1. Holidays: I will get the obvious one out of the way. Despite working on holidays, we still are lucky enough to get some time to stop, unwind and recharge. The holidays are a time when we get to catch up with people and feel like we can do normal things. Teachers with children often discuss the great times they can enjoy with their own children on the holidays
2. The AH HA moments: these are my favourites. The times when little faces light up because they understand it. They get it. It makes sense and they now know what they are supposed to learn. Their sense of achievement and pride is one of the best rewards.
3. The gratitude and thanks: Yes, teaching is often a thankless job. However, it does make the thanks and gratitude even more amazing. I have truly been blessed over the years. Kind words, gifts, cards, tears etc. Even when you see students in ten years’ time and they thank you or remember something positive about you. These moments make you feel valued and loved.
4. You do make a difference: Watching kids grow into adults. Men and women. People who contribute to and function as healthy adults in society. We have a small part in that. I live where I work so I often see ex-students. The feeling that they remember you, think of you, drop in to say hello or share what they do now makes me feel like I have played a tiny part in contributing to their lives.
5. Creativity and innovation: I get to create new things, trial new things and innovate things for the future. This part of the job I find challenging as well as rewarding. Some programs or systems that I have been a part of driving, are still are being used today. That fills me with a great sense of pride.
6. It’s never boring or slow: When do teachers ever have five seconds to rest? I actually like this part of the job. The day goes so quickly. I am not sitting at a desk twiddling my thumbs or entering data into computers all day. I am not stuck on the phone for ten hours a day. This is a fast-paced job that requires us to move.
7. We get some great opportunities that others do not: When I look back, I think, wow! I have been to some amazing places. I have met some amazing people. I have been part of many ceremonies or masses that were important and meant something. Take this weekend. It is ANZAC day in Australia. A day where we celebrate and remember past and present soldiers. At school, we had a beautiful mass. We created some amazing artwork. We listened to a Vietnam veteran share his stories. We walked to a Shrine and placed artwork. Would I have done all of this in a normal job? No, probably not.
8. The relationships, friends and people that I meet on the job: I have made some fantastic friends. People whom I met professionally but now know personally. I have learnt from some sensational teachers and had the privilege of working with a variety of people. In a different job, I do not think that I would have met so many people, families or made so many friends.
9. We get professional development: This helps us keep up to date with current trends. Not just in one field but in various fields. When I think about the range of things that I have learnt, I would be surprised if I get this in any other job. Each year, we must do anaphylaxis, asthma, mandatory reporting and critical incident management. To name a few. We learn about wellbeing and health. Sport and technology. There is a range of PD that is provided in house or out of school.
So for all of the cons of teaching, there are so wonderful pros. Positives that are hard to remember when you are overworked and stressed. Take the time to stop and record what you love about the job. That is what will help remind you of why you should stay in teaching. #teachingisamazing #twocreativeteachers