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Trainee testimonials

Read what some of our former trainees had to say about their teacher training experiences with Mid Essex ITT:

Aidan - MFL Trainee

MFL trainee at Honywood School, 2023-2024

MEITT have been so supportive through my teaching journey. Being mentored by MFL subject specialists has been invaluable to my training and helped me to gain confidence in the classroom. I am so thankful for all the support, guidance and advice given by all the amazing tutors at MEITT. I have felt like I have had a guiding hand beside me the whole way if I ever needed it, whether it be pastoral, personal or academic. I have loved my training year because of this human touch provided by MEITT.

Rachel - Drama Trainee

Drama trainee at Chelmsford County High School for Girls, 2023-2024

The Drama ITT trainee course has been fantastic. I have thoroughly enjoyed all my sessions with my Subject Lead, they have been absolutely brilliant. I was very fortunate to have one to one training with them. I would recommend Mid-Essex if you were planning to study as a Drama Trainee. They have been extremely supportive throughout my journey, thank you very much Mid-Essex.

Kim - Part Time Geography Trainee

Geography trainee at Hedingham School, 2023-2025

Just 12 months ago I was contemplating whether I could juggle motherhood, part time study, and a change of career after achieving success in my prior career. Fast forward 12 months and I cannot believe what we have all achieved. I say ‘we’, because teacher training requires a team approach: MEITT organise high quality mentors to guide you throughout the 12 months, such as:

Placement school mentor (and LST) - my Hedingham School mentor is experienced, professional, and supportive. She maintains consistently high expectations, and I have enjoyed every second of the challenge so far. Not only has she helped shaped my practice, but she has become a good friend too. Wider school placement team - all expert colleagues have been so giving of their knowledge and time. I feel extremely grateful to have been placed with such wonderful people.

MEITT mentor - at first, they are your safety net, as you step into a world unknown. Then they quickly become an ally, confidant, and all-round oracle of pedagogy! I truly don’t know how Holly does it, but I am very grateful that she does!

MEITT wider team - the whole team are extremely approachable, and you truly feel they are all fighting for you behind the scenes. They know exactly when to check in, when to redirect you, and how to keep you in that ‘struggle zone’, optimal for learning… Simply because they are experienced at doing exactly that. Watching a member of this team deliver a lecture during the Thursday sessions really brings the research to life, for it isn’t just the lecture they are delivering, but how they are delivering the lecture. The part-time route has provided the flexible approach I needed.

I have been able to focus on my pre-school age daughter, whilst operate at a standard I feel happy with. Deadlines are longer for part time students, however keeping up with full time deadlines has meant that I’ve been able to free up time to focus on embracing wider school life. I am currently mentoring an EPQ student on a very interesting topic around student learning and behaviour post pandemic, I have crafted hallway displays in the humanities corridor linking geography to wider school focuses, I have created and delivered multiple PSHE sessions to promote respect, responsibility and resilience as well as linking back to the school values, I have built relationships with parents, and I have supported trips including GCSE geography fieldwork and a history department visit to the local primary school. These experiences have helped me develop as a practitioner, and I have really enjoyed them!

The MEITT reading list has been inspiring, and if anything, I’ve just begun… Specific to geography, I am particularly drawn to Mark Enser and the Geographical Association website. These resources have helped me build my personal toolkit of ways to create engaging and immersive experiences for my students, including drawing on students own ‘personal geographies’; taking lessons outdoors (- measuring the weather, simulating rain infiltration rates across different surfaces); bringing the outdoors to my students (- creating a virtual ascent of Helvellyn to bring glaciated landscapes to life); harnessing the power of great storytelling (- personifying Cyclone Pam and recreating the last days of Pompeii). Specific to teaching, I feel drawn to Willingham’s psychological insights, Wiliam’s assessment techniques, and Lemov’s Teach Like a Champ is a must read.

Finally, when it all comes together, I cannot describe the excitement from sparking curiosity and promoting discussion that sees plenaries become ‘excited moments of student feedback’ as students connect learnings from a lesson which you have planned and delivered.

And that’s where I’ll end - with the most important and most enjoyable part: the students. Stepping into a classroom with 30+ students and sharing our joint passion for geography every day feels fantastic. Thank you MEITT for helping me achieve exactly this (and for all the support behind closed doors). I don’t know how we all got to this point, but I am so happy to be here!

Talia - Part Time Art & Design Trainee

Art & Design trainee at Hedingham School, 2023-2025

When I started my teacher training, I don’t think any amount of ‘it will be hard work’ could prepare for me the reality of it. It has been an incredible year, I have learnt so much, falling back in love with a subject I had grown to resent in my duration at university. I have learnt to love what I do and why I do it. Although I had a rough idea of how much work it took to be a successful teacher, I didn’t realise exactly how much and MEITT has helped me grow with so much help and support.

