Even though Chris thought his PGCE prepared him well for teaching, he says:
"Last term was like learning to swim in a deep, cold swimming pool, having to move my arms in a certain way and my legs in another. I just concentrated on keeping afloat and breathing. I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of demands from all angles: classes, form group, department deadlines, school standards, and parents."
Now that he's into the second term things are much better. "I'm in a routine, relaxing a bit and feeling at home at school. I'm getting used to managing myself, but a lot of school procedures, like checking the staff daily bulletin, I do without having to remind myself. This allows me to concentrate on more essential issues, such as organising materials efficiently or ensuring that I have time to eat at break so that I don't run out of steam in the afternoon."
Chris Ferne teaches art at Blackfen school for girls, in Bexley, Kent