OMG, it's the best job ever

16th May 2008 at 01:00
OMG - LOL. I'm still here and thoroughly enjoying my Professional Graduate Diploma of Education (PGDE) after the first placement and tutor crit, as are the other students I've made friends with since August.

Those two "text-isms" OMG (oh my God) and LOL (laugh out loud) have gone to and from my mobile phone so often in the past few months that I can hardly have a conversation now without using them. They sum up what this start to a career in teaching has been like: so jaw dropping and so much fun. They also got me "in" with a challenging group of lads who were determined that they wouldn't do letter writing on my middle stage placement.

A little girl, Claire, was duly summoned from my imaginary home life to write me a chatty letter about her school production. Lots of OMGs and LOLs and smiley grammatical faces were included, so when I projected this letter on to the interactive whiteboard to let the class "read my mail", the hook was set and those boys were reeled in.

LOL - they produced some fantastic chatty letters in return, and the whole class received a mass reply from "Claire". JD (job done).

I've finally found my way into teaching at 41 having had a nagging wish to do it since I was 16 - being a bright child I was told I "could do so much better".

Lots of qualifications, a family and 10 years as a self-employed childminder later, here I am bringing my art and design diploma, my engineering honours degree and my vocational qualification in child care into the primary classroom to put them to some productive use at last.

I feel I've come home. I loved school then and I love it now. I had wonderful, dedicated teachers and learnt respect and confidence alongside my three Rs.

Topics, outside play, crafts, mess and hands-on learning were my domain. I was comfortable in schools where the heads were strong and a bit scary. This curriculum for excellence and positive discipline is new to youngsters - LOL.

So what challenges am I facing? Those little cherubs who eat up so much of your precious time with their persistent low-level disruption. Also, I have yet to figure out when student teachers sleep, but maybe that's an input we'll get soon - LOL.

Karen Millar is studying for a PGDE Primary at Dundee University.

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