Finally, after worrying that my shelf was going to buckle under the strain of lever arch files crammed full of lesson plans and evaluations, my PGCE has come to an end. No more "Teachers and the law" lectures, no more lectures on Every Child Matters and no more excruciatingly long lesson plans. I am now officially an NQT.
Last October, I was terrified at the prospect of standing in front of 30 adolescents. I had no experience of what secondary schools were like and I was worried that my subject knowledge wouldn't be up to scratch. However, my fear turned to elation the first time a pupil uttered the word "Miss".
As a child, my mother used to worry that I was becoming obsessed with school when she found a neatly stacked pile of handwritten worksheets on my bookshelf complete with a home-made register. I arrived at school early so that I could tidy the teacher's desk and wipe the blackboard. My enthusiasm for school life continued throughout my teenage years and when I left secondary school I cried all the way home.
The PGCE has been hard work but I have enjoyed every minute of it. Even after sitting in the staffroom listening to the horror stories from staff who give me that "look" when I say how passionate I am about teaching. Maybe I am a geek who admired her teachers so much she spent the first 30 years of her life building up to becoming one. But how could I forget the Year 8 class who discussed my dress sense during period five, the Year 9 boy who climbed out of the window during a lesson on frequency polygons, or the Year 7 boy who did a commando roll into my observed lesson?
I lie awake at night dreaming about how I will arrange the desks in my classroom. I ponder over breakfast as to whether or not I should buy a plant for my desk. Even wandering around the supermarket, I squeal with delight as I find the perfect size stacking boxes to store exercise books in. Now I am at my desk looking out of my window with a huge grin on my face. I truly hope my passion for teaching lasts for the next 30 years, but for now, this is all I have ever want **
Melissa Jones is a new teacher in Blackpool
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