"So here you are at the school gate. What will you want to find out? What will you need to learn? What will you have to teach? How will you keep order? How will you gain respect?"
Countless such questions buzz in your head as you start your teaching practice. In the months and years to come, countless others will replace them. Teaching, however satisfying, is never simple.
Fortunately, there are excellent guides available. RoutledgeFalmer's Guide to Teaching Practice has long been among the best. The new fifth edition, which opens with the lines quoted above, is quite outstanding.
It's a big book, but it needs to be. The list of material added since the 1996 edition (24 new topics in all) includes targets, raising boys'
achievement, attention deficithyperactivity disorders, developing higher order thinking and (significantly) stress in teaching and legal issues. But the layout is still crystal clear, and the hint lists and summary boxes (more than 100 of them) are easy to find and helpful. The footnotes are where they need to be (at the back); there is an excellent index and a comprehensive list of websites and resources.
Inevitably, this is a textbook as well as a guide: there is material here that you won't often need once your training is over. By the same token, there are explanations and suggestions that you will turn to often as your career progresses. Best of all, it is both interesting and reassuring, as all good guides should be. Teaching, after all, is partly exploring. Like exploring, it needs a certain resilience, and a spirit of adventure. There is a sense of both qualities in these pages.