Career Teachers have been speaking to teachers for over ten years and we have realised one very important thing … You’re amazing. Not only do you manage to keep all the children you teach from the hours of 8.30 to 3.30 fed, watered, and happy, but you also keep them learning and developing. As amazing as teachers are, like anyone teachers feel the stress and frustration of work. This is sometimes not helped by a friend telling you how lucky you are, “All that holiday and you finish at 3.30 every day.”
Now breathe in and out and count to 10. Teachers all around the world feel your frustration, and unfortunately unless your friend becomes a teacher they will always imagine you relaxing at 4pm to Deal or No Deal whilst they slave away coffee in hand (not forgetting the torturous lunchtime drinks on a Friday afternoon).
The decision to become a teacher is life altering, you no longer find yourself worrying about your weekend plans, but your lesson plans! You go from being a single adult to suddenly a single parent of in some cases 200 children. This is because teaching floods into your Monday to Sunday; it doesn't remain within your paid working hours, it fills your life, and for most teachers brings an incredible amount of joy and responsibility.
With that responsibility many teachers also feel a great deal of stress and angst. Now this stress is caused by a number of things including other members of staff, students, and for the most part a feeling that you’re not doing enough. This blog is here to tell you that all teachers, in fact most people, including your students and colleagues will be feeling exactly the same way. Stress and tension tends to filter down the ranks, so if your line manager is stressed, the likelihood is so is everyone else!
The solution can’t be found by reading this blog, it needs to found within you, for you to realise that you’re doing an amazing job. You can stop doing lessons plans at 7pm, turn on the TV, enjoy a cup of tea and still be a good teacher. A Sunday evening doesn’t have to consist of searching the internet for some new ‘Well done’ stickers and the summer holidays can be enjoyed on a beach somewhere well away from the marking and ‘Shh’ of your usual Monday morning.
The second thing to realise is you have an amazing job; the children you teach will spend as much time telling their families about you as they do telling you about their families! That’s the thing about teaching; you have a direct impact on your students’ day in and day out. You will go from being a teacher to a parent to a big brother or sister to a career mentor all in one day! Education has been described as “the key to success in life”, which means teachers are behind their pupils successes. From a student finally remembering the spelling of ‘favourite’ to getting an A in A level English.
People say ‘your school days are the best days of your life’ and teachers are there for every one of those days.