Reflections of a Teacher: A Lesson in Being Kind
As many of you know, I'm an Early Childhood Teacher with a degree that also enables me to teach in primary school. While my heart and personal philosophy very much sits in the early years. I made a conscious change in 2019 and shifted from early childhood into primary schools.
My initial plans were to simply work in preschools with a goal of teaching in my own class. I was ok stepping into Kindergarten classes, but sometimes in Year 1 through to Year 6 I felt very much like a fish out of water.
In 2020 I took the "dream job" of a preschool classroom of my own. I chose not to reapply for the position I had been in because I didn't feel that I fit in. I loved my educator partner and I greatly enjoyed the teachers I worked with directly, but I just didn't fit. I was a octagonal peg trying to fit into a square hole.
After a year of working in the same classroom, a familiar classroom with kickass awesome preschool children who taught me so very much about being a teacher, I stepped back into the discomfort zone and went back to casual teaching. I left the familiar and made yet another leap.
I decided to return to a familiar school and let them know I was available for casual and temporary teaching. It also happened to be the first school I had handed my resume in to. It's not too far from home and it's a school that welcomed and supported me.
Why did I leave? Well I was offered a year's contract which was consistent work which was also in the age group that I felt most comfortable. I thought it might have been my "dream job". But the grass is always greener is it not?
Back at my old school, after the massive cluster-fuck of 2020, when I walk through the playground, I have children running up and greeting me. I have students walking past the classroom door I'm standing in to say hello and ask me if I can come and teach their class instead. I have students who are navigating challenging life experiences who share their grief with me, or act out through their behaviour who after a few days of me deliberately picking my battles with them, run up to give me a hug at the end of the day.
The other day, I was on a year 5/6 composite class and I said something I wasn't 100% self aware of, but clearly what I said was somewhat self-depricating. It would have been in relation to the slight minor chaos at the end of day clean up. The year 5 student with me said: Ah Miss, you're a good teacher! I then asked her what made me a good teacher and her reply was:
"Because you're kind."
So, if you are going to be anything.
A good teacher isn't always the teacher who teaches the thing ... A good teacher can sometimes simply be kind.
Sometimes, that is what our students need.
If I am nothing else, I am kind.