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Student talk

I'm just reaching the end of a seven-week period at university after the Christmas holidays - intense theory, lesson planning and group tasks in preparation for the P4 placement that I'm about to embark on.

It was difficult getting into the university element of the course after five weeks in school, which provided an invaluable insight into the life of a teacher and the daily roles and responsibilities that go with it. Also, the placement enabled me to develop my skills and instil a belief that I had the makings of a good teacher.

As I neared my second placement, I was beginning to get apprehensive about where the university would send me: "I hope my class teacher is as nice as my previous school"; "I hope it's not a long distance to travel"; "I hope they don't give me the class with the disruptive buggers."

Although I was anxious, I felt my confidence was better going into this placement and I believed I was developing the skills to handle them. However, I still had fears about being landed with a nasty teacher and the dreaded prospect of a classroom of disruptive children with no interest in learning.

Last week, I visited the school to meet the class teacher and familiarise myself with the children I'd be teaching. The head greeted me at reception and assured me I would have a great experience and nothing to worry about; I think she could sense my anxiety.

I was introduced to my class teacher, who promised I would be supported throughout. Immediately, I could envisage a good working relationship between us.

As I observed the children in my new class, I could sense their enthusiasm for learning and their willingness to participate in every activity. They were a kind lot, with one boy offering me his packet of Fruitellas after asking if I had any lunch with me (I didn't).

I had a good feeling about my new class and school. However, as I wait now to begin my P4 experience, I can't help but dwell on my fears and hope that I can pass this part of the course. I just hope the headteacher is right and I do experience a great placement and I can handle whatever challenges are presented to me.

I'm excited about these challenges - here's hoping for some top teaching and learning in the next five weeks.

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