My course tutor and mentor have constantly made time to check in on me and make sure my mental health and wellbeing is top priority. We have had CORE training provided by expert colleagues and it has given us a range of outstanding tips on how to deal, adapted and overcome challenges within the classroom.

On Thursdays I would go to my SET session and be greeted with a vast range of professional knowledge from Mrs Bridgeman who has given me the tools and knowledge to become an amazing art teacher. My mentor, Mr Nancarrow, is an expert in art and design within the classroom. His dedication and knowledge to being a successful mentor is unmatched.

I have been introduced to a variety of schools, all of which are successful at providing a well-rounded education in their own ways. I have enjoyed my time so much at my B placement that I requested to stay till the end of my training.

As a part time trainee, MEITT has gone far beyond the call of duty and given me tons of support and for that I have the upmost respect.

Charlotte - Maths Trainee

Maths trainee at Plume Academy, 2023-2024

My training year with MEITT has been incredibly insightful and I feel it has really helped to set me up for a positive future in teaching. The support and encouragement from the entire MEITT has been invaluable throughout the course and the quality of the training that we have received is above and beyond.

As a maths trainee, I've learnt a huge amount about my subject as well as educational theory and practice. I've loved getting to know other trainees and supporting each other through the highs and lows of the course. There are plenty of challenges throughout the year, but the quality of training from MEITT and the focus on wellbeing have always meant we are well prepared to deal with any difficulties.

I have received incredible support from my course tutor, the PGCE team, my subject mentor and staff within my placement schools. Training to become a teacher is a journey and one that I have found to be incredibly rewarding. MEITT have been there every step of the way and it has been a pleasure to train with them this year.

Adam - PE Trainee

Physical Education trainee at Alec Hunter Academy, 2023-2024

My time as a trainee Physical Education teacher with Mid Essex ITT has been incredibly valuable and educational. The thorough training program at Mid Essex ITT helped me improve my teaching skills and understand the important role physical education plays in students' overall development. The program included a mix of detailed coursework and practical training, giving me the tools I needed to create effective and engaging PE lessons.

A key component of my training was the weekly SET (Subject Expert Training) sessions. These sessions covered a wide range of sports and provided in-depth instruction on how to teach them. This extensive training significantly strengthened my subject knowledge, enabling me to confidently introduce and instruct various sports to my students.

The supportive and professional atmosphere at Mid Essex ITT allowed me to learn from experienced educators. Their guidance was essential in helping me improve my teaching techniques and classroom management. Working with a diverse group of students taught me how to design and deliver PE programs that encourage physical fitness, teamwork, and a lifelong love for health and wellness.

I am very grateful for the excellent training and the strong professional connections I made during my time at MEITT. This experience has prepared me well to make a positive impact in the field of physical education and in the lives of my future students.

Sophie - Design & Technology trainee

Design & Technology trainee at Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form, 2023-2024

When I started my teacher training year, I had no idea the journey that I would be taken on over the coming months.

I didn’t know that I would fall in love again with the subject that I studied at university. I didn’t know that I would meet some truly amazing people and make some lifelong friends. I didn’t know how much freedom you are given with planning your lessons. And I had no idea that I would be able to complete a PGCE with level 7 writing.

Being dyslexic, I thought that this year would be trickier for me than it has been, I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it or be as good as everyone else. But the support that Mid Essex ITT gives is unmatched. My course tutor constantly checked in on me throughout the year; we had wellbeing sessions and tips on how to best cope through one of the toughest years of our new careers. I receive resources that are adapted so that I can access the core training, SET sessions and PGCE lectures.

If you are considering a new career of becoming a secondary school teacher, I couldn’t recommend Mid Essex ITT enough. The way the course is structured means that, although the workload is constantly going up (so we are ready to be ECTs), it is done in a way that means it is manageable.

I am staying at my B placement for a job as an Art, Design & Technology teacher. I am so excited when I get to tell people that my job is being a TEACHER!

Thank you, Mid Essex ITT, for believing in me and making me believe in myself and pushing me to be the best possible teacher I can be for my new students and classes I will meet in September.

Jack - Business Trainee

Business trainee at Mayflower High School, 2023-2024

From the moment I have come into contact with MEITT, there has been nothing but the utmost professional standard of both communication and work ethic.

