At the age of thirty I decided to become an teacher of English. This was a problematic/idiotic decision for a lot of reasons, chief amongst them my complete lack of relevant experience and my completely irrelevant degree. So I started at the very bottom of the teaching ladder: I became a teaching assistant.
Two years on, I'm about to embark on my PGCE. I've worked with every age group in my inner city school, working exclusively in the English department and observing the whole secondary English curriculum taught by a variety of teachers. I've clocked up hours of teaching time myself and learned enormous amounts about life in schools: hopefully this will give me a massive head start as I work towards NQT status.
Predictably, I learned most from those teachers whose style and approach I held in disdain - and there were plenty of shitty teachers in my school. But there were also wonderful, inspirational staff members whose success lessons I will seek to emulate, copy and shamelessly pass off as my own for years to come.
Over the course of the summer I'll be detailing what I've learned in my teaching career so far. Names will be changed to protect people's identities and salaries - but I'll not hold back from corruscating criticism of those who deserve it (teachers with appalling attendance records, my feckless manager and Michael Gove will be getting both barrels). The many positives (and they far outweight the negatives) will also be detailed.
From September I'll document my journey through my PGCE, share my lesson plans and thoughts on teaching, and hopefully inspire debate and conversation amongst fellow students of language, literature and education. Here we go...