Training to be a teacher... things you should know

It is hard work and very tiring, but you get to meet the most amazing people...

You realise that small things are actually the really important things - the hello as someone walks in your class, asking someone if they are okay when they are not their usual self, checking how their weekend went when you know they were nervous about something...

You will love some days and won't believe that you are paid to do this job. But, there will be other days when you go home and wonder why you are putting yourself through this.

Then you go back the next day and you see someone looking down and you make an effort to connect and you see that simply being there and taking time to talk to them, means so much to that person. You remember how powerful a force for change you can be and that you go through those tough days because that's what a teacher does... they care. They come back the next day and try all the harder. And, you realise that you have learnt from that experience and are a better teacher because of it.

You will FAIL and you will do so often. Then you will come to realise that failure is a part of everyone's journey. That the definition of failure is the only part of the experience that is wrong. Each experience teaches you so very much - how resilient you are, how much you care about what you do, how much you have to learn, BUT ALSO just how far you have come. You will come out of a lesson thinking that it was awful and questioning why you are putting yourself through this and then a student will walk out and say "Thanks Sir... I can't wait for the next lesson"

You will wonder if you are good enough, if you can cope, but you will...

You will see another trainee and they tell you a story about a student who needed a teacher and you understand that this is less about you than you thought.

You will have amazing lessons and come away feeling on top of the world

You will learn to hold your bladder, for hours on end. And when you finally have time to get to the toilet, you will have forgotten all about it.

You will go home and fall asleep at a ridiculous time, because you are just that tired.

You will come in tired, wondering how you will make it through the day and then the students walk in, all excited, and their energy lifts you.

Other days the class will be tired and you will talk to them about something that excites you and they will feed off your energy and begin to get excited too.

You will be there for your students when their world collapses and you will help them start to piece it all together.

You will walk into the staff base when you feel your world is collapsing and another teacher will be there to put their arm around you, make you a cup of tea and give you the support that you need.

You WILL lose your temper and you will shout. But you will calm yourself down and apologise to the class and they forgive you on the spot.

Your students will amaze you with their awareness and acts of kindness. You will walk down the corridor holding books and people will offer to help. You will drop things and students will rush up to assist you and they will be really happy to help because you always help them.

You will be talking to your friends and say something that they find strange and you will realise that one of the kids in your form says that. And you will realise that they have just as much of an impact on you and you do on them.

You will come away from a lesson cursing that you have THAT student and then you will look at their background and find out their story - that they have lost their parents… and you will want to help more than you ever thought possible. You will go back each and every lesson determined to reach them and, little by little, you will. You will be a major part in changing people's lives.

You will realise that simply by doing your job, you let your students know that you care and believe in them. And, they will believe in you. They will show you this just when you need to know that the most.

You are going to go to sleep with a pile of books left to mark and a half-eaten dinner. You will try to do too much and that's okay. We all do it. But you also need to give yourself permission to rest. Go for a walk, watch a movie, meet up with friends and you will feel much better.

You will get a clean slate, a fresh start, every single day. And you will want to do better every single day. Then you will surprise yourself by doing just that...

Your students will amaze you with their awesome ideas, their passions and their growth. You will feel like you are the luckiest person alive... and you are. But then, so are your students, because they have you...

You will mark work and you will read something that worries you. You will follow this up and that student, who thought they were invisible, will get the help and support they need.

Another time (most days in fact) you will be marking and you will laugh... cry... scream... as you see the progress students make and the amazing minds they have. This will inspire you to do better, to be more, to work harder and to make an even bigger difference ... AND YOU WILL.

You will lose track of time and realise that you were enjoying what you were doing so much that you don't want the day to end. You will also have weeks where you cannot wait for the weekend. You will be ready for the term to end and then won't stop thinking about teaching the whole of the holiday.

You will worry about your students and you will hear stories that break your heart. You will think about them every day and it will hurt. But, you will go back to school the next day and be there for them. You will teach them, encourage them and support them, even when they are difficult because you are a teacher and that is what we do.

You will show them that you care and they will be more grateful than you could have imagined.

You will see the most random object and it will spark the craziest ideas. You will get excited, REALLY EXCITED about how you will reach THAT student or class.

Someday your students will come back to see you and you will cry. They will invite you to their university graduation or write you a touching thank you note and you will cry, just like you did when you were training.

Even on your worst days, you will be brave and do your best. You will reflect and think critically. You will promote fairness and try out new things.

You will inspire your students to become better people and empower them to be deeper thinkers. They will face many challenges and they will overcome much adversity.

They will go out into the world and they will make it a better place, because of you.

You will laugh and you will cry! Like… A LOT. You will wonder what you did with your time before becoming a teacher and why you waited so long. Then you will smile and think... I made a difference today.

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Genevieve Lovegrove

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