I feel like the world has completely shifted since I wrote my first post. This time last week I was a knackered, apathetic teacher dreading the start of another term. This term is short, and it leads up to the dreaded Assessment Term- May was looming large on the horizon. Questions were buzzing round my brain, Maths equations for weeks ahead divided by pupils, divided by objectives, multiplied by lessons lead to numbers I’m pretty sure were never going to add up… and so it went on in a nauseating tea cup ride of Assessment, Expectations, Evidence, Moderation, Ofsted…. STOP!!
I began to search, without knowing what it was I was searching for. Another way, another career, another life. I came across a movement in America called #LoveTeaching. Suddenly I realised the problem: I had fallen out of love with teaching!!
Now don’t get me wrong, you might be sitting there thinking, well sure, it happens! Well, it shouldn’t! I teach in the most amazing school. I have been there since I was an NQT and watched it turn from a cosy and loving, albeit a slightly disoragnised and chaotic establishment into a hive of creative, supportive, nurturing and organised individuals working tirelessly to do the best for our wonderful children; exploring and sparkling together! In this environment no-one should be falling out of love with teaching!
Perhaps a career in teaching is like a Long marriage, there is the honeymoon period; the fresh doey eyed enthusiasm of the NQT. Full of Hope, new ideas and energy. Over time this mellows into a confident familairity of the more experienced teacher, now as I see this analogy through I am struck by the fact that perhaps what I was actually experiencing was the Seven year itch!! The change of curriculum and assessment have acted like a house move or bereavement, upsetting the equilibrium and forcing me to reassess. Perhaps I’ll go out and flirt with other schools, see what else it out there, what am I missing? Decide to pack it in all together and look at a different profession. No. If you want a long happy marriage then don’t look elsewhere. Look carefully at what you have got. Appreciate it, cherish it, find the joy in it. Change something, try something new, but do it together.
So thats what I have done. I changed my focus, I reassessed, I looked within. What was really important. What could I live with and not live without? I can live with the chopping and changing, the ridiculous expecations and pressures put on us and the children, as long as when I leave them at the end of the day they can say ‘Today has been a good day!’ When they look back on thier time with me in the years to come I want them to remember all the fun and interesting things that we learned, explored and discovered. I want them to remember me as crazy, happy, kind, patient, inspiring… but please not Boring!!!
I wish there was a tick list for Independence Skills, Resilience, Empathy, Kindness, Tolerance, Perseverance, Creativty, Problem Solving and Communication…. beacuse these are the skills that the children in my class are going to be leaving with.
For those of you struggling and feeling alone, be reassured. You are not. I have been staggered by the support I have recieved from other like minded professionals as I embarked upon this journey. We are not alone. There are others trying hard to remain positive, keep smiling and soldier on. So try not to dwell, get the paper work done, stop moaning in the staff room and make someone laugh. grab a cup of tea, give someone a hug and keep things in perspective. What is important to you? What can you live with? #OptimisticEd