Peter Griffin, Jack Black and the golden arches of McDonalds. Just three of the comparisons that children have made about me in the last five months, you need thick skin to get on in this game!
Far worse than any comparison to tubby cartoon characters is a trainee teacher’s desire to compare themselves to other teachers in their school. That fear of being compared also starts to become a crippling anxiety that will eventually lead you to doing the best impression of teachers you have seen, rather than letting your own personality and style define your lessons.
We must remember that those experienced and fantastic teachers we work alongside were once standing there feeling clueless as trainee teachers. Their brilliance has come from years of practice, many failed lessons and endless hard lessons learnt. Rather than putting pressure on ourselves to be “that good” now, lets take a step back, observe what they do so well and bring it into our own routine.
It has been said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a “master” of a skill. If we take the teaching year to be 195 days (We never work over weekends or holidays, right?) and take the working day to be from 9-3:30 (I know…) minus your break (a lovely full hour everyday away from it all) by the end of the school year you would have completed 1,072.5 hours of practice (please send all mathematical corrections via email). If we take the 10,000-hour idea on board, we are only at the start of “mastering” teaching. Those teachers who we may compare ourselves to are hundreds, if not thousands, of hours further into their own mastery.
Give yourself a break and take pride in the progress you are making. Go back and have a look at your first lesson observation, now compare it with your most recent. It doesn’t even compare. Keep working hard and reflect on your own journey. We are getting there, we will get there.