Student teacher blog: Seeing nothing but fears for next year?

Teaching physics... nothing to fear?This year we are joined by a new student teacher who is undertaking a PGCE in Physics with Mathematics from September 2012. Despite being eminently qualified in Physics and Astronomy, she is experiencing all the trepidation and excitement of student teachers everywhere.

Follow her journey this year as she shares her fears, expectations, achievements and disappointments.

What if…? The summer has finally arrived but I am sitting inside, staring at the computer screen getting more and more stressed. I have always seen myself as fairly happy-go-lucky, and take things as they come. I am not saying I don’t get stressed, but generally only when the problems are right in front of me, rather than about the ‘what ifs’ months in advance. However, my first post should be about my thoughts, hopes and fears for September. And the more I think about this task, the more I get hung up on all the fears and worries rather than the exciting aspects of the course.

How much work is it really going to be? I have heard so many conflicting stories. I know I have got the knowledge, but that is only half of the equation; especially as I am a perfectionist.

Is being a perfectionist going to be my Achilles heel next year? As a teacher you won’t have the time to perfect lessons, and even if you had, the interaction with the students won’t allow you to run them exactly as planned. And I don’t think this knowledge will stop me from trying.

Work/ Life balance: Have I made the right choice of university? Was it really the cleverest thing for me to choose a university an hour’s commute away, over the one around the corner, on just on a hunch, a feeling?

It all comes down to how much time it will all take. And most importantly, how this will affect my personal life, my family? I am a social puppy, I like spending time with friends, the husband, and even the dog needs an appropriate amount of attention. But how much time will I have for them?

I love cooking, it gets rid of stress and with good food as a by-product, but will I still have the time and energy to do the shopping and spend an hour in the kitchen when coming home late? I don’t really want to mention the other household chores (who would?) but I can’t ignore it either and my husband also has a more than full time job and travels a lot.

See nothing but fears for next year? Well, actually, that is not true, for the moment I can put my fears to one side and continue being happy-go-lucky and enjoy the last of the holidays. I will stop worrying and will start looking forward to doing lots of physics and finding interesting ways to enthuse students. I might even be sneakily looking forward to the learning and hard work I will have to do to become a teacher. Oh, dare I mention the new books and the pristine diary?

However, maybe I should remain a little worried. For example of school property and student welfare, especially now I know how to make rockets with just plastic bottles, ethanol and FIRE!