It’s usually about this time of year when I start to write my “Year in Review” posts. This year’s is a little different though as I’m moving on to different things. On the 13th of December, I will be started at Charles Sturt University as a Lecturer in Teacher Librarianship. This is a massive change and will obviously mean that I will be leaving the world of high school and all my wonderful students. So, this year I thought I’d write a bit of a reflection on my years of teaching.
Let’s be honest, teaching is not an easy gig and I have certainly had some hard moments. There have been times where I’ve thought “what the hell am I doing?” or “how the hell am I going to keep doing this?” It’s a profession where everyone has an opinion on what you do and aren’t afraid to tell you. It’s often thankless and it’s definitely worth more hours than you’re paid for. I try to tell people who are considering going into teaching that they should not do it for the hours, the holidays, or even the pay. Teaching is a profession that you do if you are passionate about education. It’s as simple as that.
In saying that, I’ve had some of the best experiences over my 9 years of teaching…
- Ski trip to New Zealand with 82 year 10 students and 7 other staff – I think I spent more time in hospitals than on the slopes (not for me but for students) but it was still a heap of fun
- My choir coming 3rd in the Gympie Eisteddfod for the first time in years
- Conrad Challenge – getting to work with students on a ‘non-school-task’ that is based purely on creativity and innovation is always going to be a bright spot in my career.
- Book launches and author events – it’s always fun to run events and all the wonderful authors I’ve gotten to meet
- School sport – I’ve been a netball, touch football and badminton coach, a softball coordinator, and a support staff member of a swimming and an athletics team. Needless to say, I will miss school sport
- School camps – I’ve been on camps with students in year 5 to year 10 and I’ve always enjoyed them
- Talking about books with young people is probably one of the things I’m going to miss the most
I’m excited by my new job, but I am also nervous and a little afraid of the change. My whole life has been structured by school. The predictability of term time, holidays, bell times and work flow has shaped everything that I have done. I’ve been in school for 22 of my 30 years and to be walking away feels very surreal. I know it’s the right time though. I’m ready for the next challenge.
I will keep my connections to Mt A. The relationships I’ve made there are ones that I am determined to maintain for life. It’s a very special place and I will miss it greatly. I am looking forward to attending the IWD Breakfast as a guest, rather than getting up at 3:45am to set up though…
So, thank you to all my students over my 9 years of teaching in both primary and secondary schools. Thank you also to all my wonderful colleagues over the years – it’s been fun!
I recently did a podcast episode on this topic too. Here’s the link if you wish to listen.