Since I was about six years old I have wanted to be a teacher, I loved to play teachers when I was wee and would make all my teddies sit through endless hours of lessons! Now that the school term has officially started I am starting to feel like I am on maternity leave. It has made me realise all the things I appreciate as a teacher on a day-to-day basis. Here are some of the joys I find in teaching.
Working with Children
I get to work with children day in day out, for a lot of my friends this may seem like the strangest concept on the planet however I love working with little growing people who are enthused about life and want to learn. I love the innocence of children and sheer fearlessness, they will willingly go on any adventure you put forward to them no matter how crazy a ‘grown up’ may think it may be. I have learnt more from my children than I have from any book or website I have ever used. Incidently any group of children you ever teach will always be known as ‘my children’.
The Support Network
In my opinion I work with the best people, I have fantastic like-minded colleagues, management and support staff who I get along with and who are there personally and professionally as an invaluable support network. I also love working with and supporting others. I love to share knowledge, be it with children or adults alike and have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring newly qualified teachers and students. I like sharing and evaluating my own practice and I also like to gain fresh perspectives and ideas.
Variety, Flexibility and Adaptability
I can go to work one day and we will learn about Castles, fractions, commas and French all in the one day, the next day it can be as diverse a spread of topics and activities. You follow what the children are interested in and often reach a destination far from what you expected when you started. Children have fantastic imaginations and ideas and there is often no telling where the learning might venture on any given day, yes you plan meticulously and follow structure and lesson plans but often a true joy of teaching is when a child has an idea which you can follow and rearrange everything you planned just to go with their idea. In my opinion children learn when they are interested in the topic, what better way than for to take little detours and follow what they’re interested in along the way. In the same sense you are never stuck in the one place, you can teach in so many places from classrooms, to gym halls, to the great outdoors and beyond!
Making a Difference
Another fantastic aspect of teaching is seeing children make progress academically, socially, physically and emotionally. Nothing beats the feeling when you see the moment where a child clicks and suddenly all the painstaking work on the same concept or idea is worth it. Or when you have been teaching a series of discrete topics or ideas and a child has that lightbulb moment where it all connects and everything becomes clear. It makes it worthwhile when you know at the end of the day you have made a difference. Often you need to take the little victories as so many times my children have run out to parents to tell them about the favourite part of their day- lunch time!
I love to learn, I always have and always will. From the moment I could read I, like Matilda devoured books. What better job could there be that requires continual learning and development for someone who loves learning and sharing what they have learned.
A school has its very own community and a unique buzz, I love people and love community spirit. A school is a wonderful place with a diverse range of children and adults. I love all the extra things that happen in a school, chatting with parents both informally and formally, going on trips in the local community, working with other professionals, pupil groups and clubs, whole school assemblies, parties, fairs, concerts, shows and simply walking around the school and chatting with children and adults.
It sounds a bit mad, and well it is, but I love to organise. I love setting up a new classroom with labels for all the children on everything, with nice functional areas, it’s one of my favourite things about teaching, new beginnings. I also love making things for lessons and for the classroom. My husband never seems to blink now when I say things like I need 30 pebbles, some string and a wooden spoon for work tomorrow, on so many occasions my husband has tried to throw something out and I have intervened and said ‘I could use it in my class’ hence the many many boxes of very random things I now own!
Teaching in my opinion is far more than a job, it’s a way of life and it’s definitely part of what makes me more than just a mum!