Sunday, 1 October 2017

Student to Teacher: Why Teach?

Everyone remembers at least one teacher from school. Whether they taught your favourite subject, or helped you conquer one that didn't come naturally to you, or supported you outside the classroom - were more than just a teacher - you remember them. 


4 year old Laura adored her Reception teacher. My childhood memory book states that when I am older, I would like to be a teacher and I love literacy; and if that fails, I'll probably work in the Post Office. Over my next 13 years of education, I met lots more teachers - good and bad - and I remember and am so thankful to a handful of them. The one who introduced me to drama, and became the focus of my extra-curricular life for at least 9 or 10 years. The one who came to my house when I was too ill to go to school, just to offer some support. The one who I may not have made it through my Maths GCSE without. The one who taught me how to channel all the things I wanted to say into Public Speaking and Debating. The ones who inspired my love of literature, and pushed me to read more, think more and write more. One day I hope to be one of those people. 

But that kind of idealism didn't seem like reason enough to teach.

So what was? A genuine interest in education: a belief in its it incredible value, what things are taught, how they're taught and how people learn. A fear for the education system, and wanting to try my best to give people the opportunity to have an education as rounded and engaging as my own. Feeling like you're doing something worthwhile. The opportunity to do something different every single day. To be challenged, by the variety, the system, the students. 

But with all that comes fear and uncertainty. You can't get away with having a slow day in the same way, there's a lot more that can go wrong, and you have a different kind of responsibility. Some people were unsurprised when I said I was going to go and teach - I can imagine you as a teacher and you'll be quite scary, they won't mess about with you. But others exacerbated the fear - they'll walk all over you, why would you do that to yourself, and my personal favourite, kids have guns now. And it's that kind of madness that you're getting yourself into, but that you hope will be rewarding, and satisfying, and that you'll help someone find their thing, or exceed their expectations, or really love something. 

3 weeks of university training down, I feel like I know why I want to teach and what kind of teacher I might want to be. But next week is when it all becomes real, when I go to school for the first time, and when I start to find out if I'm really cut out for this. I know why, but let's see if I know how... 
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31 comments

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