Teaching is a demanding job – who knew! Ask any teacher and they will (most likely) tell you that it is an endurance race from day one of term until the last day of the last week. Of course, teaching is a vocation. We don’t chose the profession unless there is a draw card. For some this comes in the form of passion, work hours, holiday or the flexibility given by the school.
Teaching for me is all to do with passion. I cannot see myself in another job – I’m quite lucky to be doing something I love. However teaching is taxing and as a first year teacher my vocabulary does not exist of the word ‘no’. I see balance as a non-existent concept and I love the idea of forever moving and working towards a better state of affairs. I guess for me, I have this innate sense that without my input the world would fall into pieces – which isn’t true, for the record. I’ve always said that I’m most certainly secure with who I am however this doesn’t discount the ability to continue to learn about myself and others.
Over the past 3 terms it is fair to say that I have been very instrumental in saying ‘yes’! This however has been to my detriment. It has easily turned into a set of priorities that isn’t great. I will need to learn how to identify this within myself prior to the onset of an illness or break down.
I think it would be fair to say that the hardest part of my job is the most rewarding. After a week of teaching, duties, planning, meetings, reading, performing and collegial competitiveness (that ping pong showdown is intense) many teachers leave soon after the bell on a Friday ready for the weekend. For the music teachers, this is when choir is held and it is a perfect example of knowing your limits. It’s hard to turn around and go to that rehearsal but the girls are usually thrilled that they have earned choir after the long week. I must say when there is another event on that takes precedence I miss the rehearsal.
It only takes a few worrying times in the rehearsal to realise that the endurance part of teaching means knowing that we will last to the moment when we need. It is similar to knowing if you can make your trip with the petrol flashing empty or if you need to stop to fill up the tank. If you take the risk and fail, you’re in strive and you’ll need to ask for help from many people – chances are the situation is worse than if you’d stopped and taken the time to fill up the tank on your way.