As a breed, I have found that teachers on the whole are good whingers. I for one am one, my husband is and so is my best friend of over 20 years. Put us in a room together and we can moan with the best of them. We can lament about the ever piling admin, we can scrutinise decisions made by the government and we can happily get on our soap box about hours spent working. Yet between us we have over 30 years of teaching experience. At any point during those years we could have stopped, changed career, but why haven’t we?
I remember very vividly starting my first term as an NQT. Christmas seemed a wondrous, far away holiday. When the last day of term finally arrived, I like many other NQT’s felt a sense of achievement. We had survived. We had accomplished a term when at times the late night prepping, the constant battle with ‘that’ class and the never ending piles of marking never seemed to finish. Walking into the staff room that very last day I found on the table one tin of ‘quality street’ opened with a card from the then Head saying ‘ To all the staff, Merry Christmas, thank you for all your hard work, help yourself’. That was it. Whilst my non-teaching graduate friends were being introduced to the world of Christmas bonuses, lavish Christmas do’s and exuberant hampers to take home, I sat an ate my solitary ‘strawberry delight’.
That is when it hit me; teaching is like no other profession. If I had yearned for lavish displays of gratitude this was not the profession to be in. However, I stayed, I had got the bug. Teaching was like nothing else I had experienced, it was truly a ‘marmite’ profession. I never realised how one simple hour with one class could bring such an emotional rollercoaster of emotions. The thrill of the ride was and still is addictive. Ten years on, I now realise we have become so adept at moaning because we are so passionate about what we do. We are intrusted with surely the biggest reward; shaping the future of the next generation. The rewards of teaching are endless however the daily grind sometimes fogs what is truly the best job in the world.
Yet, by starting twitter, I have found there to be almost a ‘secret club of positivity’. A place where teachers have produced an online community where being proud of your profession, sharing ideas and being proactive in new educational research is sought after and praised. We are all proud as teachers of what we do, but Twitter has given us a place to sing about it.
So, thank you Twitter, for giving me a space to be proud of what I do and allowing me the place to share, discover and research.
Yours in anticipation of the future,
The Juggling Educator.