Reflective Diary

Meet our PGCE diarist
Hi! I'm training to teach English in secondary school. I'll be writing something each week about the experience of teacher training, the PGCE course and the day-to-day reality of teaching practice. I completed my first school placement in December, which to my pleasant surprise went very well. The university-based part of my course is divided into two aspects of training: subject studies, which for me is English, and professional studies, which covers everything teaching involves outside your own subject area (issues such as classroom management, the role of the form tutor, legal matters, and career development). We have two assignments to hand in before the next school placement begins, so I'll be writing something about that aspect of the course over the next couple of weeks. I am fortunate to have two excellent university tutors, so I'll also give you an idea about some of the work we do, and what kind of help and support you can expect as a PGCE student. Then from late January I'll be back in school for an extended period of teaching practice, which is when the fun really starts! I'll be filling you in on my progress, successes and failures over the course of my second placement, and aim to give you a good idea of what the steep learning curve of teacher training is really like, from the point of view of the trainee.

Week 1 - First week back on the course
Last week was our first back at university after a leisurely, month-long Christmas break. But as with all university "vacations", the mulled-wine-infused stupor was, even in late December, tinged with the guilt of that distant knowledge that we had two assignments to hand in mid-January. Nobody contemplated working before New Year: rightly so, in my opinion, as we were all in great need of a break after the damp autumnal depression and fatigue of our first school placement. By the end of the first week of January, as serious procrastination set in, we all had exceptionally clean...