This “Anything BUT….” story is inspired by my own family.
We have teachers all through our family. I was determined to be different but after getting a degree and mucking around for a while I went back to uni and did my Dip Ed and started teaching at Tuart Hill High School.
The first year was a dreadful shock
It should be illegal to give a first year out teacher a class of 28 tough year 10 boys!!! Each one was a challenge and as a pack they were a nightmare.
I worked so hard. The only time I would have off was Friday night. I would go out with teachers after school and we would talk about work and the wise, experienced teachers would give me advice. I’d do preparation and marking all day Saturday and Sunday and on every other night of the week. I walked, talked, and dreamed about teaching…. and I cried a lot.
I taught for 5 years around Western Australia before going on maternity leave. I can remember the first morning I woke up NOT having dreamed and worried about lessons or some kid.
After having my daughters I moved from teaching to TAFE and to the public service generally and none of those jobs were as tough as teaching.
The memory softened. I eventually went back to teaching in the Northern Territory and there it was again. Hours of worrying, preparation and marking.
The stress was way more than any other job I have ever done.
My kids grew up with me saying “Anything BUT teaching” and all three of them are teachers!
And they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.
They love the kids, they love the subjects they teach, they love making a difference and feeling as if the work they do is worthwhile.
A friend I did the Dip Ed with recently said to me that she was so happy she chose teaching. She feels as if her whole career has been worthwhile.
So there you go. I think teaching is a tough gig but it is important work, you can make a difference and great teachers change lives.
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(VERY remote West Australian school)
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