"It's a good feeling to come away from a day's work feeling like you've achieved something. Tired brain is good."
-Attributed to Dominic Cooper
Welcome to the 2017 school year! I hope you are as excited for the year as I am and that whatever your context for this year, that you are hopeful for the year. This year I am teaching in a job share arrangement for three days per week which is also in a team teaching context with a colleague teacher. I spent some time thinking out loud about my goals for the year on the way to school yesterday.
I also rambled some early reflections on the way home yesterday over Periscope (safely mounted in a holder).
The class space, which used to be the library/librarians office/computer lab is starting to feel less like that and more like a class space which is fantastic. It is definitely still a work in progress, but I'm quite happy with it so far.
I hope your first few days back have been exciting and filled you with hope for a great year.
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
– Frodo Baggins, quoting Bilbo Baggins as written by J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, ch.3.
As this is my first blog post, it seems prudent to write about who I am, and why I have started this blog. I’m currently in my fourth and final year of a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) / Bachelor of Arts program at the University of Newcastle, and as part of that, am undertaking the Honours stream. I will be commencing my final fifty day professional experience placement (‘prac’) in during term three of the NSW school year in a stage three classroom.
Teaching for me was a career change, and at times, I have been able to relate to Bilbo when he described stepping out the door as being a dangerous business, except that for me, it was changing careers that was and is dangerous business. Like many people, I did not know what I wanted to do after I graduated from Year Twelve, and over the ensuing ten years worked in a variety of industries including different sectors of the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, and also within the electrical industry where I worked for a commercial and industrial firm. It was a good friend who was five years younger than myself graduating from university with a degree in Forensic Science, that made me realise that if I didn’t get over my fear of taking that first step into the unknown, that I would be stuck in a job and working environment that I had grown to dislike.
I had considered teaching for some time, but had been afraid to give up my reasonably-paying job for the ‘uni student lifestyle.’ I am something of a (completely unjustified) snob at heart. I took steps to change my situation, and the cards, metaphorically speaking, were exceedingly kind to me, and so began the journey of a lifetime.
In the ten years since high school, I had found myself numerous times, being responsible for either designing, teaching/training or a combination thereof, new systems, processes, skills, methods and structures for various aspects of some of the different occupations I had held and had quite enjoyed the role. I was also fortunate enough that during my own primary and secondary education I had some male teachers who were both excellent teachers and strong role models as men. As the eldest of four children, I had watched my siblings go through their own education, and realised that there was a dearth of strong male teachers in the education system. I put the two together, enjoying teaching roles I had taken on in the past, and the apparent lack of male teachers, and decided to enter the teaching profession.
Having family members and friends who are in the education system already, my eyes are wide open to the trials and tribulations that will come over the next forty-plus years of my teaching career, but it for those moments when you see a child’s eyes light up as they ‘get it’ that I have become a teacher. Out of everything that I’ve ever done, nothing comes close (so far) the feeling of satisfaction that ensues having witnessed that moment all the jigsaw pieces form a coherent picture for a child.
That’s a little bit about who I am. I daresay that more will come out over the course of my teaching journey as it is expressed through this blog, and I did say that I’d write about why I’ve started this blog. This has become somewhat wordy, so I will leave the ‘why’ for tomorrow.
Thanks for reading.
See here for the list of articles in this series.