Teaching is hard work and very tiring, but you get to meet the most amazing people throughout your training and career. You will realise that small things are actually the really important things – the hello as someone walks in your class, asking someone if they are okay when they are not their usual self, checking how their weekend went when you know they were nervous about something. You will love some days and won’t believe that you are paid to do this job. But, there will be other days when you go home and wonder why you are putting yourself through this.
Then you go back the next day and you see someone looking down and you make an effort to connect and you see that simply being there and taking time to talk to them, means so much to that person. You remember how powerful a force for change you can be and that you go through those tough days because that’s what a teacher does… they care. They come back the next day and try all the harder. And, you realise that you have learnt from that experience and are a better teacher because of it.
You will fail and you will do so often. Then you will come to realise that failure is a part of everyone’s journey. That the definition of failure is the only part of the experience that is wrong. Each experience teaches you so very much – how resilient you are, how much you care about what you do, how much you have to learn, but also just how far you have come. You will come out of a lesson thinking that it was awful and questioning why you are putting yourself through this and then a student will walk out and say “Thanks Sir… I can’t wait for the next lesson”
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You will wonder if you are good enough, if you can cope, but you will.
You will be there for your students when their world collapses and you will help them start to piece it all together.
You will walk into the staff base when you feel your world is collapsing and another teacher will be there to put their arm around you, make you a cup of tea and give you the support that you need.
You will realise that simply by doing your job, you let your students know that you care and believe in them. And, they will believe in you. They will show you this just when you need to know that the most.
Your students will amaze you with their awesome ideas, their passions and their growth. You will feel like you are the luckiest person alive… and you are. But then, so are your students, because they have you.
You will mark work and you will read something that worries you. You will follow this up and that student, who thought they were invisible, will get the help and support they need.
You will worry about your students and you will hear stories that break your heart. You will think about them every day and it will hurt. But, you will go back to school the next day and be there for them. You will teach them, encourage them and support them, even when they are difficult because you are a teacher and that is what we do.
Someday your students will come back to see you and you will cry. They will invite you to their university graduation or write you a touching thank you note and you will cry, just like you did when you were training.
Even on your worst days, you will be brave and do your best. You will reflect and think critically. You will promote fairness and try out new things.
You will inspire your students to become better people and empower them to be deeper thinkers. They will face many challenges and they will overcome much adversity.
They will go out into the world and they will make it a better place, because of you.
You will laugh and you will cry! Like… A LOT. You will wonder what you did with your time before becoming a teacher and why you waited so long. Then you will smile and think… I made a difference today.