I have recently been reflecting on my experience of teaching this year. At the start of the year the job was quite challenging, and some days I would go into work feeling quite anxious and not sure what to expect. Many of the students we were working with had experienced different traumas in their lives, and at times their behaviours could be quite volatile. Classroom situations were tense and these behaviours often dominated the rooms. All of the staff were stretched and we were constantly trying to put out spot fires, but nothing was really changing.
Expectations about holidays
There is a lot of anticipation about the school holidays, which can start in the last few weeks of term when we are still at school. Often the conversation is about the countdown, ‘Only 5 more weeks to go…’
Learning has always come easy to me. I’ve been an avid reader since young, an accurate speller and although Maths wasn’t my forte, I enjoyed the process of working with numbers, the order and sense of achievement at working out a problem. This gave me a sense of confidence and that I was OK in life, because I could always cut the grade and be near the top of the class.
During my career as a teacher I have dedicated myself to the role and all of the requirements, projects, studies and never ending ‘to do’ lists that are part and parcel of the profession. I have given my all in every aspect of my role.
How often as teachers do we appreciate the amount of overtime we do? The endless hours of preparation and commitment we bring to our job without hesitation are all about what we want for the children we teach and the quality of care we choose to bring.
Many years ago I thought communication and expression were the same thing, just different words – a case of semantics. But today I know them to be amazing in their own right, and I have an appreciation of how each can support me as a teacher, the children I teach and the classroom space as a whole.
The Elephant in the Room - How speaking up and expressing opens the way for more honest and open relationships
Recently something has come up in my work, that hasn’t felt quite right to me. A directive has come through for a Professional Development Day that needs to be attended. The themes and topics for the workshops didn’t really ring true with what I was seeing and observing within the system I work in. There seemed to be a double standard and tinge of hypocrisy in what was going to be presented, compared with the way the system actually runs and the behaviour of seniors within the system.
Exhaustion has a funny way of masking itself over time that can often keep us on the treadmill of soldiering on, when we honestly feel like putting the brakes on and bringing work to a big halt.
Like many teachers, I have experienced exhaustion at different points of my teaching career.
Another term has just passed, with regular parent-teacher interviews completing the school term. In the past, time was offered to slot these interviews in during teaching time, but this term was not the case. I had to continue with my full-time teaching load and attend parent interviews for the two classes that I teach.
All around the world teachers are caring for, inspiring, nurturing and guiding children. These are our stories in our words in joy and appreciation of ALL that we bring!