First encounters

23rd March 2001 at 00:00
What is it about geography teachers that they never seem to go sick? I'm halfway through my first term of supply and I have yet to cover a geography lesson. It has certainly given me a chance to expand my teaching repertoire. As someone more used to talking about erosion, rivers and settlement at secondary level, I have found teaching the numeracy and literacy hours to pupils who still want to hold your hand and tidy the classroom "interesting". The learning curve is steep.

And how do you take a unihoc lesson with 32 Year 4s on a distinctly downward sloping playgrund? At the secondary level I have had to recall my GCSE knowledge of Macbeth, discuss texts I've never read, construct 3D drawings, explain the workings of the kidney and solve IT problems, as well as the usual - work out how to use the electronic register, guess my way around the layout of another school, avoid sitting in the wrong seat in the staffroom and, of course, to shout - loudly. They don't cover all that in the PGCE.

Anna Harding is an NQT who qualified from Homerton College, Cambridge, last year. She spent her first term as a supply teacher

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,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today