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.
Last week at work I was going about my normal day-to-day stuff when the Head of Centre where I teach casually said she would like a chat with me the following day. Not about anything special, just a catch up, as I was coming to the end of my three-month probation period of the full-time contract I had recently been given.
In our busy lives many of us throw our hands up when someone suggests we need to do something extra . . . another thing . . . something else to add to our already mile-long list, and maybe nowhere more so than in the area of self-care.
Collaboration in teaching is a huge topic at the moment. Have we considered what collaboration truly means?
Recently I was talking to a teacher who had just arrived from another state. He was sharing about his experience of his first day of casual teaching at a school in the area. Prior to the day, he was feeling a bit nervous about going into a new school community having never done relief teaching before, but coming from several years of having his own class.
I don’t consider myself old. I feel fit and healthy, with many productive working years still left in me and, according to recent statistics, the 50-65 age bracket should make up about 18% of the workforce. What is unusual is when I look around my school of over 100 teachers, I can count on one hand the number of classroom teachers who are over 50 and I am one of them.
Is it time we stopped to appreciate the qualities of our elder teachers - the wisdom that comes with age and experience? Have we stopped to observe the elders in our schools and communities and noticed the particular quality of their relationships with students and colleagues – a quality that elders innately have that inspires a deeper, richer connection with everyone they interact with? People feel safe, supported, held and inspired by many of our elders and we know they can bring great transformation to situations through their lived wisdom.
Sometimes on the first day back, students can feel a little nervous. For my daughter there was excitement around beginning a new year and seeing her friends; however, she was also a little worried about what her new teacher may be like along with the students in her class.
As teachers, we prepare our classrooms and planning in a multitude of ways. We put effort, time and thought into how things need to be set up or adjusted for the students in our class. We do this naturally and with consideration for what is best for the children.
Our class feels like a pretty homely and inviting place to be and I appreciate the fact that I put importance on this and take the time to create this space for the children. I have found that through this care, the children are not only supported in their learning but mostly in feeling safe and comfortable to just be themselves.
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!