The best thing

A year into his career in teaching, Mark Pitblado shares his experiences of being a new teacher.

Primary Teacher, Fair Isle Primary School, Shetlands

Where to start?
Well . . . I learned how to skip properly; I learned how to Scottish Country dance; I learned that life is worth giggling about; I learned that High School Musical is the best film ever; I learned that the Nintendo DS is the best thing since sliced bread and, finally, I discovered that a day in my life is soaked in paint, littered in table points and full of excitement and wonder.
Being a teacher is the easiest job and the hardest job in the world, all at the same time.
The biggest surprise to me was how hard this job actually is and just how rewarding it is. The real thing is nothing like university and nothing like school placements. When you stand in front of that class on the first day you realise that it is "go time" and that the buck stops with you.


This is your class and your responsibility and there is no one but you to pick up the pieces when something breaks. While this may surprise me it also drives me. Coming in to be Mr Pitblado everyday is the most motivating feeling I have ever experienced.
Thinking about how to surprise these children in my class with a new learning experience each day fuels my enthusiasm for this job. I love the excitement before a writing lesson; I actually feel nervous and think to myself: "Will they enjoy this or will they just yawn and go to sleep?"
Fortunately that has not happened yet and all my class remained awake throughout my first year!

The worst and best

The most disappointing thing for me is all the politics that go with this job. There are a lot of people out there who claim to be experts and claim to have the "answer".
But the best thing is right inside room 12 and it is a good relationship with your class and an enthusiasm for this job that all can see.