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What a difference a year makes

Julie Paul talks about how much she has changed in one year.
Julie Paul, English Teacher

As I write this, my National 5 class are furiously writing their (hopefully) well-revised answers in the prelim exam. It is quite a sobering thought that I am responsible for equipping these young people with enough knowledge and understanding to progress along their chosen paths towards their (glittering?) futures.

I also find it astonishing that only a year ago I was as new to the profession as the students currently on placement in my school are. It was often said to me that the teaching career has a very steep learning curve and that I will be shocked at the difference this one year makes in your teaching abilities. These people were right! I have changed!

I was a tentative newby, whose knowledge and confidence was at germination stage - showing quite a few (to quote my fantastic tutor) green shoots of potential. Now I can confidently say that I have a structured year long lesson plan for each of my classes and I know quite definitely what the learning outcomes are for each stage.

Getting to know my pupils

I would say that the best part of this year has been getting to know my pupils. Being a mother of three teenagers myself, I already have a working knowledge of the confusing and emotional rollercoaster that is the teenage state and this has helped me to understand many of their moods and concerns. Though some still have the power to completely blindside me on a fairly regular basis.

It is the day to day dealing with pupils that makes teaching the best career. Each and every one of them has the power to fascinate and entertain, infuriate and frustrate, be proud of and concern me, and I love every last minute of it.

Since beginning the PGDE course and until this point has been a dizzying whirlwind of experience and beginning this journey, even at my more mature stage, has been the most amazing experience.