My first time in front of a classroom…

“It felt like a thousand pairs of eyes were on pinned on me.”

What’s it like to stand in front of a class for the first time?

Charlie Kay

Year 1 BA Primary Education

The first time I stood in front of the class it felt as if a thousand pairs of eyes were pinned on me. It was scary, but one of the most influential moments in my life. After that day I settled in and overcame my nerves. As the weeks went on my confidence blossomed and the teacher inside grew. Those thousand pairs of eyes disappeared and revealed the thirty pairs who were depending on me to teach them. The first time is always scary, but being scared is only the beginning of the fun. 

Blaisie Mae Grover

Year 1 BA Primary Education

The first time I stood in front of a class I went bright red. Beforehand I thought that once I got into the lesson my nerves would stop and I’d get so immersed in the teaching that I would forget that it was my first-time. However, this was only half true. I did eventually get immersed but that didn’t stop the nerves or the blushing. Once I started to teach though, I had so much fun. Of course, you are going to have moments where you forget what comes next or accidently mix up kids’ names, but every new experience helps you in the future. You will always have your good moments. I remember the enthusiasm of my class when I asked if someone could read out a slide, and the wonder and confusion they had learning about the theories of Stonehenge. Afterwards, I realised amongst all the chaos before and during the lesson that it actually went well. The relief and sense of accomplishment calmed me.  I still get bouts of nervousness now when I stand up in front of the class, but it decreases each time.

Francisca Chigbolu

PGCE Primary

The first time I stood in front of a class independently was during my first placement in a Year 2 class for the PGCE year.  Although we’d had been to two schools prior to this it was very different knowing that I would be responsible for a full class’s learning. The first hurdle was for the class to spell and say my name. The most memorable experience I have of this was one pupil who called me “Miss Chigaboo” throughout the entire 8 week placement no matter how often the other children or teachers corrected her. Then later I discovered it spelt ‘Miss Chigbolulol’ on a Christmas card. At the end of my first day during handwriting practice I was told by the same child who called me Miss Chigaboo “Miss, you don’t write cursive very well, you can practise with me”, as she took out a whiteboard and pen for me to practise. From that day on I made a point of practising with the children. The first day of the class set the standard for my placement, I learnt so much from the class teacher and the children and loved every moment – the highs and the lows. What I learnt from them has enormously helped my practice and I will forever remember the innocent butchering of my name and have kept the Christmas card that the pupil gave to me as a reminder of my very first class. 

The University of Roehampton changes lives by helping our students to develop the confidence, knowledge and values they need for a successful and fulfilling life. We produce world-class research that helps us understand the world and change it for the better.

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