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.

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