So I'm finally on summer break, hooray! If you've only just finished for the summer too, I'd like to give you a virtual high five for making it through to the end of term! (If you're reading this any other time, high five for getting through another day!)
At the start of the holidays I often find myself reflecting on the year just finished. So here are my musings with a bit of an inspirational pick me up if you feel like you have had enough and need talking off the ledge!
It's tempting to throw in the towel and give it all up sometimes, but often we need to just have a little rest to recover and remember why we got into this profession in the first place. Teaching is not for everyone, but if you've made it past the 5 year mark, chances are you are good at what you do and love it (even if circumstances make it really hard sometimes). And if you've not met that mark yet, it might be worth sticking it out a little longer: circumstances might not always get easier, but you get so much better at managing them! So, if deep down you know you want to stick it out and continue working on the front line with the kids, then this might help you.
There are so many examples of this found in nature, and here are some of my favourites:
Whatever you are going through, know that as horrible as it might be, you need the struggle to build up the strength to bring out the best in you.
Here's a little story. My first school was so challenging, that behaviour management had to be my priority above actual teaching when I first started! After all, it's only once you have control of the class that you can actually teach them. Behaviour management isn't something they really train you well in at University; you need to learn it on the job and it can be HARD, especially in "rough" schools like the one I worked in. I'd be willing to bet this is one of the things that puts most new teachers off within the first few years of their career. But if you just keep going, keep struggling and keep learning, you will become that butterfly, that diamond, that beautiful lotus. Looking back on my career, those horrid, horrid experiences I had to struggle through have made behaviour management pretty much a breeze for me now - so much so, people actually come to me for advice!? I would never had dreamed I would come this far, but I'm so glad I kept going all those years - it really makes me ponder what else is ahead for me if I continue to push through my current struggles too...!
Some ideas for developing resourcefulness are as simple as finding new strategies. For example, check out my ideas on how to manage marking workload, the ultimate to do list method for teachers or how to organise your classroom with £1 products! You never know, you might find a system that saves you time and sanity and can then help teachers all over the world!
I've gone through a lot of struggles in my teaching career so far: from difficult students, difficult parents, colleague conflicts, paperwork overload, being micro-managed, difficult bosses, managing other staff, job interviews, curriculum changes, inspections and so on! But even though it's hard, I continue to overcome them and each one has developed something profound within me. So, if you're finding teaching hard and ever need a friendly chat or vent, my inbox is always open. Feel free to drop me an email at TeachersResourceForce@yahoo.com: I'm always here to listen and help if you need someone!
Have you ever come close to quitting teaching? What makes you hold on another day longer? Drop me a note in the comments below!