FoxyJonno laughedat me a while back and told me I had a vocation to escape from. I wasn’t so sure I agreed with him about calling my wanting to be a teacher a vocation, now I rather think it is. But can I do it? I love the teaching that they have so far allowed me (barely) to do. I love working with the SEN class that they let me trail; however, here comes the crux of the matter…do I want to be a teacher?

I’ve had five days off now, a working week, I’m halfway through my half term, I’ve had some time to think (something I’ve been missing sorely) and I guess thats kind of the point. I love teaching; I love the interaction with the pupils. But I hate not having a life when that part of it that is taking over is driving me nuts. I could happily work with the pupils all day, but I’m not required to do that, I’m required to work with them for part of the day and then spend the rest of my time writing assignments and all the rest of it, even the lesson plans only seem to take a few hours.

I miss my friends, this is (hopefully) going to be my last year in this country for a while so I’m grabbing every oppurtunity to see them. Yet when I do, I’m snappish, slightly tense and about ready to drop. I’ve become too focussed on things so much so that I’m missing people, I’m not only missing people I’m missing bits of my own head!

Now realistically would teaching be like this? Well yes you do have the paperwork; lesson plans and evaluations etc. Although Sweetie suggested that learning to teach is like learning to drive; you learn what you should be doing rather than what you’ll necessarily do, which is a fair comment. But even then I know what the paperwork levels are like, my Dad and Mum both come home with the mountains and usually have it done by tea time etc etc. So it wouldn’t take over my whole life anymore than any other job would. Then we come to another problem, or is it a problem? Its the working to somebody elses timetable, something I’d have to do in any job but something that I really haven’t done for the past five years, the flexibility of student life really rather suited me.

I came onto campus today, caught up with Kimblebobs and Oliver and all the rest of ’em. Even Joe who shouldn’t be here anymore than me! And the freedom washed over me. So am I saying I don’t want a job? Nope the prospect of life on the dole holds little appeal. What am I saying? That theres something of a shock in adjusting to the real world, well that certainly holds true but would hold true anywhere. I think perhaps that teaching in this country is not how I want to teach, the strictures of how its supposed to be done is beginning to seem more than a restriction but a constriction. I always wanted to teach abroad…except that I assumed it would just be for a couple of years, perhaps it will be for longer than I envisaged? Or perhaps I will end up doing something else…maybe running this site more seriously? My own little home business…

It was in Paris that I suddenly remembered something that seems to have been forgotten for several months or years or brain flips. Being a teacher was only supposed to be a means to an end: a way to keep myself in food and clothes until I could make it as a writer. I got caught up in it, so much so that I’m not sure what happened to the writer in me. She turned into a poet for a start….

Ah navel gazing…so much fun!

6 thoughts on “Teaching

  1. Is there really that much work (beyond lessons) for art teachers? There’s fewer essays and stuff to mark, for a start. You can evaluate artwork in mere moments, while an essay can take an hour or more.

    Occasionally there’s out-of-hours supervision of pupils working on projects, and making sure the art materials are being stored properly and so on, but that sounds like the kind of thing you’d enjoy doing (or at least tolerate it).

    If you’re worried about losing the writing instinct, maybe think about becoming a secondary school English teacher or something. You’ll be getting the kids to write stuff, which has got to be rewarding when they come up with something good.

    I’m wondering about teacher training, with that aim in mind, if I haven’t managed to get a permanent job by the end of this year.

  2. I rather think if you go into teacher training with that attitude you’re in for a rude awakening Archie. Artwork takes mere minutes to evaluate and there not really that much to do…no course not we don’t have to plan lessons the way other teachers do or even think about the pupils really and what we’re teaching them we just give them some paint and tell them to enjoy themeselves because art isn’t really a proper subject, it’s just for dossers.

  3. In all fairness, art teachers don’t spend all that much time studying the work that their students turn in. Thats not to say that they shouldn’t, because they really ought to, but the truth is they don’t.

    However, if I were you I’d be concerned for your dislike of children. How can you teach people to the best of your ability if you loath to be around them? Its unfair and somewhat disheartening.

    Ah well. I’m sure you’ll work things out.

  4. let me say again. Art teachers (not potential art teachers, or art teachers in training) can be a bit laxs. Thats not to say that you will be. Just that some – like the one that taught me at GCSE can be. However, Like Rory Kent, my first art teacher, I have no-doubt that your passion for the subject will mark you above the rest.

    As for my statement about you not liking kids, I am reacting to nothing except your own words.

  5. Well, if I was planning on becoming an art teacher, then yes, maybe I would be in for a shock.

    I was thinking more along the lines of English, though. Only an idiot would say that that didn’t have a hefty workload.

    And please don’t put words into my mouth in future.

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