Celebrating being at school

27th January 2006 at 00:00
"It was my birthday on my first day back after Christmas. Everyone felt sorry for me, but actually I felt happy to be at school," says Chris Ferne (above). "Birthdays are about celebrating, so seeing all my colleagues after a two-week break was a strong reminder to me of what my hard work in the first term had allowed me to achieve."

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

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today