September 25, 2010

Opening Words

So I sit here, exhausted after one of the busiest and most information-packed weeks of my life, and try to find the words to write a reflective journal. This journal, I'm told, is to be a professional, reflective examination of recent events on the PGCE Secondary Drama with English course and how they affect my evolution as a teacher.

It's hard to find the words to write professionally when you don't feel like you're a professional yet!

Oh, I'm perfectly confident that this excellent course will provide me with everything I need to enter the world of teaching. I'm confident in my knowledge and my ability as a potential teacher. But it still feels like yesterday that I was looking at teaching as something that would be done in the future; now, it's an all-pervading part of the present.

For a session this week, we were asked, in small groups, to note down as part of a display any aspect of our previous knowledge that we felt would help us in our progression through the course. The resulting effect of this exercise was one of mild awe: we are a group of 21 immensely experienced, talented theatrical experts and, from an academic and professional point of view, I can think of nothing more exciting than continuing the journey with these people as my support and supporting them in return.

The one thing that does fill me with a sense of foreboding is lesson plans: I find it easy enough to take a piece of work and think 'Oh, yeah, simple, perfect for a creative writing exercise' or 'A few quick rhythm games and then a readthrough of the text and this lesson's golden' but fitting that into a workable, referential framework that can prove its objectives and merits - that's the hard part. Teaching is like an alien language to me at the moment, full of objectives, outcomes, WILFs and WALTs and levels and standards . . .

The instinct, the passion and the desire to educate - they're all here, ready to work. The framework and the understanding to take the instinct, passion and desire and turn that into enjoyable, exciting and engaging lessons - well, that's what the PGCE's there for, right?


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