If I Can, Teach

Promised I would write this for a work colleague who stumbled across my blog and seemed a bit puzzled.  I think the best way to do this would be to describe the story, explain why I’ve turned out this way, and then apply my knowledge from elsewhere to the essay to give a rounded confident answer.  That’s the Swedish way to write an A grade piece of work and it seems most fitting.

It’s easy to say that I’ve ended up teaching because I’ve not found anything else to do, so I chose by default to do so.  That is unfair on myself and on those I am currently teaching with and to.  However, it is similarly and undeniably a safer, stable option to take up.

My parents encouraged teaching  – I think the former mindset of not knowing what to do with me.  There are benefits of safety, job security (although the teaching unions are scaremongers rather than campaigners and have fallen into nanny state culture with the completely wrong mindset on), mobility of work anywhere in the world, and, as a physicist, need for me as a specialist in my subject.  These are all the head kind of decisions.

I find teaching should be something that fits my skill set.  I have a very good grasp of science and maths subjects at this level, with a broad curriculum focus too that helps greatly.  I love performing with a passion.  I love working with inspirational young people – people who want to make a difference and make things better.

Again those, these are all head decisions.  My CV fitted too, not only did I take the teaching module in my degree (a relatively easy first), but I used to work as a playworker – which was basically playing with children in parks, oh wait that sounds dodgy, oh well it’s true…I was paid for it too!  (Of course I should insert the fact we were playing sports and doing craft activities)

When I was younger, and I thought about the future, I was top dog in everything I did, and I kind of thought that the world would pan out in front of me easily.  It interestingly though, revolved around working part time, and spending a little time politically, a little time sportingly, a little time musically and generally being good at all trades and having time for them all too.  I wanted to be the local town hero, the big fish in the tiny pond.  I fantasized about emigrating, but to little places like the Faeroes, finding a cute Faroese girl (and by gosh, they all seem to be, I really need to visit) and being the kind of active engaged person in society to keep the dreams ticking over, however unlikely the Faeroes winning the World Cup and Eurovision are.

I am a deep thinker still, as this blog as really revitalized in me.  On this note I want to say that if I went back to the UK tomorrow I would not be looking immediately for a teaching job.  Instead, I would like to find work with representation, like I did in my sabbatical student union position, and actually make the world better for others.  It would be ideal to do this for a group I was passionate about – youth representation being a huge thing that I would love to work with and mobilise to dizzying heights.

But I teach, and it fits and I love being here doing this job now.  Last year though was tough.  Not difficult tough, a physical tough.  I survived Monday to Friday on about 4 or 5 hours sleep a night if lucky, and of course the spiral got continually worse.  Our house was cold.  My lunch was a sandwich if I remembered.   I was working with people who did not inspire me.  I was working with staff that again scared me and scrutinized me, and I just didn’t want to know them and they didn’t want to know me.  It was fine, but looking back, fine was not enough.  I felt dirty, downtrodden and generally in the way of things.  I don’t know how to improve either.

I know what really scares me about ‘teaching’ though – it’s the academic focus.  Teaching can be a dream job, if I’m able to do a little bit of everything in the community as well – be that big fish in that small pond and make one of the most vital communities ever work.  I do not want to just teach and I don’t see any value in that personally or for the school or for the children, and I want a job where that is recognised and desired from me.  Project management is actually something I actually have acquired a taste for and I want that in my workplace.  In the UK, I know I will not have time, chance and recognition of it and that alone will drive me to my limits.

So I hope that describes and explains my teaching rationale.  I think we can apply this as well to make it an A grade blog.  This is where I shoehorn in my ideas about Eurovision, and how a dream job would be to run the competition, to what I have said here.  There are parallels, the politics of getting 45 nations to like each other enough to compete (and recognize Israel each year).  The project management of running the contest.  The media links to get our voice heard.  The co-ordination of needed rules and regulations.  And of course working with people desperate for success who will work hard to get it.

It’s just like a school, but with more key changes.  Now that is a dream job….

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