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Becoming A Teacher: Expectation Vs Reality

Few people on the planet are as motivated and idealistic as new teachers. If only we stayed that way...

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Expectation: Exciting, interactive lessons.

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Learning is all about experience! Information is stored through engagement! Text books and worksheets be damned; your class will be a haven of stimulating scholarship for all.

Expectation: Extra-curricular adventures.

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You have heartfelt aspirations towards out-of-hours projects. That school play/chess club/hip-hop choir will change the lives of your lucky young people forever.

Expectation: Clean living.

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As you become a role model in your professional life, you may as well take the opportunity to make over your entire existence. You will eat fruit, jog regularly and consume alcohol in moderation.

Reality:

Magic trick tip: if you want to see pints of beer and glasses of Pinot Grigio disappear, go to a school-adjacent pub at 4pm on a Friday. Return an hour and a half later for a performance of the trying-to-carry-a-huge-bag-of-marking-to-the-bus-while-shitfaced dance.

Expectation: Meaningful marking.

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You spend a fortune on stickers, stamps and coloured pens, and plan on putting them to use every week as your pupils receive formative, thoughtful feedback on their work.

Reality:

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You drag the same set of books back and forth between your house and school for days, before finally scribbling something unintelligible at 11.30pm as you try to keep your eyes open.

Expectation: Work/life balance.

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You plan to love your job, your pupils and your school, but not to the detriment of your personal life. A programme of rich and challenging leisure pursuits will only benefit your teaching.

Expectation: Quality time.

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What better way to get to know your students than breaking bread with them in the canteen? You look forward to spirited exchanges over nutritious, Jamie Oliver-inspired school dinners.

Reality:

Detentions, playground duties and other time-zappers obliterate your precious break. A cheese baguette at your desk is the height of luxury.

Reality:

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Beforehand, you find yourself becoming dangerously obsessed with your risk assessment, laying awake at night imagining the disasters that could befall 50 Year 8s in a petting zoo.

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