How does your UK Teaching job today, compare to when you started out in the Profession?
When I started off teaching, I was quite young and energetic, my senior colleagues told me that it will get easier as the years rolled by, this is my 15th year in the profession and I must confess that some things got easier like planning lessons and lesson notes but the daily grind and hustle of being a teacher really didn’t ease itself out.
Starting any new job or profession is usually difficult, when I started, I had to compile my lesson note and projects, but at the 15th year, I have a solid compilation of lesson notes and projects that can teach different grades of student, the procedure and teaching is something that I do unknowingly, it was like someone who just started driving a manual transmission vehicle and has challenges in shifting gears and knowing at what point to negotiate turns, yet over time is able to efficiently drive the car instinctively with ease.
Emotionally, I can still feel drained of energy when I step out of the classroom, I thought that this will get better and it has, but only to some degree. Dedication to your pupils or students is a personal decision, it is not something that age in the profession can determine, however as a dedicated teacher, I have become more committed to my students and that made me more responsive both positively and negatively. I tend to be disappointed and frustrated when student misbehave and I’ve learned to manage this more effectively overtime, conversely, I become extra motivated when my efforts are appreciated and I see the student benefit from the lessons. I have become hardened at what parents, senior teachers and students say to me and can engage at these levels with ease.
One thing is that when I was a young teacher, the veteran teachers told me that I will be able to put everything in perspective, and sure they were right.
So these aspects of teaching got remarkably easier:
- Planning Lessons and lesson notes
- Structuring the classroom
- Self-confidence while making choices
- Accepting your mistakes publicly
- Admitting failure and outlining to other where I failed
- Patience while correcting mistakes
- Reflection and recollection
- Readiness to Apologise
The truth is that as the years roll by, you will learn that you cannot know it all, you will appreciate gifted kids and understand the needs and challenges that other students may face, you will learn with your students and colleagues and you will understand that every day in the profession is a chance to start afresh to learn a new thing.
Certain things that didn’t get easier no matter how I tried were:
- How I took defeats
- The energy drain, even though I learned a couple of things like taking a walk and resting more often to recharge myself.
Being a teacher is like an artist performing on stage every day, unlike artists, on the teaching stage people get to see your flaws and your weakness more often. As such, we are aware of ourselves and try to be role models to our students and colleagues because long after a student graduates to higher classes, every teacher’s memory remains evergreen in their hearts. So in summary, teaching gets better with time.
Comment below, outlining your experience. What has gotten better for you, what has stayed the same, what has become more challenging? Your comments will help other Teachers in the UK to develop their skills.