Here in New Zealand there are two different ways you could be trained.
- You could do a bachelors degree in just about anything, and then complete a 1 year graduate diploma of teaching. This is pretty much the only way to go if you are teaching high school (with the exception I think of P.E. teaching).
- You go to Teacher's college (normally with no other qualifications other than what you gained at high school) and complete a three year bachelors degree. (There are some courses that are four years here, but you usually gain a graduate diploma too as part of this course).
I was in the second - and more common - group.
I spend three years learning about becoming a teacher, and had 5 different placements in 5 different schools over those three years. I was 18 when I had my first classroom experience - talk about nerve-racking!!
We also had a few one off experiences in the Normal schools in Palmerston North. (A Normal school is a school that is affiliated with the university and is required to have student teachers whenever needed. As far as I'm aware the fully registered (not beginning) teachers at these schools have no choice over when they are getting a student in their class. They are paid a little bit extra all year round to compensate)
My 5 experiences went like this
- 3 weeks in a year 2 class (grade 1) - observation and reading books to the kids only - with another student teacher.
- 3 weeks in a year 7/8 class (grades 6/7) - a couple days full control only
- 4 weeks in a year 3/4 class (grade 2/3) - 1 week ish ful control
- 4 weeks in a year 5/6 class (grade 4/5) - 2 weeks full control
- 8 weeks (split into 2 four week stints) in a NE/Y1 class (PreK/K - 5 year olds) - 4 weeks full control over the two blocks.
I felt completely unprepared for my first class - which ended up being year 8's!! (grade 7). I had collected all these resources for a junior class and then ended up teaching at a high school for my first two years!! Talk about crazy. I was 21 when I had my first class all to myself - all the time!
How does your training compare to what I had here in New Zealand? Leave me a message - I'd love to know!!
And the winner of the latest giveaway - I'm celebrating!! - is....
Congratulations. I will be in touch soon to send you your prize!!