Autumn Reflections by i2i Maths Trainee Lizzie Roy11th Dec 2019
“Are you teaching us today Miss?”
If you’d have said to me eight weeks ago at the very start of my teacher training journey, that I’d experience such a rollercoaster of emotions during the first term, I’d have smiled politely and thought, ‘Oh yes, but nothing that different to starting any new job right?’ By that point I’d been working in school as a Teaching Assistant for a couple of years, and had already come to love the pace and rhythm of the school day, working with amazing colleagues.
Nothing prepares you though for the intensity, mental exhaustion and professional development that training to teach entails. We’re learning so much, so fast: professional study sessions that equip us with purposeful strategies, backed up with academic literature and theory, not to mention subject skills development to enhance our pedagogical understanding. There are so many plates spinning right now that I find myself waking up in the night trying to quiet a classroom of 32 excitable students by counting down: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Ultimately it is the students who make all the difference. With the ability in one lesson to make you feel like tearing hair out; later that day a sudden realisation as something clicks into place for that one pupil who has been struggling all week, gives you such a high.
Now that we’ve reached week 8 in the term I’ve lost the ability to hold more than a single line of thought at a time; I’ve probably gained at least a stone through consuming endless sugar and caffeine to get me through the days (I know it’s not sustainable – I’m trying to do better!) but I can honestly say I’ve never been happier professionally. I know there is still a long way to go, and there are days when I feel like I won’t make it to lunchtime, let alone to Christmas; on those days I’ll try to remember the feelings of achievement: those moments that lift and carry you onwards. Mine last week was being asked by a student, “Are you teaching us today Miss?” to which I affirmed and as I walked past I heard his reply “Yesss!”