The interview process was incredibly welcoming as well as informative, giving a clear view of what the training year would look like. This theme stuck across the induction days, meeting the full Mid-Essex team, all of whom were welcoming, friendly and inquisitive about all our own professional experience but also us as people, always ready to actively support us.

The training programme from MEITT has brought in a wide range of professionals, both internal and external, all of whom have been able to shine a pedagogical light on the areas they have come to discuss, from behaviour to mental health. This has been useful in developing our teaching practice, but also in providing greater context to bring into the PGCE side of the course, which was expertly run. This was then effectively sequenced with an intensive training week, wider visits, and an effective network allowing for two placements at schools with subject experts, all of which furthered my own knowledge and teaching capabilities by providing useful and constructive feedback.

All throughout the MEITT team has been wholly supportive of all trainees, being readily available for conversations, provide help and guidance when needed, as well as providing both a Course Tutor as a first point of contact with the MEITT, as well as ensuring at each placement school we all have mentors we regularly have access to, as well as a Lead Subject Tutor who furthers are subject knowledge and identifies how to bring in core training knowledge into the Business classroom, something which can be challenging to actively show due to the lack of educational material aimed at the subject area.

Mid-Essex has given us multiple opportunities to discuss with teaching experts multiple different career routes, development options and a wider understanding of what comes next within the ECT years. This has proven highly beneficial having secured an ECT position at one of my placement schools, which has only helped further my confidence as I progress into my teaching career.

Katie - English Trainee

English trainee at The Ramsey Academy, 2023-2024

Prior to starting the course, I had very mixed emotions about the year ahead; I was excited to begin a new journey teaching English, nervous about challenges I would face and apprehensive about what was to come.

I had always thought about becoming an English teacher, since the age of 12, and decided to take the leap fresh out of university. MEITT offered the course which seemed best suited to me, and I am relieved to say I have no regrets with the decision I made.

Ever since the first day at core training last September, the MEITT team have made it their utmost priority to ensure we all feel supported, valued and part of a community. It is clear how committed and hard-working the team are, with nothing ever being too much. Our course tutors regularly check in with us and communication is excellent- regular email reminders are sent about upcoming events/deadlines, as well as weekly notices providing a detailed schedule of upcoming key dates. The training sessions on a Thursday delivered by experienced and knowledgeable speakers have all been extremely varied, useful, and engaging.

The PGCE element of the course is very well structured, with weekly online lectures on a Tuesday afternoon and two visits to Anglia Ruskin university throughout the year. I was concerned about the step-up from undergraduate essays to the quality of work expected; however, it was all broken down into manageable chunks and we received tremendous support from Steve along the way. I feel grateful to have been given the opportunity to complete this qualification and critically reflect on my teaching practice within the English classroom.

I have had very positive experiences at my two placement schools, and I am excited to begin my ECT job at my A placement school in July. I have had the opportunity to teach a range of texts and topics throughout the year, including three Shakespeare plays; two 19th century texts; the modern play ‘An Inspector Calls’; a range of poetry to both upper and lower school; as well as creative and persuasive writing. I have felt extremely supported by expert colleagues in both schools and I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching the subject; my love for English has grown even stronger.

If I could give a single piece of advice to future trainees, it would be to always remember to set time for yourself- there will always be a list of tasks to do but not everything on it is a priority!

Ultimately, I have had an incredible training year and cannot thank the MEITT team enough. I am also extremely lucky to have met some wonderful people on the course, who I hope to keep in touch with! MEITT are truly an outstanding provider which I would recommend to anybody considering a career in secondary teaching.

Nicola - former Maths trainee

I think it is safe to say that when I began my initial teacher training year, I was somewhat apprehensive, anxious and naïve. As a career changer, the decision to begin on this journey was huge and I felt the pressure that came alongside it. From the moment I stepped foot into MEITT on the induction day, my worries were eased.

Firstly, every single member of the MEITT team is amazing. Their support for trainees is incredible and if I ever had any doubts, concerns or even problems outside of the course they were there to help me through it in whatever way they could. This then naturally provides a brilliant atmosphere to train in with the rest of my cohort, where we could be open to explore and exchange thoughts and ideas in a positive and constructive environment.

The course itself is incredibly thorough, well-rounded and well-sequenced. It includes a mixture of internal and external speakers, intensive practise courses, educational visits and subject expert training. Each aspect has provided me with the confidence I needed to stand in front of a class and explore and develop my own teaching style, and subsequently question and critique my own practice alongside valuable feedback from mentors and tutors. Furthermore, MEITT provided opportunities to discover and explore different career routes in teaching, supported our own personal development towards individual career goals, encouraged enrichment visits to experience other schools and provided support and coaching when applying for positions.

