What Teaching Is Really Like… (according to me)!

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Well, in my first half term of teaching in a London Primary School, I can honestly say that it is completely exhausting. I do enjoy the job and I love the ‘banter’ and fun that I have with the children – i.e. watching Horrid Henry, or trying to explain about WWII and explaining that we won (haha!), but it is just so time consuming and the paperwork that is needed is insane. I had a little bit of ‘moment’ today and just felt completely overwhelmed. I honestly don’t know how there are teachers out there who have been teaching for 40+ years. I can’t even comprehend thinking about doing that.

When did I decide to become a teacher?

While I was doing an art diploma, I decided that I wanted to go into children’s art therapy and seeing how drawing and communicating through art helps children who are maybe going through something they shouldn’t be or are just generally distressed or struggling with something. However, when I went to my career’s person at college, I was warned about the incredible difficult side of the job and advised to think long and hard abut whether I could let a child go back to a horrid situation because they didn’t know any different and the process had to be approached in the right way. I didn’t. So, I got my thinking hat on and decided that teaching would be a better way to help all children, regardless of their background or what they had going on in their personal lives. School would be their chance to get away from all of that and that would be my way of helping.

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So, would I do it all over again if I were just applying for Universities?

Yes! As I have said I do love the job. I think it’s just the difference between placements, where your a student and get to do some of the fun things and then where you’re the teacher and there are a million and one form to fill out of who got what Learning Objective and assessment sheets and marking and re-assessing and planning and going to courses and observing other teachers in your school and doing assemblies and printing off worksheets and making worksheets for that matter. The list is endless.

What do I think the worst bit of teaching is so far?

I think that the worse bit (without mentioning the amount of paperwork again) is the fact that everything seems to revolve around how much marking/planning etc. you have to get done. I have never had to put anything before what I want to do, and that feels a bit weird, you know? I tend to work through until really late on a Friday so that I can have the Saturday off from School stuff and then Sundays are planning. Logically, I only have one day off a week from all things ‘school’.

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What do I think is the best bit of teaching so far?

I love telling the children something completely random about one of our topics and really grabbing their attention. Sometimes, you can see them genuinely sitting there thinking and imagining whatever it is that you have said. That’s pretty cool. I also love the feeling of working together with people that you can get along with and have a chat and generally smile at work with. I could never, ever, ever be one of those cubicle office people who only talks to people on the phone and doesn’t even know the girl sitting next to her is called Katie. I find that weird. Lol.

Describe teaching in three words.

Demanding – I go home shattered every, single day.

Unique – There are never two days the same and I think that’s pretty interesting.

Progressive – For me and the children in my class.

Am I looking forward to the break?

Erm, yeah! I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty shattered and exhausted and I feel like my mind never, ever switches off from school. It’s pretty annoying really.

So, there we are. I did it. My first half term ever as a qualified teacher; DONE!

Peace and love, Polly May xx

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