Moving on from university to the big world of work is often a serious step up and change of pace. There are exciting challenges, fresh opportunities and new anxieties. However, it’s important for the future workforce’s new trainers and employers to minimise the shock of this significant change. Doing this well can increase the morale of new employees, ease their transition and aid their development. Doing it badly can be damaging for both employee and employer.
Against a background of unprecedented hiring difficulties and high drop-out rates, these are important considerations to make. Training providers need to focus on making the transition from university to teacher training as smooth and straightforward as possible.
From education to vocation
On entering an Independent Teacher Training programme, most trainees coming straight from university will have had a long history of mostly theory-based education, where the objective is to familiarise oneself with a subject in the abstract. Moving from this kind of education to vocational training involves a change in working structure and objectives that can throw off even the smartest student-turned-trainee. Training aimed at understanding how to apply techniques in order to fulfil a new role can be a very new experience. Support in the new modes of learning and working involved in this can be valuable to the trainee, ensuring that they begin to realise their full capability as quickly as possible.
Useful and accessible mentoring programmes oriented around the personal, as well as the professional, needs of trainees can make all the difference in this stage. It can help people have a reference point for these new and unusual challenges, as well as a go-to guy or gal for the unique problems and questions that aren’t covered elsewhere.
Step changes and stress
The other major change is the increased level of stress that many new trainees, fresh from the potentially relaxed schedules of university, experience. No matter how supportive school centred training providers are, there will always be an initial shock of anxiety, but it can be minimised.
Having an individual to talk to on a personal level at work can help here; sharing issues of stress and anxiety can be cathartic, as well as aiding resolution. In structural terms, there are well developed ways of incorporating stress relieving techniques into work environments, such as teaching in a constructive way. Many of them are well documented online both formally and informally. These include mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and classic relaxation techniques, such as moments of quiet during a busy and noisy schedule. All of these help the trainee to feel and perform better, thereby aiding the institution.