As a consequence of my training with MEITT, I am excited to begin my ECT years and not only do I feel incredibly well prepared for this, but also for my future career in teaching.

Gayathri - former TA

Trainee in Maths at Hylands School 2022-2023

I started my career in school during the year of COVID as a teaching assistant in the SEN department. I felt very challenged at that time as everything was new to me. After getting used to the TA role, I started to learn more about the methods, techniques,and managing behaviour that the teachers used in the lesson and that really inspired me to think of doing the teacher training.

I had no idea or guidance as to how to proceed. I heard all the positive reviews about MEITT and booked an appointment with one of the team members to clarify the doubt. Sophie clarified all my doubts and put me into ease and she guided me in the right direction. After the advice from Sophie, I applied for the ITT course with MEITT. I was so happy when they offered me an opportunity to do the ITT with them.

Right from the time I went to induction, the whole team of MEITT was so helpful in every single way. They realised the difficulties that come with the training and were very supportive and helpful. Whenever there was a problem, they immediately intervened and sorted it out and Mid Essex was a big support to me always. I should say, they also helped with PGCE reading, tips to manage the workload and encouraged and motivated me to complete my B placement.

I felt that Mid Essex is always there and I never felt left alone. Even in the third term, when I had typically 18 hours per week, they tried and organised well-being zoom calls to support me and all the other trainees as well. I should say I am so grateful and thankful to MEITT team for giving me an opportunity to train under their prestigious institution and under the guidance of experienced and exceptionally qualified tutors. The tasks set by Mid Essex helped me with understanding about the roles of different senior leaders in the school and they made me learn and explore every single technique to develop myself in the career.

The Core Training was always very beneficial with loads of valuable information and following that, I also completed school-based tasks where I was able to see a massive difference when I implemented the learned techniques. I also got an offer in an amazing school and I am proud to say that I will be very close to Mid Essex and I feel very happy about it.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every single member of the whole MEITT team. You have made an amazing difference to my career and life.

Grace - former student of placement school

Trainee in Media Studies at The Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls, 2020-2021

After my own teachers had such an impact on my life during school, I knew that teaching was the career for me. Being able to inspire students, teaching a subject I love sounded perfect.

From the start and throughout, MEITT were so supportive and guided me through my training year step by step. MEITT provided me with the experience I needed before I started teaching which helped so much with the initial nerves of teaching my first starter, all the way to leading classes with my mentor observing.

My main placement through my training year was at Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls. At the school I was given excellent support from everybody, including SLT and Heads of School.

The training with MEITT had a focus each week which developed my teaching practice and enabled us to relate the theory to real life. These sessions were led by the MEITT team, past MEITT trainees, and specialists in their field which made them so exciting. We were also able to connect with each other as a trainee cohort to relay experiences and share ideas.

Initially I was so nervous about embarking on my PGCE, but the team at MEITT were so supportive and ensured that we all kept on track and were there to help if needed. The balance between teaching experience and academic responsibilities was perfect and very balanced, and the MEITT team were always on the other end of an email if I needed support.

In the January of my training year, I decided to do my NQT year in a different phase, I was so nervous that I was the only person feeling like this and confided in the MEITT team. However, they made my fears disappear and connected me with past MEITT trainees who have done the same thing! And I am here today with a NQT post in an amazing school. 

I could not recommend MEITT enough as a teacher training provider. They truly care and go above and beyond for all of us, from ‘trainee of the week’ to the little surprises in the post, I am so grateful to them for all their dedication and hard work.

If I had any advice for future trainees is grab every opportunity with both hands, always have chocolate in your backpack for those five period days which feel like 10 and stay organised!

Andy - career-changer training part time

Part-time trainee in MFL at Honywood School, 2020-2022

Having completed my degree in Business and French I went on to work for a French bank in London for about 15 years. After having children I increasingly wanted to do something different, more rewarding and to make a difference to young people's lives. Several years ago I took the decision to become a full time stay at home dad until both of my children were in school. 

During that time I undertook several short school placements to gain some experience and also learnt some basic Spanish to complement the French that I could already offer. The part-time course that MEITT offer was ideal for me to be able to balance the demands of teacher training with family life, without 'too' much detriment to either!

My placement for the majority of the time was at Honywood School in Coggeshall where my mentor, the MFL department and the wider teaching staff provided a really supportive and encouraging environment. My initial training year coincided with the global pandemic so there were lockdowns, a year of online training sessions from MEITT and periods of self isolation which were testing for everyone. However I truly feel that MEITT did the best they could in the situation, listened and adapted to our feedback and still provided a complete training experience."

