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Emotional rollercoaster - my first month of teaching

During her first month as a probationer teacher, Ceitidh Smith had more ups and downs than the Pepsi Max. Ceitidh passes on her tips for dealing with life on an emotional rollercoaster.

Gaelic and Scottish Studies Probationer Teacher

During the probation induction day, in those heady days before the term started, the 51 Angus Council probationers were told that the year would be an emotional rollercoaster. Well, I can’t obviously comment on the whole year but in this first month I’ve had more ups and downs than the Pepsi Max. This, I am assured, is perfectly normal but here are the things I’ve learnt about how to deal with the emotional stress at the start of the probation year.

  1. Talk to people in the school – your colleagues know it’s tough and they’re there to help you.
  2. Have someone to rant at – don’t bottle up your frustration, make sure you have someone who will just let you get it all out. You will feel better, honestly. I’d like to say thanks to my mum for being my rant to person.
  3. Wine is good – make sure you have a bottle of wine waiting for you on Friday. You have survived another week, you deserve a treat.
  4. Sleep is good – you can’t work all the time and being tired and cranky won’t help anyone.
  5. Use your school planner – your brain will be like a sieve so use the planner to make sure you know where you’ve been and where you’re going.
  6. Hobbies – don’t give up your life. Teaching is a job like any other and you need to keep some work–life balance intact.
  7. Remember to eat – it can be all too easy to forget some of the basics in school. You need to keep your energy and sugar levels up.

And finally . . .

You don’t have to be perfect! Placements during PGDE taught us that not everything goes to plan, but now it isn’t just for 6 or 4 weeks and there’s more a feeling of failure ‘cause it’s ‘real’. Don’t focus on the bad things, think about all the good things that have happened too.