I’m on the road to becoming a teacher. I am so proud of this.
I work in a school. I teach a lot of the time. I am a teacher in many senses of the word. I don’t have a piece of paper that says I am a teacher. To the kids, to the parents, to the people I work with, I’m a teacher. And I love teaching.
There are SO MANY negative thoughts and negative opinions floating around all of the time about teaching. I come across person after person who have so many negative things to say about teaching, and it can be so draining. I know why NQTs and people who are qualifying would struggle. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by positive teachers and colleagues who love their jobs. Teaching isn’t easy. ANYONE who thinks they want to be a teacher because it’s ‘easy’ need look elsewhere. It’s not: it’s long days, it’s lots of work, it’s meetings, it’s dealing with so many different complex little (or big, depending where you work) humans who are just starting to find their place in the world, it’s dealing with parents. There’s reasons why teaching is a complex, hard job… but there are SO MANY REASONS why teaching is the absolutely best job in the world.
Kids: their sheer joy, innocence and humour. My job would not be the job it is if there were no kids. I get so much joy from going into work every day and seeing their little faces. Some of them just glad to see a face smiling back at them, some of them because they get to see their friends, some because they get to learn more. The kids are the absolute reason I do my job. They’re funny, sweet, kind, caring, complex little balls of energy and if you’re not in it for them then you need to reassess why you teach. Seeing them on a morning with their little sleepy smiles saying “bonjour” to me, or coming up to me to tell me it’s their birthday in 17 days, or cheering when I come in to teach them, or complain when I have to leave. Or those moments when they just want someone to talk to, so they’ll sit with you when you’re on break duty and just start talking to you because they just want someone to talk to. Or when they think it’s the end of the world because they only got 7 on their spelling test, or their sheer joy when they got their spellings right. Dealing with children is never an issue. I will go out of my way for the kids. If they need someone to talk to, I will find time in my day. The kids are the thing that keep me going back. They’re funny, they’re complex, they’re learning, they’re incredible. Their belief in magic and their wonder at the world and “miss you know so much”.
Learning: I learn every single day. I hope to impart my knowledge or help the kids that I work with in some way so that they learn. Learning is such a powerful tool. If you know how to then you are set for life. Knowledge absolutely can be power. Infusing children with a love of learning can get them so far. I have such a strong belief in our education system – some of it is totally backward, but getting kids into school and getting them learning is such an important thing. Watching a child struggle with something and then giving them that last piece of the puzzle and seeing them finally get it, that penny drop moment is incredible. Learning is something that my life has been filled with.
Fun: I don’t just go to school and think we should make the children sit at their desks and be robots. No. Not for me. There’s an incredible bond that teachers have with their students. For some of our kids they will see us more than their parents, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, so we need to be all sorts to the kids. They need to be able to laugh with us. I think a strong rapport with your class can do so much for them. The hardest to reach kids can become kids that will talk to you if you build up that rapport. They need to see you as a person, who likes to laugh, who struggles sometimes, who laughs and carries on. You want your kids to come to school because they LOVE it, not just the learning but the environment. I do. I go to work every day because I LOVE it. I don’t love the threat of Ofsted looming over my head, the planning and marking… I do it because I love the kids I get to teach and the people I get to work with. Laughing and sharing of memories is so crucial. Teachers are people, show the kids that and they’ll appreciate it. They don’t want robots teaching them, just as much as we don’t want to teach robots.
Colleagues: I work with the most incredible, talented and inspiring group of people. The people I work with are constantly challenging me, I am constantly learning from them, constantly in awe of them. They’re an incredible bunch of people who are juggling their own lives with this incredibly difficult job that we have. We have a great relationship. I learn from them all the time, they make me laugh, they let me be me, they show me the teacher I am when I doubt myself. I’m very lucky to not only be a part of a community of supportive teachers in my own school but of a virtual portal of teachers too. The teaching community I get to be part of on Twitter and on Facebook (via Twinkl Facebook groups) is just staggering. Here are some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met and they’re willing to share their knowledge, their insight and their experience with people they don’t know in real life. I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without both groups of colleagues. They both inspire and challenge me.
Teachers are brilliantly robust people. They constantly strive to be better. They need to keep up with the times without losing sight of the importance of the past. They are reflective and quite tough on themselves. But teachers are the greatest bunch of people in the world. We unite for one reason mainly… to inspire and teach kids. We don’t do it for the short days, the holidays (yes, never say anything holiday related to teachers because they will kick your head off!) and the pay… we do it for the kids.
I love teaching. There is no other way about it. I am a self confessed teaching lover. If you are too then you’re clearly an awesome person. It’s not easy, but nothing easy was ever worth having.