A little known fact, about me, is that when I first left school, I went to teacher training college. I did the first year, at a London university, halfway through which, my mother died, and at the end of the year, I left the course. Partly because I was devastated and not coping with her death, and couldn’t manage the demands of a university course, and partly because, despite having loved helping out as a classroom assistant in my final year at school, in a local primary school near where I was also at school, I actually realised that teaching was not for me. I don’t know if it was because I am too independent, like my own space, and felt like I was stuck in the system. So I decided that I would take a year out, I found a nanny job with a lovely family, who I am still in contact with, almost 18 years later, and then eventually moved on to do what I had secretly always wanted to do, which was nursing.
Anyway, I digress. I have started helping in Big Girl’s class at school, one afternoon a week. Mainly, because I feel I want to contribute and help, and also because of being so busy, I have been careful to avoid being involved (sucked in, ahem) to the whole PTA thing. This way, I am helping at school, but under my own steam and it’s great fun. I am helping teach basic computing skills at the moment (the teacher says I am not allowed to let them start their own blogs and join Twitter ) and I also do any jobs she wants, like craft work (yes, I know, don’t laugh) or listening to the children read. Big Girl thinks it’s great, to have me there, and the other children call me “Emily’s Mummy” or “Miss” which I find hilarious. It’s a real eye opener seeing the kids in a class environment, and I remember those days of long ago, when I was supposed to be in charge, as I watch the teacher communicate, help, support, discipline (it is needed, in a class 30 lively children, occasionally) and teach. Teaching takes a serious sense of humour, a lot of patience, something I am definitely short on, and an ability to multi task and communicate. There is so much work to do, and a lot of paperwork and planning (another thing I remember) involved all the time.
I am loving it, but I am once again reminded of how awesome most teachers are (of course, there are the not so awesome ones, like in any job or situation) and how hard they work, and the pressure they are under from our government, and also from us, as parents, to perform, teach the children and achieve tasks and targets. Its a tough job. I know now, I was most definitely not made for it. Our system is not perfect, but to sign up for it, and contribute to it, and help grow and educate the next generation to me, is a challenging thing. I know some parents are not happy about the strikes that have been, and will be happening in the next few weeks, here in England, but having seen how hard the teachers at our school work, and having plenty of friends and family who teach, I get why some feel they have to question the things that are being changed, that might make their jobs harder, with no reward, that might change their financial security, that will make their job “performance related” and based on a set of targets put together by people in London who probably haven’t set foot in a school in their life since they left their own at 16 (I am looking at you Michael Gove!!) and I support them.. I am looking forward to helping more at school and working in the classroom, but also want to say a big thank you to all the teachers I know. It’s a hard job, often unappreciated and I think if more parents spent some time actually in the classroom, it would give them more perspective on what teachers actually do. Teaching is definitely not for the faint hearted, or for those who don’t like children! I still have fond memories of some of the teachers who impacted my life, and taught and support me.
Sharing this with Magic Moments, it’s not really magic but I wanted to share my feelings.
Have a lovely week! Don’t forget to click on the link button to read more Magic Moments over at The Oliver’s Mad House