Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? A question at the back of mind as we move into this new decade.
I’m nowhere near retirement age even at the end of the decade.
I will have completed 30 years in teaching. I will have taught in 3 phases of education – primary, secondary and sixth form. I’ve been through the highs and lows of every fad, curriculum change – setting, banding, mixed ability, streaming in education. The more things change; the more they stay the same.
I see the ads on TV get into teaching showing teachers leaving with the kids. Where does that happen? There are so many hostage holding gimmicks that deprive teachers of a family life – trapped time (Parents’ Evening, Open Evening, Recruitment nterviews etc)
No advert would show the reality of the de-Skilling of teachers through micro-management of every single second in the workplace. I wonder if they would ever show them the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare lessons; mark their work; manage behaviour. Or perhaps the shivering wrecks; sapped of their enthusiasm; jaded and disillusioned within a few years. Perhaps that’s the cynic in me of course we need new teachers in the profession and if the fantasy of well behaved, keen and enthusiastic empty vessels waiting to be inspired gets them there….
Back to my vision I have no intention of being in the classroom up to the age of 67. The last 10 years have taught me a a lot about myself. My beautiful daughter was born in 2010 and yes she changed my world for the better. I let go of the deluded hope of being respected for my skills and experience by managers who only want to invest in the cheapest rather than the best. I realised that capability was a tool to drive out kind natured honest professionals out of the profession.
I stopped crying and I saw there was more to life than devoting hours and hours to spreadsheets coded red, amber and green but didn’t add one iota to the quality of life for myself or the students. I saw in my daughter someone that needed me to be present in her life – discussing ‘The Next Step’ reading ‘The World’s Worst Children 1,2 and 3’ (someone’s got to do it); picking her up from school – knowing her friends and their parents so I can arrange her birthday parties.
The next decade will take us through choosing secondary schools, gcses, A Levels, university. I am optimistic about the future.