Wedding reception. Nice golf course. Free bar. Chilled beer in hand. A lovely and relaxing summers evening ahead of me. “So, what do you do?” someone asks. An innocuous question you would have thought, but one that causes a mixture of confusion and terror. Why should a simple question terrify me so much? No, it is not because I am unemployed. Far from it. In fact, I am a just about to start my career as a secondary science teacher, having just completed my training course with Teach First. 6 weeks of intensive theory and only a few days until I have to stand at the front of my classroom and tell the class that I am their new teacher. I can only hope that on that first day I am able to muster more confidence and conviction than I manage in response to my fellow wedding guest.
Having completed the training I do feel ready to get started, but in no way do I feel fully prepared to stand in front of the class on that first day. The support and ongoing training will rapidly enable me to develop into an effective teacher, but right now I’ve got more potential than expertise, and that is why I’m so scared. I am attempting to prepare lessons, revise the science curriculum and learn school rules, but I know that there is not much I can do before term starts and I can work out the reality of my school and my classes.
Throughout the next year as I work to gain my PGCE and to help my students to get the grades they deserve and to grow and mature into young adults, I think it will be me who grows and learns the most. I will use this blog to document the trials and tests of a new teacher, to look at the pros and cons of how science is taught at secondary school, to look at how society’s perception of teachers matches the reality ‘on the ground’ and at other issues that arise throughout my journey.