're on placement. Our panel of teachers, PGCE lecturers, Teach First graduates and education experts will be on hand to answer any question on training to be a teacher. We also have a current PGCE student, who is carrying out her course part-time.

And if you have any advice to offer from your time starting out as a teacher then please feel free to share.

No matter what route you're taking, join us, Thursday 5 September 4pm to 6pm, to take part in the discussion.

• The debate will take place in the comment thread below — and is now open for advance questions and comments. If you would prefer to email a question, send a message to

Our panel

Sheila King
Sheila is programme leader for the secondary PGCE course at the Institute of Education, University of London. She taught geography in schools and colleges for 17 years before moving into teacher education.

Liz Morrison

Liz is the programme leader for the secondary PGCE course at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is part of the science education team. Before beginning lecturing a decade ago, she worked as a science teacher in inner London schools for 10 years.

Paul Dickinson
Paul is head of teacher education at Sheffield Hallam University. He taught English at secondary schools for 14 years before moving into teacher education.

Alan Newland: @newteacherstalk
Alan worked as a teacher and headteacher in London for over 20 years. He now lectures on teaching and runs the award-winning social media network newteacherstalk. He has also written the forthcoming book Working in Teaching 2014.

Melanie Muldowney: @Just_Maths

Melanie is a secondary maths teacher at a Trinity High School and Sixth Form Centre in Redditch. She blogs about teaching and shares resources on the Just Maths blog she set up with two of her colleagues.

Jackie Bowen
Five years after graduating with Teach First, Jackie is now assistant vice-principal at Cedar Mount Academy.

Chris Pitcher
Chris is a teacher with experience mentoring trainee and new teachers in schools.

Christine Boxer: @Darkcityxx
Half-way through a two-year part-time PGCE course at the University of Westminster, Christine is also the course leader for computing at Amersham and Wycombe College.

Richard Marshall: @edu_organiserNE
Richard worked as a primary teacher, with a specialism in early years, before becoming a member adviser at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers four years ago. He has a key role supporting new teachers in the Northern region.

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