This past year during my PGCE has been full of highs and lows. I've loved it, I've hated it. I've been outstanding, I've been unsatisfactory (only once thank goodness!). I've laughed, I've cried, I've wanted to give up and I've found the motivation to keep going. I've worked with fantastic teachers, I've worked with some not so fantastic teachers. I've learned a bit more about me, about my style, my way of teaching. I've become more confident in myself and my ability. I've learned what APP, AFL, AfL, CPD, PDP, CEP and what feels like a million other acronyms!
I can't believe that this time last year I was preparing myself to begin my PGCE, full of many of the same nerves and excitement that I have today. The year has flown by in a flash, I feel like I blinked and it was gone. There are some amazing memories that I've got from the past year, some children (and teachers) who I'll never forget and some moments that will be ingrained on my memory for ever but most of it? I can't really remember, it went too quickly, it's all a bit of a blur.
There have been some uni sessions where I've learned so much and others where, well, I might as well have stayed in bed. At least I understand the jargon that comes with teaching now though! It must have all done something though because I feel far more prepared to teach than I did this time last year... but am I REALLY ready?
That's what I keep asking myself at the moment. Not just daily, hourly! A PGCE is one thing, but my NQT year? That's something else! That's my very own class. My very own class to screw up. It's me being accountable to myself, not another class teacher, I am the class teacher. There are some things that absolutely terrify me if I'm honest. The responsibility of having my own class is something that's weighing heavily on my shoulders, I feel like there's so much to mess up, so much to get wrong. All that planning to do, no-one to say plan this. The daily APP for 30 children rather than the occasional APP for 6. The pressure to get it 'right', to please people, to fit in and most of all - to pass my induction year. All the preparing in the world won't help if I'm just not cut out for it. I think I am, I hope to god I am, I just still worry if I really am!
On the other hand, there are some things that I'm really looking forward to this year. I'm looking forward to finally having my own class and my own classroom, being able to do things my way rather than trying to fit the mould of the other teacher. It's my classroom, my displays, my behaviour system, my table lay out. Finally, I'm a real life teacher, not a pretend one in someone else's room with their class! It's going to be amazing to get to really know the children and see them develop over time in a way that you just don't get to during placements. What am I looking forward to most of all? Christmas! Finally, my first Christmas in a school. I'll admit, I get far more excited about Christmas than most, I've already got Christmas activities planned out in my head and even Christmas RE things planned on paper!
I'm stepping out of a rollercoaster year into what is bound to be a year with even more highs and lows, I might struggle but I'm sure as hell going to give it my best shot.