As the end of the PGCE course seems in sight, I have taken the opportunity to reflect on my experiences. If you are reading this you are probably at the same stage of your career or where I was last year, considering if this is what I want to do. If you are in the latter, please just do it, I won’t say you won’t have moments that you regret that decision but on the whole you will love it.
I am going to start off with one of the best things about the course. I started teacher training successively from an undergraduate course and your new classmates will seem very different. Mainly, you will notice the range in ages. This diversity means that your new classmates will have a variety of professional experience that you can learn from.
Honestly though, the other people on the course will be great for support and for letting off steam but your main asset on the course will be the more experienced teachers. Hopefully what convinced you to go into to teacher was a fond memory of a teacher you had or the thought that you can truly inspire young minds. If that's the case you will meet a lot of like-minded individuals who are doing exactly what you want to do the following year.
Teachers each have their own individual style and techniques but there is never anything new under the sun. You will steal what has come before but just add your own spin to it. That is while it is vital to see current teachers try and perfect their own teaching to try and analyse what they do and implement it.
My three top tips
- More experienced will have their own style of marking and planning. This is a good year to experiment or create something that works for you. This likely won’t happen straight away, took my about two months before I was happy with how I was planning and the time it was taking me.
- Each school is unique, try and learn as much as you can from the school you are at right now. It will be different from next school and to be employable you want to be seen as a chameleon that can work with everyone while simultaneously having a special set of skill that no one else applying will have.
- Enjoy it! This is a job and quite a fun one but just as if I played FIFA all afternoon, eventually I’ll want to snap the disc. Have a life outside of the classroom and try to have friends outside of teaching. Groups of teachers often end up talking about teaching, why? Because one it's common ground and two we either love it or love to complain (usually a bit of both). If you have a hobby, make time for it. You need the time to switch off, you are human.
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