Posted 20/01/202197. Dickensian lessons for an NQT - By Helen Watkinson, English Teacher
As a teacher of English, I spend the vast majority of my time reading, writing, and thinking about other people’s words. Therefore, when reflecting on my first term as a newly qualified teacher at the Fulham Boys School, I turned to literature. I thought about Shakespeare. I thought about Austen. I thought about Virginia Woolf. But, eventually, I settled on Dickens. The following quotations - the opening lines of some of his most famous pieces of writing - seemed to me to sum up what teaching has taught me thus far… It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. - A Tale of Two Cities 1st September 2020. The best of times: the beginning of an exciting new chapter. The worst of times: beginning this chapter in the midst of a global pandemic. The challenges I faced starting out in teaching in 2020 were unprecedented; the rewards have been unimaginable. Lesson: There is always a silver lining.