Wednesday, 28 April 2010

To teach or not to teach...

that is the question! And one that I don't really have the answer to at the minute. All the way through college and university, teaching was the only career I ever had in mind. I did work experience in schools and loved it and I couldn't wait to be qualified and have a class of my own. Although I had some tough days once I started my postgrad course, I was still committed to a career in teaching and couldn't wait to make my dreams a reality once I graduated. And then things started to change...

I couldn't find a job. So I started supply work...there were some good days, but it wasn't really what I wanted to be doing and I was over the moon when I got a long term job after doing supply for nearly a year! Surely this was my moment, I'd have a class of my own and experience all that I'd gone into teaching for. But sadly, it didn't happen quite like that. I'm not sure why...I know that I struggled with behaviour management, I often found it hard to be positive and there were times when I felt that this was SO not for me. But on good days, it was the best job in the world...I came away feeling positive, uplifted and overawed by the children. Although it has to be said that those days weren't the most common occurrence! Then my contract ended and it was back on supply.

At first I didn't mind, I was grateful for the early finishes, the prospect of random days off and the fact that I could walk away from a horrendous class knowing that I'd never have to go back there again. But now, 4 terms down the line, I'm tired. Tired of doing supply knowing that the majority of classes will try it on to some extent. Tired of making the same mistakes over and over again...I actually feel that I'm becoming deskilled and that I'm less capable now than I was when I graduated nearly 3 years ago. Tired of getting up to wait for a morning call that might not come (and that I don't really want!). Tired of not enjoying my job most of the time. Tired of not getting that elusive long term teaching post, even if I'm not entirely sure that's what I want!

So now I've reached crisis point. Due to the stupid law in the UK, which I blogged about back in September last year, I have until the start of the new school year to get a job where I can finish my NQT induction; for me that will be a job that lasts for at least 2 terms. If I can't get that job by September, I can't do any more supply teaching. And I have absolutely no idea what I'd do then. Get a permanent teaching assistant's post? Do supply TA work? Get a job in a completely different sector? I haven't got a clue! Because despite all my indecision about teaching at the minute, it's the only thing I ever wanted to do. If I didn't teach, I don't know what I'd do. And if I get one of the long term posts I'm applying for? Well, the indecision would still be there. My dream scenario would be that I'd love my job and I'd be filled with renewed enthusiasm for teaching, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. I can't decide if I dislike my job because I feel terrible at it at the moment or because it's just not for me. If it's the former, then hopefully I'd develop my skills whilst working, and so feel better about both my ability to teach and the job itself. If it's the latter, then to put it bluntly, I'm screwed! But at least then I'd know, I suppose, and I'd be able to get a new job/retrain whilst I was still relatively young.

I just need a sign from somewhere! I was looking at my postgrad observation reports last night and they were good...they must prove I can teach, mustn't they? So why do I feel so useless now? Surely nearly 3 years experience should make me a better teacher! But anyway... I'm going to stop typing now before I feel any worse. Tomorrow's a new day (and I'm teaching) so I suppose now's the time to breathe, regroup and get into an upbeat frame of mind for a busy day in the classroom! Positive and in-control vibes (as I'm aiming to be firmer than firm from now on!) would be most appreciated!!

1 comment:

  1. Ugh... that sounds rough. All I can say is... keep the faith! I think all young teachers struggle a little with discipline - it's not that long ago that we were desperate to be liked by classes like these.
    And I know this won't be your ideal - but I LOVED being a TA. Can you do that and then go back on the supply list?