A commonly levelled assumption about teaching is that we have short working days and many holidays. True in part, at times, maybe.
Over the last week of the school holidays, I have been surrounded by 40 other teachers, also 6 months into their teaching experience. These 40, while positioned all over the country and teaching different subjects, have one thing in common: we are passionate about the educational outcomes of the students we teach.
At the end of 12 hour days, we have gathered together chatting excitedly about our experiences in the classroom so far. Seriously, can teachers talk. Stories about students who have blown them away, and turned around behaviours, attitudes, abilities. Stories about terrible days, being threatened, being sworn at, having a lesson plan go out the door five minutes into class. Stories about the funny, the unexpected, the sad, the upsetting, the beautiful.
At midnight each night this week there has been a buzz in the room with no sign of conversation dissipating.
All in all, my young colleagues have discovered a love for their new profession and the students they are teaching. Like me, many are now feeling more settled in their schools, while also realising that this isn’t a job that sits still. Assessments, phone calls, meetings, planning, incident reports, photocopying, yard duties… oh, and classes.
Honestly, the education industry can be overwhelming at times. I have seen teachers who would prefer to give up or take an easy route, rather than confront challenge. In coming together and sharing our stories, however, I have been reminded about how much can be gained in this profession from being surrounded by like-minded colleagues who motivate you to continue to do your best and to stay positive about what can be achieved.