It’s been 9/10 weeks (I’ve lost track a little) of the PGCE now and it has honestly been (please excuse the cliché) a massive rollercoaster of feelings and emotions. The most common feeling I have had is that of an overwhelming daunting pressure from the amount of stuff that needs to be done.
I’ve found that the lesson plans and the lessons are coming easier, I still get nervous, especially if I am doing something new or getting observed but these elements of the course are typically becoming the least of my worries as I feel I am steadily improving and getting the hang of it. My lesson plans are taking on average less time to do and I am actually finding myself enjoying classes. The full amount of paperwork a teacher much do hasn’t quite hit me yet (I’m expecting this after Christmas) but I have started dipping my toe in, making sure my registers are correct and absences sent to the reception to be chased and the students’ progress being tracked on my very own spreadsheet.
In regards to the other emotions I’m feeling we recently had one of our eight assignments which I was slightly concerned about, a micro-teach with reflection. Again the teaching aspect I was only slightly concerned about as would anyone who was about to stand in front of people might get but the written reflection was what I was/am most concerned about. 1000 words for a reflection isn’t really a lot anyway but then when we have to link that to theory – something I am still trying to get my head around – the pressure of doing it, and doing it well hit and I froze with no clue of what I was supposed to be doing even though I have basically done this task already in typical class observations. I have basically done it now but my biggest concern is that it is absolute rubbish and not at all a show of what I am capable of. But I can’t think about that for too long anymore because the next assignment has loomed its ugly head from the background with only three weeks to do it which really hit me today as seriously not enough time!
I have come to think the pacing of these assignments is ridiculous as the Micro-teach really should have been earlier as now I am just getting the hang of everything else thinking about an essay is now in my mind possible but thinking about an essay with three weeks to go is insane! Personally I was so busy thinking about normal classes and then this micro teach that the essay was a tiny (and I mean tiny) niggle in the back of my brain… my main concern was that I was using my time to plan and teach actual people! These poor teenagers have a student teacher as their teacher and I need to be the best that I can for them, their future is at stake and yes I know mine is too but that leads on to other feelings… those of doing enough for me and doing enough for them.
Almost every day I have to remind myself why I am doing this and why these assignments are there, to make us better teachers. We are learning as we are doing as well as learning outside of doing which is pretty full on and hard (not that I thought it wasn’t going to be) but the thoughts of ‘well I could have just stayed in retail, worked my way up’ are hard to fight as I struggle with this pressure that really got me in my Masters.
Some days it is a real struggle, I just want to sit and cry and think why I am doing this to myself. I try to take my own advice, taking little bits at a time, make the lists and progress little and often through it but when I’m trying to do so much as well as do the work it’s not as easy as it should be to just sit and do the work, especially when you just want to sit and have a Harry Potter Marathon to cheer yourself up.
But anyway I digress, these 9/10 weeks have been hard, I’ve enjoyed parts and dreaded parts… I’ve already cried (they said we would before Christmas) and had thoughts of packing it all in (more precisely, packing it ALL in and just going off to read in a corner of the world somewhere where it’s warmer AKA my “if I actually played and won the lottery” plan). The dread these couple of weeks have outweighed the happy feelings and I know that once this essay is out the way things should run smoother… maybe after the feedback too? I’ve had other little worries, some personal some college based as well so it has been tough emotionally, the bigger picture is what matters I and each day am that step closer, I just have to repeat that a lot.
No matter what I feel though I must get back to doing actual work as this blog has turned somewhat into a form of positive procrastination.