Something I Never Thought I Had
What I am about to write about is a little bit jumbled but I hope it makes sense. But I hope you get something inspiring from it.
Today we had a PD day at work about being a Christian Teacher in a secular setting. Of all the things that were discussed today, two things stuck with me:
- Why do I do what I do?
- Does teaching ignite a passion within me that helps others see the potential within them?
Before I get into this, I want to briefly talk about how I came to teach to begin with. I actually grew up with no desire to ever teach. At one point, I wanted to be a Scientist when I was 10 and then a professional student when I got to University. But I never had any desire within me to pursue teaching – if anything it was other people who kept encouraging me to take on the path. Throughout my studies, my lecturer was particularly encouraging and felt I had very strong pedagogy skills (and admittedly I did enjoy uni projects where I could do this – I love breaking things down and exploring the bits and bolts of why it works and how to scaffold and make it work!)
A big turning point came at the end of my degree when I wanted to apply for a manager’s job at a Music Store (after my Music degree), and my mother actively encouraged me to apply for a Graduate Diploma of Education as well. I got accepted into Education and didn’t get the job, so I guess at the time, I decided to go through with it to silence my Mum (at the time). I did ok throughout the degree (credit average without even trying – I worked full time while studying full time), but I really struggled when I went out on prac. I struggled with my confidence and connecting with students as well as putting an element of myself and purpose into my teaching. I guess at the time, I just assumed I sucked at teaching. I did end up crawling my way to the finish line with my course (and repeating my final prac after a breakdown) and straight up got a few contracts with ED QLD. After a particularly rocky start, I lost all faith in teaching and really felt lost as to what direction I was going in my life. I couldn’t get a job and I really believed that I couldn’t teach nor was I a natural. I saw teaching as a wage and that was it – through this I really resented it. In a matter of desperation at the time, I took on relief work between schools, which became a start of a 4 ½ year journey of growing as a teaching and getting to know myself more. One particular school, Calvary Christian College, took me on as a relief teacher and remained patient and supportive and saw the potential I had rather than the belief I had in myself. I swear everyone was so darn patient through the process!
Through the process, I became connected with the Church and became a Christian (but that is another story). Through the process, a few life changes happened which lead to me getting a full time job at Calvary. This is my third year of full time teaching at the College, and I will say wholeheartedly that this year is the first time in my entire life that I have felt like I am within my calling. I feel like I am a teacher and where I am meant to be and I actually enjoy it. I stopped looking at my inadequacies and started looking at what I could do for others through my skills. I look at teaching in so many different ways now and for myself in particular I look at:
- How can I connect with others and build trust?
- How I can help a child reach their full potential?
- How can I help myself reach my full potential?
- How can I proactively contribute to the world?
- How can I be a more engaging and proactive thinker?
- How can I maintain my core values to provide the best teaching experience possible?
Despite not being the easiest process, nor am I best teacher in world, I am grateful for the process. I feel like through it all, I have become a different person and I feel a confidence and fire within myself to try and help change the world for better and I am not ashamed to admit that. I am thankful to others who have believed in me and given me chance after chance and opportunity after opportunity. In all, I look forward to seeing what is ahead on my journey; whether it’s in the classroom or not, I am sure it’s going to be something bigger than I could ever anticipate. Ultimately I have no control over it, but I can surely enjoy each day in the meantime.