Some of you may know that I’m a Primary teacher but it’s not something I’ve really talked about too much on my blog. I guess I’m always pretty cautious about what I write related to my job but I’m hoping to feature more posts about teaching, tips and also those times you just feel the need to scream because a child has said your name for the 9448404845859 time in the past fifteen minutes. You feel me right fellow teachers?
Before I get into sharing some of my teaching ideas, I wanted to share a little about my career so far and how I ended up half way across the world, teaching in Beijing.
As a student, I remember the first time I stood in front of a class as a first year student at uni, literally shaking with fear! You have no idea how scary being faced with 30 6 year olds can be! But with the support of an amazing class teacher, I soon became to love it. Not only did I love it, I became pretty ok at it. Little did I know back then, that as a first year student, I had absolutely no frickin’ idea of the other hundreds of things teachers face every day.
I’d love to say that I sailed through uni, with each placement going as well as my first, but unfortunately, I didn’t. My second teaching placement was one of the toughest! I was placed in a class with the biggest bitch in bitch land and she took pleasure in destroying me. Looking back now, I wish I had told her to f*ck herself, because looking back I now realise that I was a better teacher than her, even then. But as a student, I was nervous, worried, lacking confidence and she convinced me that I would never achieve my goal. Yep, you see, the biggest bitch!
Four year later, graduating slightly later than my friends thanks to the bitchface, I became an official, legit teacher. As a 21 year old, I remember thinking who the hell would ever let me loose on a class of children? But they did and I loved it.
After working supply for a few years because it was so damn hard to get a job in my local area, I decided to look further afield. And by further afield, I mean Qatar. Living in Qatar was such an experience, and came with a lot of good as well as a lot of bad, but at that stage of my career, I just wanted to be back in the UK, teaching to the standards I was used to.
I got a job at a school in an incredibly under-privileged part of town, which hard. It was so fucking hard! Every single day was amazing but also broke my heart. I adored the kids I taught and I felt that I was making a different more than anywhere else I’ve worked. I learnt so much and even now, I still think about some of those amazing little kids that I taught, some of them that only had us as a role-model for them. It was hard, exhausting, heart-breaking and constant, but I know I made a difference in those kid’s lives, the same as they did in mine.
Fast-forward a few years, those feet started a-itching and I applied for international jobs again. The first job I was interviewed for was a school in Beijing. I got the phone call for the interview one day earlier as they hadn’t been able to get in touch with me. Train tickets were insane so I travelled on the overnight bus, planning to head to my bestie’s house for a shower. But my bus got in late! So instead I rocked up to the interview in a posh hotel with my hair plastered to my head and feeling like a big greasy mess. The guy who interviewed me was amazing though, instantly putting me at ease and selling the school to me so well. And so, three years later, here I am teaching at a school in Beijing where I have progressed to Head of Year and then Head of Department.
My journey into teaching was a long, hard one but I’m so glad I stuck it out. Not only have I taught some of the most amazing children, but I genuinely believe I have made a positive difference, and that is why I chose teaching as my career.
What are your career goals? Are you working towards them or have you achieved them? Let me know in the comments – I love a good inspirational story.