A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.


Saturday, 24 February 2007 | 0 Comments

University teacher training can only teach you so much, there are many aspects of being a teacher that university does not prepare you for.

As I marked my roll Friday morning, I realised that university had not prepared me for marking a roll.  It’s a legal document, but I didn’t know what was required until Day 1, when I received the instruction.  Unprepared, but at the trivial end of the scale.

Just 15 minutes earlier, staff were informed by our Principal of tragic news that shaped the happenings of our school that day.  News which does not need to be elaborated upon here.

In amongst a tragedy, I was inspired by colleagues that lead us, prepared us, supported us and supported the students.  I watched the Principal and another teacher deliver the news to two different year groups; both with great dignity.  Staff worked hard to deliver stability and some degree of normality, yet I’m sure for each teacher a different perspective existed behind their lessons.  The students, of course, had varied reactions; genuine distress, anger, violence, theatrics and indifference.  At the end of the day, we reviewed a day of sadness, yet admired how the community of our school had responded.

University does not, nor can it, prepare you for these events.  Life really doesn’t prepare you for these events.

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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