Becoming a Teacher: Issues in Secondary Teaching

By Justin Dillon; Meg Maguire | Go to book overview

1 Developing as a beginning
teacher

Justin Dillon and Meg Maguire


Anticipating teaching

If you are engaged in a course of teacher training you face what may be the most challenging period of your life. But take heart — the stimulation and the enjoyment of working with learners can be immense. Looks on faces, words of thanks, the physical excitement that young people are able to generate come frequently enough to justify the effort.

Most of your own experience of education will probably have been spent sitting down, facing the front being directed by an older person. Your teacher training will involve a series of rapid dislocations; some of the time you will be the teacher and some of the time you will be a learner. It is not a dichotomous situation though — you will be learning and teaching simultaneously.

As a teacher you will develop in many obvious and subtle ways. Many of these changes will be in response to other people or to external circumstances. If you are the same after you have read this book as you were when you started then we have failed as authors and educators. Take change out of education and there is not much left. You might find yourself getting up much earlier than was previously the case or you might find, as we did, that we became more patient. In the years to come, you will know more, be more skilled than is the case now, and your values will be tried and tested. You will indeed make mistakes, some minor and instantly forgettable and possibly some ground-opening horrors that will come back to haunt you for years on end. Through all this experience you will grow older, wiser, calmer and so on. It is on this growth that this chapter focuses.

What sort of teacher are you going to be? At the moment your model may be based on teachers that you have had or, possibly, based on the teachers you wished that you had had. This is common in new teachers and, on occasion, you might find yourself saying and doing things that your

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