Ready, steady, teach - For better or worse

19th September 2008 at 01:00

Perhaps it was my other half coming home from work with reply slips for our wedding invitations that looked like parental permission slips. Or maybe it was when we found ourselves thinking of getting people to pair up then pick a table number rather than go through the hassle of wedding seating arrangements. But, whatever it was, I realised through the course of my PGCE that teaching infiltrates life like nothing else.

I cannot count the number of times I have cursed the career choice I have made and hankered after the (dull) months I spent waitressing while waiting for my PGCE to begin. But the moment always passes and I realise that, for better or worse, I can't do something that does not demand my heart and soul.

The course went so fast and there have been some brilliant moments, but it feels like a lifetime ago that the idea of standing at the front of the room had me feeling nauseous for three days beforehand. While I'm nervous about being a new teacher, I know this time that the anticipation is the worst bit.

An article in The TES on cycling inspired me and I've already spent half my first pay packet on a new bike and all the accessories to travel the 18 miles per day under my own steam.

I'm hoping that, rather than being a classic case of NQT over-excitement, this healthy, environment-boosting move will give me the energy and fitness levels needed to fight off the stresses and strains of the induction year.

This is the year I stop being a perpetual student and take on, at 25, my first permanent job. And while I know that this is the summer that I became "Mrs", it is also the one where I accept my permanent status as "Miiiiiiss!" All those years growing up, only to go straight back to school.

Alex Wilkinson is a humanities teacher at Boundstone Community College in Lancing, West Sussex.

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