My First Half-Term...

Whichever PGCE course you take, you will agree that the first half-term is both incredibly exciting and nerve-wrecking (in a good way!).  From your first teacher training lecture, to your first day on placement, it is a time of taking the first steps to becoming a teacher of Mathematics. 

I began my course in mid-September with three weeks of university-based training.  These three weeks were filled with lectures and seminars on what it means to be a ‘good’ teacher, SEND in the classroom, behaviour management, safeguarding, current pedagogical research and everything you could possibly think of to prepare us for stepping into the world of teaching.  It was an incredibly intense time of learning, but from the very first day I knew that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. 

My favourite university-based day so far was titled ‘Metacognition, thinking about thinking’.  During the morning lectures we learned about the principles of metacognition, in other words, the science behind how pupils learn.  This made me realise how much effort needs to be put into planning and delivering lessons, how as teachers we must consider prior knowledge of students and that we will always overestimate how much students know so it is crucial that we ask many questions! 

Three weeks later I was standing by the front gates of my first placement, nervous but incredibly excited.  I thought about how much work I had put in to be there, and how long I had been thinking about this day.  It was truly a ‘pinch me’ moment.  I was so scared of being late that I showed up half an hour early!  My first day was full of meeting the staff, observing lessons and trying not to get trampled by the year 11s during lunch time (I’m quite short).  Since that first day, the next few weeks went by in the blink of an eye.  I was observing lessons in Maths, but also in Spanish and Music, and I could not wait to start teaching.  

I taught my first starter in my second week of placement to a class of year 10s.  I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, however, as expected, the starter wasn’t perfect- the questions were too difficult and so I changed my plan on the spot and instead of circulating the classroom I ended up modelling the questions on the board.  Despite this, I felt very proud of myself! 

And just like that, my first half term of teacher training came to an end.  It has been an amazing experience so far, and I am rested and ready to dive straight back in.  

By Natalia Nowicka 

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You can keep in touch with Natalia on Twitter @MissN_Maths and Instagram @Natalia.Now.99



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