When I first realised I wanted to be a teacher, I was four. It was only later I decided I wanted to teach English, and the magick of words and story. At first though, I wanted to be a primary school teacher. For a lot of years.
Yesterday I was called in to work at one of the feeder schools for my high school. I was as nervous as I was way back when I began teaching. I was put on a composite Year 3/4 class and what a blessing they were.
I never realised that my heart could be snapped up and filled so fast. By the end of the day I just wanted to be their teacher forever.
It wasn’t a perfect day. As is obligatory, I was told I was a bitch, but it is very difficult to become outraged when a child who isn’t even four foot tall, tells you what they think because they got a detention (similar theme here ~ some kids just don’t like boundaries). I told the class, all gathered at my feet, that it was probably a fair assumption, they laughed, and it became a teaching moment.
Year 3/4 dob and they cry. You get every emotion in a day from some of them. And you are with them, the same kids, all day. Time just goes. I loved it. I have taught many classes through the years, as a high school teacher, that I would have loved to teach all day every day … I don’t think it would have been as tiring as yesterday was.
One of the kids told me I was the best teacher. I told her she was right and we both laughed. The funny thing is, as a casual teacher, I see glimpses of that best teacher I usually say I am, but teaching the work of other people has never been a wholly comfortable fit for me. I am not at my best always in those moments.
The SLSO (teacher’s aide) came up to me at the end of the day, grabbed me, hugged me and kissed me, telling me I was magickal and that she had loved being with me all day. I felt very treasured and very blessed. The same way I feel at the other high school I have worked in, in the Support Unit. Two days in a row, as a casual, where I felt valued and seen.
It made me realise that when we stay in the same school for a long time, sometimes people don’t see your growth, by choice or design, and minimalist your impact.
I have known for a fair few years now how exceptional I am as a teacher. I have the ability to develop fast and very strong relationships through love with the kids I teach. I know my content. I know how to teach my content to every child. And I know how to improve their literacy and plug holes. I can manage my students and I instil a love for learning and manifest a desire to grow.
I think I’m finally acknowledging that I am a teacher. But also acknowledging that I may not be meant just for a classroom or one school anymore.
Time will tell.