Student talk

It's over. I have made it to the end of my PGDE training year. What a difference a year can make!

It's over. I have made it to the end of my PGDE training year. What a difference a year can make!

This time last year I was working in a sports shop selling golf clubs, and now, within weeks, I will be presented with a classroom full of children waiting to be educated. It's a terrifying but exciting thought.

Looking back over the nine months, I can recall all the highs and lows and times when I questioned whether teaching was the career for me. There were sleepless nights fretting about keeping ahead of the workload or how I would deal with those difficult children.

The university element of the course was like being back at school, having to prepare my maths homework or remember my PE kit. It was challenging but enjoyable, and it was great to share it with other students who varied in age, background and life experiences.

School placements often proved the most daunting aspect of the year. Being on my own and away from the other students with whom I could compare experiences made them more difficult.

But now I have completed the year, I feel I have made significant developments in my skills as a teacher.

I remember my first time walking into a P1 class and wondering how I was ever going to teach such loud and boisterous children.

Now I have developed skills in classroom management, differentiation and found my "teacher voice", all of which have consumed my mind for the past nine months. But mostly, my confidence has improved dramatically.

The whole year has been a challenge, but also one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. The feeling of satisfaction when I helped that child overcome problems with adding sums, or enabled another to read a short story made it all worthwhile.

I've been waiting patiently for my local authority to allocate me to a school for my probationary period. It proved difficult, as I was unable to get approval to teach in a Roman Catholic school. So, just when I thought my time of fretting and sleepless nights was over, I had to wait and ponder where I might go next.

I've now had a call from the council offering me a place. So, at last, I can breathe easy and look forward to working with the kids and seeing them flourish.

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