I’m a teacher. High School, ages 11-18. The hormone raging years (for me and the students!). After what took me seven years of study because I worked and studied (and maybe partied a little) at the same time, I began teaching in 2010.
My first contract was for three weeks as a music teacher. (I hadn’t even graduated and was being paid at level 3 pre-graduate). I took over because the teacher had left on stress leave. I took a casual approach to this role in the low socio-economic school. I watched the Lion King with each of my five year 7 classes and we learned how music depicts the characteristics and moods of characters in theatre and movies. I filmed a snippet of my year 10 kids each playing their designated instruments, compiled it in to a video, edited it and showed them for encouragement. I later had this video played at the funeral of one of my students who killed himself. I was truly glad I spent the extra time making the film for my students.
I was overseas teaching then, in Bali, on behalf of the Australian Government. I trained teachers how to use resources we made together and presented them in local, independent and international schools all around the island of Bali. But much like the many roles I had played teaching before this, in careers, learning support and literacy, music and English, all was only short-term, and none of it counts towards my teaching experience now in 2017. For that experience, is either not acknowledge, or is over 5 years ago.
So what are my teaching subjects? Can you guess?
Actually no, they are not music and careers – they are Indonesian language and History.
This year, I was finally lucky enough to score a one-year contract, full-time, within my teaching subjects – Indonesian and History. (Of course, that means I teach Geography half the time).
It must have looked like teaching had been pretty easy to others; for, I didn’t complain too much, I just have always taken on board what I’ve been given, lucky enough to have the opportunity, I guess.
This year however, in my full time role, I was forced to start again. This meant creating all new resource material and planning units and lessons, scope and sequence and literally fabricating teaching resources from craft supplies! I decided that I would take a snippet of written documentary, so I could look back and see the hours put in. A diary! It showed me a lot about myself and how I work as a teacher.
It is important to consider that every teacher battles with something.
A new teacher battles with getting to know a new school, new kids, new teachers, a new boss, a new environment, even new buildings and of course, a new canteen menu! An-almost retired teacher battles with keeping up with new phrases spoken by the kids, the department, the teachers, along with the paperwork, studies and papers, new approaches and new and digital ways to complete forms, or order their lunch! Either way, the job is continuously demanding. We are the product of Darwin’s theory of evolution. We must adapt to survive.
Below I have included an image of the document I made. Hopefully it will kill those thoughts that teachers work 9-3, that we don’t care, and that we get eleven weeks of holidays per year. I always say, we don’t get that many weeks of holidays – we just get to choose our own hours for eleven weeks a year. Maybe four of those weeks could spent relaxing, just like everyone else. But that luggage case we take home is not packed with souvenirs for family, rather, with resources for our students!