The sun is shining, the birds are singing. It’s a beautiful day to be alive.
I had a really good day. It’s almost like I got my teaching mojo back. For ages I’d just been really depressed about what I was doing…but yesterday I went to an interview and they were talking about using pictures and videos and everything that I used to do back home.
Since January I feel like my teaching has gone downhill. I was being observed nearly everyday and I felt like I was doing everything wrong. I was told what I should be doing and how I should be teaching. It was stressing me out so much and I was dreading going to work everyday. The highlight of my day was getting home and watching ‘Say Yes to the Dress’. How depressing.
I just hated it. I hated how it made me feel. I hated how no matter how much work I did, it was never enough. It was never the right amount of work. I hated the little comments about how in New Zealand we don’t do planning/testing/good teaching. Yes, it is different in NZ, but it is a good different. We do have planning (what do you think we do?), we do have plenty of testing, which is achievable by most children, and best of all most of us in NZ are excellent teachers.
I was told I had a long way to go to become a ‘good teacher’. It made me reluctant to teach. It made me reluctant to be there.
So, after the interviews I did a lot of thinking about how I should be teaching. I decided, instead of trying to be someone (or a teacher) that I’m not, I’ll teach the kids my way.
I love creativity. I hate being restricted to teaching things in a boring way.
I believe children enjoy learning so much more when they are excited about it. When they talk about it. I love having a class that talks about what they are learning. And believe me, my class can talk.
When I asked them what they learnt today, so many had something interesting to say. One child said he used to think speeches were just for funerals, but now he knows that there are many occasions for speeches.
The reason why we looked at speeches?
London Mayoral elections.
I was so inspired because I thought it would be a great way to show how speeches have been used in the past. And we then wrote an explanation of why people make speeches.
We looked at Martin Luther King Jr. I was so surprised that one of my students knew who he was. I was even more surprised when she told us about Rosa Parks.
We listened to ‘I Have A Dream’. The kids were amazing. They talked so much about that speech (ok, we only listened to a snippet of it, but just hearing them talk really made me realise that they are amazing). It was so great hearing them talk about inequality and how it is so bad.
We looked Winston Churchill and discussed what he did and why he made speeches.
And we also talked about Emmeline Pankhurst.
The children didn’t know about suffragettes. And I told them.
I really try to drum into the kids that everyone is the same and that girls can do anything they want. Even if it is seen as a ‘boy’ thing. One girl in my class wants to be a footballer in Man United. Go her.
And another person we looked at?
I had to have Harry Potter in there somewhere!
It really was a successful day. The children were inspired. I was inspired.
This is the job I love. The reason why I became a teacher.
I love it when you sit down at the end of the day and feel like you’ve made a difference.
Next week: Human Rights.
p.s. this is a completely different post to normal, but I just needed to write!