“But Miss, are you a REAL teacher?”

It’s a short post this week, as I thought I’d share something I’ve been thinking about a lot this week. It’s not a long thought, so there’s not much I can write, but it’s interested me all the same.

Imagine the scenario. You’re a trainee teacher, meeting a class for the first time. Alternatively, you’ve been teaching a class for a while and you say something along the lines of “because I’m your teacher.” There’s a pause, and then… “But Miss, are you a REAL teacher?” You go a bit stiff, how do you respond?

I’ve heard this question quite a few times since I started my placement. The answer? Yes, if you’re talking to your pupils. As a student teacher you need to say yes, or face the tyranny of students who think you’re a pushover because you’re a student. You just tell them you’re a teacher, the word ‘student’ doesn’t even come into it. I’ll let you in on a secret though; inside I’m screaming ‘NO I AM NOT’. I guess it’s a case of not feeling like a ‘real’ teacher yet. Some days I feel like I’m playing dress up…

As I pointed out in a previous post, it isn’t easy being a new teacher, particularly a trainee. You get told that the best part about your training year is that this is the time to try things out in lessons, to give new lesson ideas a go, and to make mistakes. For me, that’s all well and good, but there’s one thing that worries me…

WHAT IF THEY FAIL THEIR EXAMS?

For some of my students, this is their GCSE or A-Level we’re talking about, and if I mess up the teaching, they mess up the exam… I know that’s not going to happen: I’ve got a lot of support and they’re all getting the topics, etc etc etc. That doesn’t mean I can forget that fear. What I can do, however, is make sure I’m doing everything I can, and if I do make mistakes, I can learn from them. I’m teaching these kids, but they’re also teaching me an awful lot. So yes, I am a teacher, but in a sense, so are they.

Until next time, all the best.

Jess

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About Jess

Hi everyone! My name is Jess and I'm a third year Mathematics student. My blogs will be about the up and downs of final year, trying to be a grown up, life in Leicester outside of university, and attempting to play rugby for the first time!

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