15 days or less

Actually in truth I don't finish for another month, but with the slant that I take on this course, of only counting actual teaching days I can safely say that I have less than 15 days left to go, what with half-term in between.

This course has been an obsession, a burden and a focus this past year and has altered who I am, how I behave and how I view the world. Some of this has come across in my writings on this site, from being mischievious and fun to a much more sombre and tired voice speaking through the ether. As a result of the course I have become ground down, tired like never before and a whole lot more nagative in my outlook on the world.

If I've learnt anything on this course it is that our teachers taught us far more than we realised. Not only were they teaching us subject knowledge but in many ways that subject knowledge is just by the by. In school it seems that I have to instruct in social behaviour and life skills much more than I teach any physics. Indeed someone said to me that actual teaching takes up about 20% of the energy they put into the job.

I am inclined to agree with that sentiment, reluctantly I must add, as I still want to hold on to a naive ideal that what I teach is science. It's the added responsibility of teaching young people the skills to cope in society today that drives us away from the profession, whereas that responsibility should really be shouldered by every one of us in society who have contact with young people.

I'm still here though, still standing, a dishevelled figure unable to grasp concepts like humour and without the ready smile that I once wore. Still here in body though that body cries out for forgiveness. Still here, eyes transfixed on the end of next month like a displaced sailor lamenting a lost love.

Yet it drags on still, class after class after endless class, seemingly without end, crushing and suffocating. It will end though, I keep telling myself, one day it will end and all this will be a distant memory and you'll be able to laugh again.

It will end and when it does your friends will be there waiting with open arms to welcome you back into the world that you left so long ago.

Teaching is a great profession if you are 100% committed to the cause and ready to give everything you have. I have had to give everything I have and more but my heart was not in it and that's why I'm so crushed really. If you're not prepared for the extraction of your will, this job can crush you as it has me. Take up a PGCE at your peril.
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