Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Good Advice, even if I say so myself.

'Overly dedicated'
'Concentrates on every Detail'
'Works too Hard'
'Unable to let go.'
'Unwilling to Delegate'
'A Constant Worrier'
'The School is his Life'

None of these phrases have ever been used to describe me, I can assure you; but they are applicable to many teachers. 'Vocation' is a word used by employers to describe jobs that are poorly paid for the hours they demand and have awful working conditions.

When you are near the end of your life, will you look back and think "I wish I'd spent more time on my marking"? 'Course you won't.

Teaching is one of those jobs where you could work 24 hours a day for your entire career if you chose to, but when you drop dead of exhaustion, nobody will ever thank you.

My advice for what it's worth is:

Teach what's important as best as you can, do the odd 'out of school activity' and go on the occasional school trip. Get some exercise and fresh air every day and make sure you have a few outside interests or hobbies that are nothing to do with school.

Every so often look back on the last couple of years and ask yourself: "Do I really enjoy this?"

If the answer is 'No' then go and do something else. It's easy to get trapped in something that isn't right for you because change is always more difficult than carrying on doing the same thing. Life is simply too short to spend it doing something you don't enjoy and few people realise this.

If however the answer is a resounding 'Yes!' then remind yourself each day how incredibly lucky you are, put a big smile on your face and say a cheery hello to Mr Grumpy in the Staffroom.


Anonymous said...

Having once been a school kid myself, as no doubt applies to most teachers ,it lays beyond my comprehension why anybody would choose to be a teacher. Incredible!

Anonymous said...

Sadly the mortgage companies tend to take a less sanguine view of your wasting your life. To leave teaching I had to take a 60% pay cut and start again at the bottom of something new at 50.

Anonymous said...

I think your perspective is great, as ever. I agree with what you say, but what bugs me is the thought that I CHOSE teaching, and in a way I could step aside and let somebody more capable and/or dedicated provide a better service for the kids. What do you think, Mr C?

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