When I was asked to write an article for vent I thought I would sit down for hours, plan and structure a piece so compelling I would want to frame it for myself. I wanted other practitioners to read it and say “YES someone gets it”.
But the dread soon set in. Where would I find the time to write it? Would I manage to write it on time so I didn’t make people wait too long? How would I put into words what I feel every day without writing forever? So here I am – writing this on my phone with no structure or plan at all.
As a teacher, my life revolves around my job. I have not known this profession before the recession and I have seen the shocking reality behind a lack of funding, mental health support and male role models.
I spend my time juggling between teaching the national curriculum, meeting unattainable targets and allowing children the time to learn life skills and self-regulation. It’s already months since I’ve been asked to write this and I’ve had a whirlwind of a year to say the least.
I’ve seen boys excluded who I know only wanted unconditional love and support. I’ve seen teachers leave the profession and question why they even started. I’ve observed children as young as six years old already be let down by their society. I’ve been subject to verbal and physical abuse from children who are trying to communicate how frustrated they truly are.
I decided to write something short – so why not an acrostic poem:
T – Totally and uncontrollably in love with working with children and seeing them become reflective, kind and self- assured
E – Every day bringing new challenges and situations I didn’t ever think I would have to deal with
A – Asking questions that make me question my own ability to truly support needs I have never encountered until now
C – Cooperating with and coaching tiny humans who are living lives unimaginable and incomparable to my own experience of childhood
H – Having no concept of a job that allows you to do one thing at a time
E – Ending a day so exhausted I can barely muster any words to anyone
R – Realising that through everything, there is nothing better than those key moments that show you the impact you’ve had on one moment for one child – academically or otherwise
It might not make sense and it might seem over the top but it’s my reality. I love my job and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
This article was written anonymously