Reflect on your experience of your first term 

Tahira SherifReflecting on my first term as a PGCE intern, I would say that it has been an overwhelming rollercoaster of new challenges. These challenges have forced me to confront and face them head on, regardless of whether it is keeping me up past midnight on a weekday making changes to my lesson plans or be snowed under with curriculum assignments/deadlines or catch up with my reading materials for each week. This first term has been nothing short of non-stop hard work and to say it has been challenging is an understatement. 

Nevertheless, as hard and challenging as it has been, it has been even more enjoyable and rewarding. For every struggle that caused me to feel anxious and overwhelmed, it seems as though I was being repaid back in gratitude the following day. A simple thankyou from my students after each lesson, or a warm eager smile from students in between lesson change overs as we quickly hurry across the busy school corridors. All these highs and small tokens of appreciation makes every act of hardwork and managing tons of work seem insignificant.

The structure of each week is split into university department days which focuses on building my knowledge about the theory that takes place on how to teach mathematics as well as learning about broader topics that involve the learning and assessment of pupils through general educational issues. Learning how to teach mathematics spans from learning how to construct a lesson plan incorporating as much information as you can ranging from the misconceptions of a subject to formatting every minute of lesson. 

My placement school has been a great opportunity for me to get first-hand experience on teaching and being responsible for a class. It also has allowed me to understand how the school and maths department function through its running and implementation in their structure of teaching. As difficult as this pandemic has proven to be, I have still been able to observe different lessons at a distance by a variety of different teaching expertise. All observations have allowed me to assess the pros and cons of different teaching styles and how beneficial it is to implement them to my own lessons. The additional responsibilities of pastoral care have allowed me to get to know my students in my form class on a more personal role. It’s taken me out of the maths teaching zone and merely allowed me to develop a sense of support system which focuses on building every pupil’s development. 

I am eagerly waiting to continue next term at my placement. Where I will stretch my teaching horizon for the next term by teaching my full timetable. I embarked on this teaching journey because I wanted to work and nurture the unique complexities each pupil holds and create a classroom which raises an inspired generation. Therefore, not only am I blessed to be a witness of this, but I am humbly grateful!

By Tahira Sherif