“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

It’s hard to imagine that teaching would be anything but fun. You’re around children with endless imaginations all day. Naivety leads to hilarity and you learn how to ‘whip’ and ‘nae nae’. Unfortunately, all is not as it seems from the outside. The inside of teaching is very VERY different.

The classroom isn’t the problem, neither is the class. No, your class are amazing and being a part of their growth and development is a privilege. The tiniest shred of progress can leave you clapping for joy, proudness can sometimes overwhelm you. You can laugh so much with the children that your belly literally hurts, just like you laughed when you were a kid (not many people can say their job gives them the opportunity to have that). You recycle the same old jokes from when you were a kid and everyone is laughing along. You’re filling heads with wonder and amazement, trying to be interactive and fun without letting the children know their actually learning.

Except outside of the classroom it’s piles of papers, meetings, marking, next steps, planning, resource making, filling out data, report writing, more meetings…until you’re taking work home and spilling paperwork into the next day, week, year. The to-do list is endless and the passion begins to fade. Teachers are under too much strain, from parents, from senior leaders, from the government, from their teams and from themselves! There’s so many rules, so many ‘don’t do this’ and ‘definitely do NOT do that’. Why do we all have to be ‘they’re all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same’?

With so much negativity around teaching, it is difficult to remember the reasons why teaching is the best profession…so here are ten reason why it is amazing.

  1. The children – it’s cliche, but it’s true. The children all have different characters and are all capable of different amazing things. They make us laugh, they make us cry and they make us proud day in, day out.
  2. The challenge – because each child is different it brings about different challenges, we strive to make ourselves better and act as rubber so we can mould ourselves to make the curriculum accessible to every child. We continually build, train and expand our knowledge so that we can be better and we can be the best for the children. And some children…well…they’re more tricky than others.
  3. Every day is different, each day brings something new.
  4. Building strong relationships with your children and getting to know them as individuals. Realising that these little brains are magnificent and they will one day flourish into amazing people.
  5. Knowing you were apart of their growth. They may not always remember you, you may not be their favourite – but for that little, short while, you were a part of helping them grow and change and you helped set those foundations.
  6. Those lightbulb moments, that moment when a child who was struggling (or an entire class) … simply…just click…BING. They understand it. You get to see the way their faces light up. That is a feeling you could not buy.
  7. The ridiculous things children say. You go home laughing and share stories with your friends who are in stitches because children are genuinely the most hilarious creatures on earth.
  8. The hundred of drawings you get given that were drawn just for you. You plaster your desk in them because each one is a treasured memory and the children want to give something back, not because you asked but because they WANTED to.
  9. When children identify your classroom as a safe place. They aren’t afraid to take risks and challenge themselves. When they need help, they know they can come to you. You created that environment!
  10. Seeing children begin to help each other. It could be helping a friend answer a question, giving them encouragement or a hug in the playground. Either way, it’s the cutest thing ever and it melts the heart. Even thinking about it makes me smile.

It’s important to remember these things so we don’t get disheartened and we don’t give up. So what about you – what’s the best thing about your job?

https://www.youtube.com/user/misspenguinz

“How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Dear Alice, 

As an adopted child I find it very strange when people ask me ‘what’s it like to be adopted?’ – the truth is, I don’t know how it is any different to anything else, I’ve never known anything else, neither do I desire to because I have a pretty fantastic family and a wonderful life. I might still be finding myself, but who isn’t? I only mention this because one of the most peculiar situations presented itself to me very recently. My employer asked me about my adoption, about my life, about foster care – something I am very open with. It is my life story, like anyone else’s, it is normal. It doesn’t make me any different to you. When posed with the question of why I was adopted I told the truth, I have no shame, I did nothing wrong, my parents were unable to look after me, there was abuse, it was no place for children. What surprised me the most was the reaction, my employer…cried. Hugged me and cried. At first I was a little bemused, ‘I’m okay’ I reassured her, ‘look at me now’ ‘it made me who I am today’ – and then I took a step back and realized, it isn’t just about me! It isn’t just about one child who had a troubled start to life and finally found a forever home, it was about every single child out there who is going without, who cannot escape, who cannot see hope. She was crying for each child that is still stuck, neglected, lost.

As someone who voluntarily mentors a child in care, and someone who has been in care, I am immersed in the knowledge. I’ve had social workers, I’ve worked WITH social workers, I’ve been in care, and seen people in care…but others, they haven’t, they aren’t used to this, it is a shock to the system. It is different, it is scary, it is sad. It’s all new, something people know but choose not to acknowledge in their everyday lives. 

That’s why I chose to share my stories when people ask,for all those people that asked me how my adoptive mum could in anyway be my REAL mother (something I find deeply offensive, OF COURSE she is my REAL mother, maybe not biologically but in EVERY other sense of the word), to every child in care that has asked me if things can change. I want people to know. I want people to understand. 

My life is no different from yours. 

I was just chosen by my mum. 

And I like it that way. 

Love

Sx

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where –” “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

Dear Alice,

As a nanny I spend my time with very young children, children who are not yet aware of the self, children with no concept of what is to come in life. It is refreshing and uplifting to see them  amazed by the slightest thing, mesmerized by so many things we adults take for granted. The inability for them to over think every action they take, everything is so easy. I wish I could go back to a simpler time like that. I wish we all had that innocence within us.

I actually did a Law Degree and decided that my passion lay in teaching primary school children, I feel so enlightened when I spend time with kids. I start to believe anything is possible, that we could all learn from the way they interact, the way they love, the way they learn. Everything is new, everything is an experience! It’s something about the way they stumble through the beginning of life not concerned with what anyone else thinks, with such confidence and grace, with such belief in themselves. It’s truly amazing. And I cannot wait to start my teacher training in September!

Sx