Let’s face it teaching is hard. Harder than we all thought when we were young, wrinkle and grey hair free students. The hours are long; the pressure is intense and let’s face it – that to do list never ends. I am sure I am not the only teacher who has doubts. Doubts about the job and the sacrifices that sometimes have to be made or doubts about their effectiveness in the classroom. The confidence crisis is probably the hardest to crack. Breaking that mind-set cycle is tough – I know. And if I am honest, it never goes away. There is always going to be a lesson that doesn’t go to plan, or a concept that just doesn’t seem to stick.
I wrote this post quite a while ago for @staffrm and it came to me as a lay awake thinking about my class, SATs, marking, leadership stuff that needs doing. All the usual stuff that keeps us awake with that back to school anxiety. So I thought I would give it a read…and do you know what? It helped.
Sometimes we just need to stop, take time, think, revaluate and most importantly…breathe.
So why teach? I will tell you why!
On Wednesday we had a really interesting staff meeting. I don’t mean interesting in the sense of ‘wow’, I mean different and it had made me think. We talked about why we worked at the school we do. Why we come to work each day and what it is that keeps us going.
So why do I teach? We often hear the negatives around teaching; it’s hard, the hours are long, the workload is never ending, it’s exhausting and sometimes it drives you to tears. But there are so many reasons why it’s a brilliant job.
- You make difference.
Each day you make a difference to the children’s lives. In some cases as a teacher you are the only safe constant that a child might have in their lives. You open doors for the children and equip them with the tools they will need when they go out into the big wide world as adults.
- Every day is different.
When you are managing 30 small people in a classroom, all of whom have their own agendas, own issues and own personalities it’s a balancing act. Just because Alex was fine yesterday doesn’t mean he will be tomorrow. Teaching different things each day also keeps you on your toes.
- Children say the funniest things.
In my 11 years (it’s more than this now) of teaching I have heard some corkers. Including the Titanic sinking due to hitting an ice bird (not a typo).
- It challenges you.
As mentioned earlier the balancing act of managing 30 small people in order to create a harmonious productive learning environment is a massive challenge in itself. Then there is trying to make the incredibly dull sound like the most exciting thing since Minecraft!
- You never stop learning
You constantly reflect and evaluate on your own practice. You research and talk with other teachers all in the name of being the best you can in order to make the difference for those 30 little people that appear in your room each day.
- You build long lasting relationships.
I have been at my school for 11 years. I have taught many children and in many cases children from the same family. I have established strong relationships with these families; they come and see me and ask after my little boy. Ex pupils who are now 18 and 19 come back and see me and when they take the time to do that I know that I made that difference.
And that’s why I am proud to be a teacher!