We’ve all seen that video. If you haven’t then you will have seen many similar. An uplifting, happy reflection on why one should consider embarking on a career in teaching. I don’t normally pay them much attention but this particular one seemed to stand out. When I watched it, I felt a warm glow as the relationship and interaction shown felt close to how I feel. I understood it was an advert, but liked the added touches such as coffee rings on the marking being done at lunch time and changing midflow to try a new tactic when the children could not grasp the concept.
I then followed with interest the comments that spilled from it. He was going home with the children. Not taking marking home. Not enduring endless observations. I get that. I also get that it was an advert. You are not going to see an advert to be a surgeon showing that your patient may die on you or you will end up doing 24 hour shifts and napping on a sofa in your office. Jobs are hard. They come with massive highs and massive lows and all one can do is try and focus on the good and work collaboratively as a profession to change the bad.
I am going to focus on all the reasons why I love teaching because ultimately we will all experience those bad days that make us want to go home and sink our face in bowl of cheese. Focusing on the good is what helps remind us why we do this job, despite the lows that can hit all of us at any time.
Did I always want to be a teacher? Did I wake up as a small child and think this was my career path? Despite having teacher parents, suprisingly the answer is no. As a young child I actually wanted to ride BMX bikes or be a gymnast. The sport phobic in me now has to have a wry smile about that.
Sadly the dream of being a BMX hero soon passed and I developed a huge love for the environment and wanted to make a difference in that sector so embarked on a degree in Environmental Biology. This is me. Aged 21, just finished Uni and about to start an exciting career as an Air Emissions Technician. I was full of the glorious innocence youth has, thinking I would change the world.
Sadly, what I found was the adult world didn’t really want to change. I won’t go into details but some of my sparkle and optimism left and I soon realised this career was not sustainable. But my desire to make changes and make a difference did not waver.
It was at this point I looked closer to home. The impact my parents were making on the many children they had taught over the years, and I started to wonder whether all this passion to perform and feel full of life (like that little BMX champion want-to-be) and make changes and impact (as the innocent environmentalist wanted) could be achieved through teaching.
Fast forward to 2020. I am moving into my 15th year of teaching and I know this will make some people eye-roll, but I love it more now than I did all those years ago when I stood in front of my first class and squeaked good morning. Why do I love it?
- I love walking into my classroom and seeing happy smiles and warm hellos to greet me. I also love when I can make a child who doesn’t greet me with a happy smile feel safe and secure and know it is ok not to feel like smiling all the time and I am there to help them through that.
- I love being able to bring all my passion for reading, the Arts and science into the classroom. I am discovering new learning and knowledge daily and get such a wonderful, varied diet of knowledge it can’t but help to lift my soul.
- I love those magic moments where a light bulb flicks on and you can see them suddenly understand a concept and skill and fly with it.
- I love how my class becomes a team. Working together. Supporting each other. Including me. In December when I was so sad, they would come up and simply stroke my hand or slip little notes on my desk to cheer me up. Kids are great aren’t they?!
- I get to meet the most wonderful friends in teaching through attending conferences and events. Friends like no other. You know who you are.
- I get to have long, glorious holidays in the sun or the snow.
- I get to spend so much time with my own three dragons.
- The pay is enough for me to live comfortably when all around I know others are less fortunate.
- It has made me a strong, passionate person. Given me an outlet. No matter what struggles I am going through, when I walk into that classroom I am Miss Eccles. The teacher. Wanted. Needed. Loved.
10. Being a teacher simply completes me.