It was my first day as a teacher! It happened so many years ago. But how can I possibly forget how it felt? I had been training for the past year doing my PGCE, had just passed and gotten my Qualified Teacher Status. I remember siting my QTS test and feeling a little nervous. I recall holding my breath and waiting for my test result to flash across the screen. However, nothing whatsoever, prepared me for this moment when I would face 30 very lively Year 5 boys and girls, and attempt to teach my very first lesson as a teacher! What do I say? How do I get through the day? How do I keep them enthused throughout the day? How do I manage my class? What if they do not listen to me? What if I make a mistake and teach them the wrong thing? I thought I had it all planned, right then, all of my meticulous planning just flew out of my head and I was blank! As I stood in front of my whiteboard, intermittently watching the clock ticking its way to 8.45am, I remembered I planned to write the date on the board. So I reached for a marker and started to write in my very best cursive style. I found that incredibly therapeutic until I took a step back and glanced at the pen in my hand, then realised…it was a permanent marker! Could this day get any worse?
Fast forward four years on, as I packed up my belongings to leave that class, to leave that school, on to a role of greater responsibility, the faded marks of that very first date were still there on the board, to remind me of how far I had come as a teacher. I had now learnt that teaching is more than just been prepared, it is a relationship with your pupils. I had grown in confidence. I had learnt to know my pupils and learnt how to commit myself to their progress and development. I had learnt that inspirational teachers create inspirational learners. I had learnt to teach from the heart and to carry the children with me every day. Also, I learnt that I will always take books home to mark and would always spend my term weekends planning lessons. Most importantly of all, I had now learnt that children learnt more from who I was than from what I taught!