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Monday, 17 March 2014

For the Love of Teaching

Education and teaching are going through a huge period of change. I know by its very nature education evolves constantly but over the last four years the changes have been fast and furious. Teachers it is reported in the press are leaving the profession in their droves, teachers workloads range from 50 to 60 hours a week, pay has been frozen whilst pension contributions and pensionable age have increased. Add into this the recent changes to the curriculum, assessment and Ofsted requirements and it is not a pretty picture at all.

I always believe that in times of crisis and negativity it is important to focus on positives. This is blog is my way of remembering what it is I love about teaching and why I always refer to teaching as my vocation:

  • Building relationships with my pupils - I always enter a new school year with a sense on anticipation, excitement and fear. Will the children like me? Will I like them? By October the answer to both of those questions has always been yes. No matter what  age they are I absolutely love getting to know the children in my care, finding out what makes them tick, what type of learner they are, what they like/dislike. Children spend approximately 5 to 7 hours a day with a teacher for almost 10 months having a good relationship makes the time spent together so much easier for all involved. To do that takes time, you need to reveal a bit about yourself as a person as well as a teacher but in the end it is all worth while.
  • That 'penny dropping' moment - Teaching a child something completely new is a real buzz, it is what it is all about, imparting knowledge, teaching a new skill. Along with re explaining something you know they have been taught before but didn't quite 'get' and literally watching 'the penny drop', pure magic!
  • Teaching Moments -  We all experience them, those 'magical moments' the times make you laugh out loud or the laughter you have to stifle. These moments don't come along every day but when they do they are worth the wait. They range from a child calling you 'Mum' loudly in front of the whole class to watching the pigs and cows in the infant nativity muddling up their lines and giggling uncontrollably on stage.
  • Shared Experiences - Throughout the year as a class we laugh together, cry together, we sing, we learn, we make mistakes and I always feel like we have been on a real learning journey together. My favourite parts of the week are Monday and Friday mornings because this is when we sing our Monday song 'Happy' by Pharell Williams and Friday song 'The Candy Man' by Sammy Davis Jr
  • Making a difference -  We have all taught those difficult to reach pupils, the ones that it can appear that everyone has given up on, they have become dis engaged from the whole learning experience. If I as a teacher can re engage just one of those pupils by reaching out to them then that makes my job worthwhile.
  • Every day is a learning journey - I am the teacher in my class, most of the time! Quite often I learn from my pupils, we learn and explore together. I am, especially when teaching a new topic, often only one or two steps ahead of my pupils and I love it. They I love it if I get something wrong and they 'catch me out' (often staged) but a great learning experience.
 This is by no means the full list, I know I could add more which is a good reminder to me and hopefully some of you why it is we teach.