I have been teaching in one capacity or another for the past ten years. It was not something I grew up with a passion for. It is not something that I felt called to do. I fell into teaching. I didn’t mean to be a teacher. I didn’t actually particularly want to be a teacher to begin with. But like with any great love sometimes it chooses you, you don’t choose it.
I fell in love with teaching. I loved the fact that each day was different. That I learned as much each day as I taught. I got to use all of my skills and talents to inspire, motivate and instruct. I got to have fun. I could create, design, invent and all the time broadening horizons and bursting wide opportunities for my students.
I loved the fact that each day I woke up happy to work. I looked forward to going in and seeing those little faces and I could sleep at night knowing I was making a difference. I know that sounds cheesy, but teachers certainly don’t love the job for the pay or the thanks!
This year has been the first year that I have begun to drag myself out of bed. I’m angry about my work. I have come home feeling deflated, confused and anxious. The New Curriculum has meant I have had to push children even further than before to reach evermore seemingly unobtainable objectives. The goal posts have moved and moved again. My teaching has become increasingly test driven, test orientated, and the creative and balanced curriculum I once thrived upon has been squeezed and squished into the corners of the term. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about other ways to get SPAG objectives into lessons. I wake up worrying that I am crushing spirits and creating robots.
I have moaned. I have complained. I considered quitting- on several occasion. But what else could I do? What else would I want to do? What I want to do is feel like I’m inspiring my pupils. Building their confidence and watching their talents grow. Helping them discover the amazing qualities that make them unique. I want to reflect upon each day and think that I have done my best, been the best teacher that I can be. I want to Love it again!!!
It’s the end of half term and I have read article after article of teacher rants, Union complaints, group chat tirades about the assessment system this year and the lunacy of the New Curriculum. I could join the debate, I could fuel the debate or I can accept that ultimately I have little power to change the process, change the tests, change the curriculum. However, I can change my attitude. I can refocus on the children, not the tests. I can look to squeeze creativity, wonder and fun into each day and focus on our successes and our dramas. The children’s stories.
Too many teachers, great teachers, are completely fed up. We need to look again. I hope with this blog I will learn to Love the job I never wanted to do, but never want to leave.