To teach or not to teach…

I haven’t posted in a while. I’l blame this partially on the Kindle Fire and the fact I just don’t post as habit anyway. So, for the past year I’ve been getting my shit together and fighting like hell to get somewhere in life. This is now the beginning of those plans coming to fruition.

I am going to be a teacher.

I’ve ticked all the boxes, done all the interviews, passed all the tests (don’t even talk to me about numeracy…) and have won my way to the top. I have been given a place at university. Again. Yes I know, I should have done it the first time round but I think, to do what I want to do, to be the best at what I want to do and to do the best by the kids I want to teach, having this time to fight to train to be a teacher was the best and most rewarding (and yes, slightly difficult) thing I’ve yet done. I KNOW I want to do this. At 18, leaving college, everyone went to university and I just got carried along. I got spoon fed the process. I rehersed the lines. I passed the interview and looking back now, JESUS WAS THAT EASY OR WHAT!?

At almost twenty six I know this is what I want to do. I don’t regret life and the choices I made to get here as I’m pretty darn lucky and I’ve got a flipping awesome existance. I know now I had to do the things I’ve already done to push me in the direction I’m now going. At nearly twenty six I am mature enough to understand the absolute responsibility of the profession I’m heading towards; I know what it is to work, to fight and to fail. At 18, I probably would muck around all over again. At nearly twenty six, I know mucking around is just denial. Denial of growing up. I quite like being grown up, thank you very much.

The process of applying to become a teacher is clouded with many acronyms and long, intimidating, institutional phrases. If you want to do this, DO YOUR HOMEWORK and don’t be intimidated. Find out what the gloriously intricate acronyms mean and CUT THE CRAP. Figuratively speaking of course. There are many many lines of very very big words wrapped in jargon and policies… break the whole process into small words until you know exactly what you are saying. And don’t let anyone else make you feel like an idiot for doing so. They have either been doing this for years or they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about anyway. Be honest. Be prepared. Be yourself.

Does that make sense?

I’m getting all my books and papers and computer stuff sorted. There really is so much paperwork involved; folders and sticky labels are a must! And I’m in the process of organising my compulsory two week placement to commence September. Bit of a bugger really as I got my place offer though Clearing in July (when a candidate applies for a course in October for start date next September and after that doesn’t get the grades to get in the offer gets withdrawn and anyone who does have the grades gets the chance to take the spot) so the schools are out and this means there’s no one in for me to organise placement with until they get my letters/emails and get back… Hmm. Well, there’s only so much I can do on that front so I’m reading up on the materials on the uni’s suggested reading list. With a few well selected books of my own added to the mix.

I think you have to be ready for all of this. Mentally. Emotionally. You have to really want it. I have a friend who asked me how to get into teaching the other day who has, so far in our relationship, never expressed a desire to teach. EVER. She has just finished her degree and she hasn’t got her dream job. The one she thought would be there waiting for her when she finished uni. She’s now panicking as her career isn’t jet setting like she always thought it would.

My Dad always had the euphamism “If you can’t Do, Teach.” He said that about many of my highschool teachers who had been in other careers before teaching. They couldn’t make it in their first choice career so they turn to what they thought was the ‘easy’ option. Teaching in NEVER the easy option and you could see these particular teachers didn’t actually have a passion to teach.

I mention this now as I think there are many people like my friend as mentioned above. She panicks. She needs a stable career. She thinks ‘Oh, Kirsty’s doing teaching. That sounds stable.’ and voila! Decision made. People like the teachers at highschool with no passion are the ones that go home and curse the little blighters that made their lesson so difficult today. Teachers that have made the decision to teach because they enjoy children/young people’s minds and eductation and learning are the one’s who go home smiling when one kid finally understand the principal they had been struggling with for two weeks.

I’m not saying swapping careers is a ‘Can’t Do, Teach’ principle but I am saying there are passionate people who have a desire and a natural skill and there are others who don’t. It’s like cooking I guess, there are types- 1. enthusiasm and no skill whatsoever, 2. skill and absolutely no enthusiasm and rarely and happily 3. the ones who have the natural skill and the enthusiasm to pursue it. Here’s hoping I’m a number 3.

As one Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore once said-

‘Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young…’