Ready, steady, teach - Pole position
So here I am on Christmas Eve trying to find inspiration or a question to base my assignment "Learning, Communication and Diversity" on. Gender, I decide. Boys and girls, they are the combination that has made my first placement interesting - to say the least. Whoever said that teachers get an easy ride?
Christmas Eve and I'm doing an assignment. OK I've been able to have the odd lie-in, although they have been few and far between since September, but while I sit here listening to festive cheer coming from the pub around the corner, I can only wonder if teaching is really all it's cracked up to be.
Don't get me wrong, I've loved every minute so far and have received the most glowing report I could have asked Santa for, but to say the workload is severe is an understatement.
One placement down, one to go and like all other trainees I am grateful for this opportunity (especially when I get into bed at night). And yes - this will be my first Christmas Day of not working for six years so I should be sitting here counting my blessings or at least the number of mince pies I have consumed. But no - it is a 5,000-word assignment that needs to be hanging on my fireplace by January 11.
I suppose the only consolation is that all trainees are in the same boat and next year it may be 5,000 pieces of homework that seek my attention.
Yes, the trials and tribulations of the past few months are more than worth a career of fulfilment and happiness but I am under no illusion that it will get better. I suspect the worst is nowhere near yet.
What will the new year bring for me? Happiness, tears, joy and fear? All this and more probably. And resolutions? Well that one's obvious - to be the best teacher in the world, of course. OK, I'll be realistic: maybe just at least getting one child to think I'm alright.
Alison Wade teaches ICT and business at Verdin High School in Cheshire.