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The summer between student and probation

Ceitidh Smith shares her thoughts during a summer period of limbo between being a student and a probationer teacher.

Gaelic and Scottish Studies Probationer Teacher, Forfar Academy

Since leaving uni the first time and finishing my PGDE (a gap of 5 years), I haven’t really had a summer holiday. I worked during the four summers between the end of school and uni, so really it is 9 years since I’ve had a protracted break in the summer. Despite that, I have to say that after a few weeks of it I’m actually quite bored. For the first few weeks I felt a bit listless and without purpose, until I got the timetable from my new school at the end of June. Now, even if I don’t do anything all day, at least I do have something to do!

The timetable itself is both scary and exciting, with 101 thoughts going around in my head of the different things I could do with each of my classes. But at the same time I am acutely aware that the summer is there to be enjoyed, especially as both my parents don’t let school enter their heads till the beginning of August.

It’s a balance I’m finding quite difficult, particularly because of the amazingly good weather and the countdown to moving all my things to the other side of the country. But I have restricted myself to 1 hour of school work a day – at the time when the midges come out!

This is a summer of limbo between being a student teacher and being a NQT and I say enjoy it as much as possible. But keep one eye on the future, because when the first day of school comes in August you will have your classes waiting and you are not giving them back to anyone after 6 weeks, like on placement. You have to have something ready to teach.