As a PGCE student, you are prepared for every type of teaching eventuality; from behaviour management, collecting evidence in order to meet Teaching Standards, to the importance of classroom data. For those of you who have survived different placements, and come out the other side, you will have seen these different elements put into practice and you will have begun to mould/ create your own teaching style, which you can put into place during your NQT year. (Ahh, the mystical, far off NQT year. The ‘it gets a lot easier after your PGCE’, NQT year.) For those of you considering teaching, this is something you should be prepared for.
Well there is one thing you are definitely not taught about your NQT year whilst doing your PGCE…. Tiredness. Why is teaching so tiring? No, I’m not talking end of the working day ‘I’m so tired’, I’m talking exhausted! Two thirds of the way through my NQT, and I’ve never been so aware of how tired someone can be. I am tired all the time. However, I have taken some comfort in the fact that it is the norm to shuffle down the corridor with fellow teachers, comparing stories of who is more tired and the wonderfully weird places we have randomly fallen asleep. It is also important to remember that rest is important and you shouldn’t feel guilty if sometimes you don’t get everything done.
But it can’t possibly be that bad, can it? I mean look at all of these holidays that we teachers have. Despite this, teaching is exhausting. As pointed out by some of my wonderful year 10’s ‘Urgh, Miss, and you chose to be a teacher? Like you do all that work every day? That’s dead’. Yes, I did choose to be a teacher and I can to an extent agree that it is ‘dead’, but like every other person who has ever stepped into the profession will tell you, you don’t do it for the money, the holidays or for OFSTED for that matter, we did it for the passion.
Yes, it can be ridiculously demanding and so exhausting sometimes (and emphasis on sometimes) but when you love something this much; things like being ‘perma-tired’ don’t seem to matter. It’s the small day to day things that out- weigh things like tiredness, like your year 11 students coming back into school after their exams have finished with thank you cards and beautifully written messages full of kind words and gratitude that makes all the hard work feel worth while!