Now if you have read my previous blog post you will realise I didn’t complete one of my goals from my list. I thought I would write a follow up blog to fully explain why I didn’t complete it and why I am not ashamed.
Back when I first told people I was going to attend night classes to get a degree in Education and Disability Studies, the first question most people asked was “Do you want to be a teacher then?”. I looked at people with abject horror. “Me a teacher?! You must be joking!” was often my first response and at the time I truly felt that way. I was completing my degree for me but I hadn’t really thought of the job opportunities that came with my degree.
About a year into my undergraduate degree I did indeed decide to go into teaching. I had been teaching small groups of children in my role as a Teaching Assistant and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I applied for 3 different courses, I got into 2 and eventually decided on attending Manchester Metropolitan University. I completed my undergraduate degree and I was so excited to start on my teaching course.
So in September 2016 my journey began. I attended university sessions for the first three weeks and made new friends. I was happy and felt like I had found my calling. Then it was time to start my first placement, and that is were I began to understand just how difficult being a Teacher truly is.
I was placed in a Year 1 class and at first I was on a 20% teaching timetable. I loved my class they were fantastic but I took a long time to settle into teaching and in all honesty didn’t put the effort in that I was capable of. I was having quite a few personal issues during this placement and I let it cloud my potential. It’s all well and good looking back on my first placement and wishing I had done things differently but I know at the time, with my mind frame I wouldn’t have been able to.
There was also a number of other things that made this placement difficult and I do feel a bit let down by this placement, some of my practice wasn’t up to scratch but it was never picked up on. This meant that when it came to my second placement I was desperately trying to reach that high standard while working on an increased teaching timetable and ultimately I struggled a lot.
My second placement was in a Year 4 class and again my class were brilliant. The children listened to me and enjoyed me teaching them. However, although my placement was very supportive I could just never keep up and I will admit I spent a lot of night crying, wishing for some strength to get me through. I began a count down for how long I had left and crossed off every single day.
There were very dark times during my second placement and my mental health did suffer but I continued to push through. I knew I already had my dream job lined up and I kept fighting for that reason.
After both of my placements I realised that I did not want to teach in a mainstream school and after visiting my new school it is clear that special educational needs is the right environment for me.
Everyone who is considering going into teaching think that they understand how tough teaching is going to be. My word of advice would be imagine how hard it is and multiply that by 100%, that is how hard teaching truly is.
All in all I am proud of everything I have achieved this year and on Monday 24th July 2017 I graduated university as a Primary Teacher. Being at my graduation made everything worth while and seeing my family so proud of me meant the world to me.
‘Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.’
Me at my graduation!