Ready, steady, teach - Case in point

21st November 2008 at 00:00

As I shuffle out the door at the slightly unreal time of 7am, loaded up with my satchel, two bags of folders, extra plastic bags in case of emergencies, laptop in case my memory stick fails (again) and an extra cardigan in case the fog doesn't clear, my partner asks: "Why don't you invest in a suitcase with wheels, sweetheart?" In any other circumstances I would laugh at this absurd suggestion, but it is beginning to sound like a good idea.

I keep telling anyone who's crazy enough to still ask how things are going that this is the beginning and it will get tougher, but surely that's impossible?

After spending a Friday night resisting wine and writing a ridiculously detailed lesson plan for a 50-minute lesson, I realised with horror that soon I would need to be planning at least four lessons a day. So yes, it is going to get harder, this is just the beginning, and the suitcase has been ordered.

The strange thing is that even when I'm buying an extra large packet of caffeine tablets to be washed down with a can of energy drink to get me through my next essay, I'm not asking myself why I'm bothering or wondering if I've made the right decision.

This could be because I'm so preoccupied organising and making lists of what I must do, things I mustn't forget, and questions I need to ask, that I just don't have room for doubt. I don't think so though; when I have time for reflection, all I wonder is, how can I improve? What did I learn today and how can I use it in my teaching?

I'm turning into a total bore with a one-track mind who can make even my long-suffering boyfriend's eyes glaze over a few hours after him asking the simple question: "How was your day?"

But to be honest I really can't help it. I'm so excited and feel so lucky to be learning so much that I will happily give up normal adult conversations and any kind of personal life, for a little while anyway.

I'm starting to get used to people scurrying from a room when I come in - it just means I have a bit more time to squeeze in an extra observation write-up or two.

Lauren Kiss is a secondary art and design PGCE student at the University of Cambridge.

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