“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…


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.


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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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