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How our teacher training will help you become an effective teacher

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Date published 11 June 2024

Last updated 11 June 2024

So, you’re thinking about training to be a teacher.

Applications to start in our September 2024 cohort close on 23 July, we encourage you to apply now to secure your place in your preferred location and subject.

Like many others who join the profession, it’s likely that one of the biggest things motivating you to become a teacher is the opportunity to make a difference to children’s lives. To do this well you’ll want to feel confident and be an expert in your role. How will teacher training help you to become an effective teacher?

At Ambition Institute, our teacher training focuses on what you need to know; what you need to be able to do; and how you can apply and adapt your knowledge and strategies to suit the needs of the pupils you teach.

What you need to know to be an effective teacher

Great teachers have knowledge and expertise that guides their choices in the classroom and across their wider role in school. Over the last 20 years, teaching has become more evidence-informed. During your teacher training you will learn how to plan teaching that helps pupils to learn, this is built from a foundation of evidence about how pupils learn and what makes effective instruction. This will help you understand what you might need to do in different situations, and why you are doing it.

Our teacher training will build your knowledge of:

  • Subject(s) – as a primary trainee, you’ll teach the full range of core and foundation subjects. You will develop your knowledge of the national curriculum for the subjects you will be asked to teach. At secondary, you will have a specialist subject (or subjects). You will learn more about your subject throughout your teacher training.
  • Behaviour – Effective teachers set high expectations of pupils’ behaviour, and teach pupils how to meet their expectations. For example, pupils need to be taught how to enter your classroom, how to behave during group talk, and how to behave when they are listening.
  • Instruction – Effective teachers use a variety of strategies to support pupils’ learning. For example, giving clear instructions and modelling how to do things.
  • Assessment – Effective teachers use assessment to understand what pupils know and understand. For example, checking pupils understanding using mini whiteboards.
  • Curriculum – Effective teachers understand how knowledge in their subjects should be sequenced to support pupils’ learning.
  • Professional skills – Effective teachers manage their time carefully, work collaboratively with their colleagues and seek ongoing professional development. For example, planning how you will use any free periods to complete tasks on your to-do list.

You will learn through online self-study modules, face-to-face training from education experts, and one-to-one support from a mentor in your school.

PHOTO 6 GLOBE teacher in classroom

Moving from knowing to doing with practice and feedback

Of course, knowing something is not the same as being able to do something. As a teacher you will need to know how to do lots of things, like how to start a lesson, how to give effective feedback, how to plan lessons that support learning, and how to get pupils’ attention.

Moving from knowing to doing takes lots of practice. It is most effective when it is supported by clear aims about what you’re trying to achieve and why, alongside feedback from experienced teachers.

This is why our teacher training builds in lots of opportunities for practice. This includes practicing the strategies you have learned about in self-study with a group of other trainees, and individual practice with your mentor – an experienced teacher who will work closely with you – to tailor your teacher training to your needs. You’ll start by practising in training rooms and meetings, because this will help you gain confidence in your teaching strategies before you use them in the classroom.

Applying your teacher training in practice

When you have developed your knowledge and strategies, you will be supported to apply them in your classroom to give pupils the best education possible.

Your training with Ambition Institute will support you to apply your teaching knowledge and teaching behaviours (the things that effective teachers do) through teaching placements. Placements are the time you spend in a host school: during this time you will have a teaching timetable. You will begin with team teaching – where you are teaching alongside other teachers in a classroom – teaching parts of lessons and getting support from your mentor and other teachers in your school. Over time you will increase in independence so that you are teaching on your own more often.

To support you in your practice, your mentor will guide you to reflect on your teaching practice by providing feedback and setting targets for your development through a process known as instructional coaching. Instructional coaching will take place weekly and help you to develop as an effective and confident teacher. Over time you will build up a toolkit of knowledge and strategies to use in the classroom.

Adapting your teaching knowledge and strategies

Developing your toolkit of knowledge and strategies is essential to becoming an effective teacher, but it is not the end goal.

When you are using these consistently, you will want to engage more critically with the knowledge you have developed, so that you can select and adapt the best strategies for your subject, your setting, and your pupils. You will be supported to reflect on which strategies work well in your subject, phase and school context to help you move towards independent decision making in your classroom. And you will be invited to continue to engage with evidence as you begin your teaching career to carry on developing your expertise, allowing you to thrive in the classroom and provide your pupils with the best possible learning outcomes.

Sarah Bagshaw-McCormick
Associate Dean, Continuous Improvement

Sarah Bagshaw-McCormick is an associate dean of learning
design at Ambition Institute with 18 years’ experience of
teaching, leading and designing professional development
for English and literacy in schools and local authorities in the

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