When I tell people that I’m a teacher, more often than not their assumption is that I’m a primary school teacher. I’m not sure if it’s because (despite my advancing years) I don’t look too old or that they think there’s no way I could get a group of high school kids to sit down and give me their full attention for an hour.
Once it’s been cleared up that I definitely don’t teach the little ones, the next question is, “what age do you teach?” After my response of 11-18 (and there have a been a few 19 years olds in there too) they usually mutter, “you’re brave” before telling me they could never stand in front of a group of teenagers. If you haven’t really been around teenagers I can see why this is a daunting prospect.
There are far too many elements of my job that drive me potty. The endless assessments, the meetings that drag on for far too long, the 35 minute lunch break that leaves me with indigestion because I’ve had to throw my food down, but being in the classroom isn’t one of them. It’s the part of my job I love the most.
That’s not to say I don’t have days when I’m tired, when the kids aren’t really that interested in hearing about Pythagoras and his theorem, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard, “Yeah, but when will we use this in REAL life?”, I do. But on days when I’m feeling a bit fed up, I’ve been given another job to, anther email to respond to, another admin task to complete it is the kids that remind me why I do the job they do.
By telling me about their Friday nights drinking WooWoos in the pub (just to clarify this is my Year 13 class, they are old enough, I am not encouraging underage cocktail drinking), by my Year 12’s who remind me so much of the Big Bang Theory gang, although I’d never tell them that.
My just about to leave amazing Year 11’s who are so driven and focused and may be a contender for my favourite class of all time, and my Year 10’s who find Maths so hard but still try their hardest (okay, not all the time but they give it a go).
Maybe I’m lucky that the children I teach are so lovely, but I don’t think that’s it. I think there are so many wonderful young people that can sometimes get a hard press. Yes, teenagers can be hormonal and stroppy, and sometimes they lash out because actually being a teenager is pretty crap at times but they are also funny, cheeky, intelligent, kind, considerate and much more besides. And I think I’m quite lucky that I get to spend the majority of my days working with them.
Image Source: HC Courts
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.