“Me? I’m not a Miss, I am a Mr, Mr Jeffery”
“Oh, Mr Jeffery”
This is a conversation that I had on a weekly basis during my time as a Primary Sports Coach. This was something that I predominantly found in Key Stage 1 and occasionally in Key Stage 2. However, I am pleased to announce that I have only had this conversation once during my training year and this was during my Early Years placement.
The transition from a Sports Coach to a Primary Teacher has been tough, but it has also been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Now, I’m going to be honest, prior to the course, I did have some questions of doubt:
- Is coaching going to be similar to teaching?
- Do I want to put the trainers away and bring out the smart shoes?
- Will I be good enough to teach in a classroom?
- Will I enjoy being based with one class throughout a day?
- Will I be able to teach some subjects that I haven’t studied since I was in school?
- What should I do if I don’t know an answer to a question a child asks?
It is completely normal to have these types of questions running through your head because it is going to be a huge change and any type of change in scary! However, from my experience, this chance has paid off because by the end of my second placement, I was able to answer these questions.
- Is coaching going to be similar to teaching? Yes, you are still the leader in the classroom, but it is only the content and the activities which have changed.
- Do I want to put the trainers away and bring out the smart shoes? You don’t have to put them away for good, you can bring the trainers out on PE days.
- Will I be good enough to teach in a classroom? Yes, even the most experienced of teachers have poor lessons, but it is how you reflect and adapt your practice which develops you as a teacher.
- Will I enjoy being based with one class throughout a day? Yes, I have enjoyed getting to know every child in my class instead of getting to know something about a few of the children in multiple classes.
- Will I be able to teach some subjects that I haven’t studied since I was in school? Yes, as part of the planning process, you will research the content and become familiar with it before you teach the lesson. Remember, you will not be teaching at a GCSE level!!!!
- What should I do if I don’t know an answer to a question a child asks? You be honest with them and say I don’t know but I think that is something I would like you to find out and report back to me. You place the emphasis back on them! Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know, it shows the children that you are human and that you don’t know everything.
As I have stated before, it is completely normal to doubt yourself and wonder if this is going to be the right path for you. If you are reading this and you are wondering whether to take the plunge, then make sure you read my top tips below.
5 top tips if you want to make the switch:
- Accept that it is going to be different – it is going to feel weird going into a school in smart clothing and teaching children in a classroom at first, but it will soon become the norm.
- Make sure that you are organised – make sure that you keep on top of your planning and other tasks because if you don’t, you can quite easily fall behind which could make your life harder.
- Always make sure that you ask questions – remember that your mentors have been through the same process and have probably asked those questions before. There is no such thing as a silly question!!!!
- Never let your sporty side go – remember that a lot of children in your class will have a similar passion for sport, you can utilise and implement that passion across the curriculum (see an example that I used in a Maths warm up below).
- Don’t expect to be the finished article straight away – just like your coaching journey, you will become a better practitioner through experiences and CPD opportunities. Even experienced teachers have stated that they are still learning and are continually developing their own practice.