Beth - university graduate

Trainee in English at Hedingham School and Sixth Form, 2020-2021

Graduating with a degree in English Language and Linguistics from the University of York, it was obvious to me that Mid Essex ITT was a training provider that embodied the values that are foundational to the success of any teacher. Becoming a teacher aged 21 with my career in teaching being the first full-time job I have had, it has been wonderful to meet and work alongside a cohort of individuals with a plethora of life experience, in both their past careers and education. 

It is so clear that Mid Essex care deeply about the individuals training with them; wellbeing underpins Mid Essex ITT and this is apparent from the very beginning. What appealed to me most about Mid Essex ITT was the kindness that radiates within the provider, as well as the support you receive whilst studying for your QTS and PGCE. Mid Essex is comprised of a small, close-knit team who will get to know you, both as a trainee and an individual, meaning support is targeted and personal. There is also a greater awareness of the changing educational landscape, with CPD sessions from The Black Curriculum, school counsellors and educational professionals, further highlighting Mid Essex’s awareness of the changing landscape of education, and how we as trainees fit within that.

Mid Essex Initial Teacher Training is nothing short of an exceptional provider, and the individuals who work within the team are wonderful.  Being a teacher is life-affirming, rewarding and wonderful – I completely attribute Mid Essex ITT for helping to shape me into the teacher I am today.

Liam - university graduate

Trainee in Maths at The Ongar Academy, 2020-2021

As a university graduate in the midst of a global pandemic, my career progression came to an untimely halt back in the spring of 2020. Admittedly, the idea of becoming a teacher was never something that I had seriously considered, and even when applying to the ITT course, it was still a far-fetched concept in my mind that I would be teaching – let alone teaching Maths. The accommodating and encouraging welcome I received from MEITT therefore was a real motivating factor for me, and it’s amazing how differently I now feel about this career that I’m so eager to make a true start in.

I’ve always worked well with children, and I find it extremely rewarding to help others. During the first lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was suggested to me that I look into MEITT and the training they provide - as was recommended by several friends. Almost a year later, I’ve successfully qualified as a teacher, having earnt a PGCE in Secondary Education and secured an NQT position at a local school. The contrast between now and when I first started is immense, a lot of which I owe to the continued encouragement and advice offered to me by Holly, Sophie and the team. Naturally, there were times when I felt as though I had made the wrong decision, and that this profession wasn’t for me… or rather, I wasn’t right for the profession. If you’re considering ITT, just know that this perfectly normal, and you will always be supported to ensure you feel prepared and confident in the classroom.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that MEITT have given me, and I cannot thank the staff and mentors enough for navigating the turbulence of the past year with such professionalism, consideration and perseverance. It has been a pleasure to have completed this course through your guidance and expertise, and I wish you all the greatest of successes going forward!

Lynn - career changer

After years living abroad and teaching in adult education plus training staff in large corporations, I had been accepted for a PHD in Politeness theory and social media at ARU. Then a global pandemic struck, and funding was withdrawn, and after time in lockdown, I discovered how much I need to be with people.

I changed my mind about pursuing an academic career which would involve much time working in isolation in a library! I applied to train with MEITT and was very excited to be accepted, especially when I discovered that my niece has also applied and she would be training alongside me.

It was such a privilege to train together, albeit at different schools. We did not consciously decide not to inform the group about our relationship, as we are both equally proud of each other; it just did not arise. However, it was hilarious when we told the course tutors during the final week as they had no idea.

The course has been highly challenging, especially with all the extra pressures of COVID to deal with. I am very grateful to the course tutors, school and mentors who have gone the extra mile to be supportive, with special mentions to Fiona Lane, Beth Howkins and Casey Ogogo.

Training alongside my niece Millie has been a delight and allowed us to build upon our strong relationship. She is also my Goddaughter, and being able to support, cry, scream and celebrate together has been a bonus. To train and start my new career with my inspirational niece has been a gift of lockdown.

As a family, we are so proud of her for transitioning from a well-paid career in the theatre industry to a more vocational career in teaching. She has excelled at teaching and has secured a dream job that combines her previous skills and experience. 

I have also secured an excellent position at a phenomenal school, and so we are both so excited to start our new careers.

We will continue to support each other and enjoy celebrating with our family when we can. If I had known a year ago, I would be a qualified teacher in the UK working with teenagers - I would have said dream on! 

A huge thanks to you and the whole team for the work you have put into making it such an incredibly professional course, but with the added extra of the human touch.

No request or question is too small for the team to answer and it has been a privilege to work with you all.