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By Kathy Alcock - education consultant and author, Georgie Beasley - Ofsted inspector, educational consultant and former headteacher and John Gallowayadvisory teacher for ICT, writer and consultant.

School placements, planning, working with colleagues… for student teachers it can all be quite daunting. Our experts answer your questions

Teacher with briefcase

In at the deep end

When I started my teaching placement, I wasn’t given time to observe and was thrown in at the deep end. How can I take ownership of the class and carry this on throughout my placement?

This is unusual – generally a class teacher wishes you to observe before ‘handing over’. Maybe when you had this experience, the class teacher involved was hoping to demonstrate their confidence in you. In future, ask politely to observe the teacher for one or part of each of the core subjects before taking complete control yourself. Suggest the teacher allows you to team teach with them using your planning, and check on the expectations and agree the limits. Do remember that you are there because the class teacher has agreed to this; they remain the class teacher and take final responsibility for the children.

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