I am going to end my 6-month break earlier than expected. About a month and a half earlier.
Why? Well, because the other door I knocked on opened, and it was just the opportune time for me to cross the threshold into the Second and possibly Final Act of my work life.
I never thought I’d walk back voluntarily to teaching again. The last time I was there, I was young, quite fresh out of school and wanted to change the world. Lofty ideals of the uninitiated. I was assigned to a class of teenagers, notorious for their disinterest and rowdiness. I lost my voice on the third day, and had a hacking cough till the day I left. It was brutal.
That was 15 years ago.
Every forum I read online had nasty things to say about life as a teacher here. From the teachers themselves. Long hours, high pupil-teacher ratio, countless meetings, tremendous marking loads, heavy administration duties outside teaching are most common. That sounded familiar because I experienced that in a different form in my previous role. I suppose it gets monotonous after many years in one place, and when conditions are not kept at optimum, people get disillusioned and demotivated. Monday mornings are especially difficult when this happens. Perhaps, it’s the same with the educators who have been doing what they do a long time, hence the negative comments.
What changed my mind was seeing friends who have been teaching for awhile and are still happy to be doing what they do. Sure, the work isn’t a bed of roses but no job is. Bosses /Mentors play extremely important roles in one’s work life – that cannot be stated often enough. Them and the team, which would be peers and students in teaching.
In the comments online, I rarely read that students are a major cause of headaches unless they are from the disinterested bunch or the entitled class, usually teenagers. Most others, particularly the younger ones, are there to learn, make friends and have fun. If so, I’d be happy to participate.
In any case, a teaching qualification and classroom experience adds positively to one’s resume, and is a vocation that can be taken into retirement. How’s that for long term planning!
If this works out, I’d be able to keep adding to my travel wish list and make plans for further adventure!
Is there anything you would like to share about teaching? I would love to hear from you!