Initial Teacher Training Grading

Just sat contemplating what result I could receive based on my past assignments and the ones that are currently being marked.

I’ve really enjoyed my course. I feel it has assisted greatly in my development as a teacher and I have no regrets with the choices I’ve made in area of expertise, institution and methods studied.

There is one thing that confuses me though. This may be slightly different in other institutions but the way my University works is that the classification I received is solely based on the academic assignments I’ve done. There is an argument to say: Why is, probably, the most important phase of each year in initial teacher training not taken into consideration; the school based training.

I can safely say that my enthusiasm I have for my chosen career choice sky rocketed in my placements. I was determined it was the right choice already – but the placements fueled that fire. However, the results of those placements will not count one bit to my overall degree classification.

I guess there are a number of reasons for this:

1. The mentor you receive.
Having been in placements where I’ve really relished the advice and guidance my mentor has given, and others where…less so, I understand the factors out of our control here. I personally haven’t had a placement where it’s affected my overall grade but I’ve heard some horror stories from others about placements where they’ve failed because they and their class teacher didn’t ‘get along’. Now of course I’ve only heard the story from the student’s side but even so, it wouldn’t surprise me if it goes on.

2. The school you are placed in
Similar concept to the mentor you receive. Some schools will be better at moulding you as a teacher than others due to the staff, children and leadership there. Not much else to say on that fact!

3. Academic vs. Professional Grades
Ultimately, a University qualification is the result of academic work. The degree classification I receive will be a result of my academic achievements, not my professional success. As I recognise the difference between the two, it makes more sense about the divide between the two. Let’s not forget, future employers will be as interested if not more so about my placements anyway, i’m currently being considered for jobs without a degree classification as that is still pending!

One could look at this and think, is it even that important? I’m not sure. However, I know there’ll be some trainee teachers out there who are great educators, but struggle with the idea of academic writing and will feel short changed if they receive a lower classification, just because they struggled with the style of writing.

Did/does your Initial Teaching Training institution take your placement results into account for your final grade? Is it even that important?

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