You Raise Me Up: 5 Ways Teaching Makes Me Joyful
I was thinking, when things within teaching, whether it be the media, your school, a class, some parents or even the staff, make you feel down, or less, or question yourself, what helps you move forward, what helps you "get over" it, what raises you up?
My last post alluded to some of the home truths you need to realise, before you can move forward with teaching; when you are not sure why you are teaching in the first place! But I am not going to get soppy. I am going to list the things that bring me joy in teaching.
1. The Children - THE RELATIONSHIP
I work in an Educate Together School, and nothing, I mean noting brings me more joy, or returns me to joy, than the sight of a 4 year old saying "Good morning Paul". We are called by our first name, and at the stage when children are so young and so enthusiastic to see you, greet you, its is a pure moment of joy. However, there are so many other moments;
- The amazement when they learn something new!
- The comfort when you support or help them figure something out
- The sheer relief when you help them with something difficult, or frustrating or difficult
THE RELATIONSHIP and the connection with kids, is the most joyful part of teaching
2. I Bring Myself to Work
I can bring myself to work. My skills, my hobbies and my interests. Whatever your personal interest of aptitude you can bring that to school. Think Music, Drama, Art, Math, PE and in my case SPHE. What other job would you do this and make a living??
3. My Office is a Classroom
Think of the wonderful and colourful hive of activity that is your class, that is your office. It is such an amazing, dynamic and colourful place. Imagine a cubicle, or a store floor or somewhere that did not change so often. I worked in a clothe store for 8 months every day when in Canada, and my gosh was I bored. Never, ever have I been bored in my classroom
4. The Flexibility
Don't mention the war!!! I love the flexibility of teaching. Sometimes I work long, sometimes I work short. If I am having a bad day, I have to make the bank, or I have to meet a friend up from the sticks, I can. Flexibility brings me joy, because however long I might feel the day will be, its not. And that flexibility feeds into the joy of the harder days, or the tough days.
5. The Learning
I love learning, and in teaching I LOVE listening to the tiny ideas, the hacks and pieces that can help your class, their work or their behaviour. I love teachers who share practical suggestions. I love friends who say "try this" but mostly I LOVE how open teachers are to learning new ways to improve and change their methods for the betterment of the kids.
I did not want to say THE CHOCOLATE - in the staffroom, but really, that JOY of chocolate being in the staffroom when you DIDN'T EXPECT it, and that I think is the ultimate JOY!