There’s a real sense of accomplishment when you make the transition from trainee to newly qualified teacher. You’ve learnt the theories, had countless observations and, at the end of it all, you receive a shiny certificate. Sadly, there’s no formal transition, or even certificate, for the moment you become ‘experienced’. All you have to show for your years of dedication is an established coffee habit and these five truths:
- You’ve seen it all before
That new radical teaching idea? Done it. Twenty years ago. That latest educational trend? Lived it. The first, second and third time it reared its head. The debate between traditionalists and progressives? Been both. Several times. The experienced teacher knows the only thing new in education is the adornments with which old ideas are dressed.
- You keep getting given the trainees
At some point in the past few years, you became the unofficial go-to person for trainees. On the plus side, this brings with it the chance to pass on your knowledge, broad set of skills and grasp of school politics. On the downside, you have to find the time to pass on your knowledge, broad set of skills and grasp of school politics...
- You have mastered parents’ evening
There isn't a parent on earth who can outwit or scare you. Aggressive complaint? You're laughing together within seconds. Attempt at humiliation? Two words and they're sitting shamefaced. Crying/flirting/obnoxious (delete as appropriate)? Compassionate face/no-chance face/pity face (delete as appropriate) deployed.
- You are the master of the photocopier
Such is your innate ability to make the antiquated photocopy machine work, you find that colleagues have started using the team radio to call you out of class to attend to "urgent matters". This mostly turns out to be paper jams.
- You’re no longer scared by SLT...
... in fact, you are not even sure you can name them.