Miss, I saw you on TV

6th May 2005 at 01:00
I really enjoyed my PGCE course. In fact, I finished on a high - good experiences on teaching practice and lots of positive feedback, I naively thought I'd spend my first year consolidating my learning and developing a teaching style that was my own.

So, when I was approached by Teachers' TV to take part in a programme about life as a newly qualified teacher, I thought it would be a great experience. Hey, it might even be... fun!

As it turned out, I was awakened from such reveries within the first weeks of the autumn term. I'm teaching a Years 3 and 4 class in Lambeth, and, while at interview I'd been warned that the children were "challenging", on visits to the school I'd always seen experienced teachers so I didn't fully appreciate what I would be up against. The reality is that behaviour management has been tough for me, and having a TV crew in tow did little to make life easier.

Initially, the children were excited and shy in front of the cameras, but any nerves soon evaporated, and I was left trying to keep my cool all too aware of the camera lens just a few feet away. Keeping the video diary for three months was helpful though, as it enabled me to reflect on what I'd learned, and appreciate that there were lots of things that were working well.

I was surprised at how emotional I felt watching the footage. I realised how tense and exhausting I'd found the start of my career, and how the kids had picked up on that. The camera crew and production team were fantastic and have given a realistic picture of life at the chalkface for newly qualified teachers.

Nonetheless, it might well do as my 15-minutes of fame.

Rosie Warden is an NQT in Lambeth

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