Hi all, I've never posted in these forums before so I'll apologise in advance if I have posted in the incorrect place (please point me in the right direction if need be). I'm wondering if you can help me figure some things out about teaching. I'll be starting my English PGCE in September but I know very little about what is actually going to happen throughout that year! Here’s some of the things I’m wondering about: Are there any specific things I should be doing over the summer in order to get a jump on the workload? Creating resources or lesson plans for example? Or is this best saved for later when I have a better idea about what is expected of me? I’ve cross-referenced the most popular GCSE English texts and plan to read these at least. What are trainee teachers expected to do in the first semester? Are we able to teach early on or are we classroom assistants for a while? What is the most important piece of advice you would give a trainee teacher? The most common I’ve heard so far is to develop a thick skin and to make sure to spend time with friends and family outside of school. Which books really helped you develop teaching ideas/philosophy? I’ve already encountered prejudice from a well-established English teacher whilst doing my work experience; she said that I shouldn’t have even been offered a place due to my ‘ignorance’ (since I don’t have an English degree). What advice would you offer someone who hasn’t studied English at degree level but will be teaching it at secondary level? I’ve heard a lot of people suggest that new teachers ‘go in strict and soften up over time’ in order to establish order in the classroom. What is your opinion about this advice? I don’t think this approach suits me, I’m firm and keen to set parameters and rules but I don’t think ‘making an example’ of a student in a first lesson is an approach I consider fair. Am I being naïve? Is it polite to ask other teachers if I can sit in on some of their lessons so that I can gain some more insight whilst I’m training? Or is this disruptive for their classes? 8. How is teaching structured within the school? Are teachers simply told what to cover during a semester and left to design their own lessons? Or are they given a lesson by lesson focus? Does this depend on the school? Thanks for all of your help everyone, I'm sure a lot of you answer these questions frequently from trainee teachers. I'm hoping that knowing a bit more about what I'm walking into will help reduce the jitters!