One half term in: how I know I’m well on my way to being a ‘real’ teacher

1. A year 7 student called me mum.
2. I tried to have a social life during the week last week and went to bed past 12, twice. Woahh, was that a long week!
3. I dealt with a crier quite well. Confession: I have had two criers this term. The first one I didn’t deal too well with, however as an NQT should, I reflected and felt much better about how I dealt with the second crier.
4. I can mark a class set of books in just under an hour…I should add that is when I properly focus.
5. Once I have marked, my lessons for the week tend to be planned in my mind.
6. I keep having to stop myself from sharing school anecdotes with non-teacher friends. They are not interested in the *hilarious* misconception my year 10 student spouted out about Curley’s wife and door frames. Why would they?
7. I am excited that the classes I have got to know and love over this term will still be mine when I return to school after half term, yippee! *last year my classes changed every half term.
8. I can give a look to certain students and they roll their eyes but then tuck their shirts in. Small victories!
9. I spent my Saturday at #TLT14.
10. On 30th September I finally got paid! On 31st October, I will get paid again! On 30th November, you get the jist!

I’m no longer a flea

I loved my training year: I was challenged; I had to constantly deal with new situations; support was always there for me. As a result, I exceeded my own expectations and completed my year feeling rather chuffed with myself.

In contrast to this, during my undergraduate study, I did just what I had to do to get my 2.1. I did the reading that was required. I reached the word count on my essays. I graduated, happy with my 2.1, often contemplating whether I could have done more.

During my training year, I wasn’t treated as a flea. I was given a lid yet encouraged to crash through it as many times as I could. However, during my undergraduate degree, I felt a little bit like a flea: nobody expected me to do anymore than I was doing; I expected no more from myself; I stayed within the capacity of the jar and didn’t jump higher than the lid.

Now my job is to create an environment in my classroom where my pupils do not feel like fleas and they exceed the boundaries of the lid.

*people who weren’t at #TLT14, you may be extremely confused, I apologise and recommend you watch the training fleas YouTube clip.

One week to go!

So, unbelievably, I am now into my last week of school! I cannot quite get over what a whirlwind this past year has been. As I strongly believe making lists is partly responsible for getting me through it, I thought I would make another few lists to reflect on the year.

Things I have achieved:

  • I am qualifying as ‘excellent’
  • I still absolutely love teaching
  • I have got a job in a school and a department I love and cannot wait to join as a fully fledged member of staff rather than a trainee
  • I have had two fantastic mentors who have supported me throughout, allowed me to take risks in the classroom and one who has become a great friend

Things I have learnt (This list could be endless but for everybody’s sake I have limited myself to five points):

  • The importance of giving every child a clean state no matter how much they irritated me the previous lesson
  • The power of regular marking
  • The impact of welcoming my students at the door with a smile and a ‘good morning/afternoon’
  • The importance of building positive working relationships with my students – this makes my day so much brighter
  • The necessity to drink tea, eat chocolate and laugh at times when I just want to cry/scream/sleep

Things that petrify me for the following year:

  • Being wholly accountable for my classes
  • The five period day I will have on a Monday
  • Sleeping through my alarm on said Monday
  • Data, data, data!

Whilst I intend to enjoy every free moment of the summer, I am so excited for September to become fully settled in my department as a NQT – and even more excited for the end of September when I finally start getting paid for this teaching malarkey!