Wrapping up my teaching career

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…

  1. 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
  2. My choir coming 3rd in the Gympie Eisteddfod for the first time in years
  3. 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.
  4. Book launches and author events – it’s always fun to run events and all the wonderful authors I’ve gotten to meet
  5. 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
  6. School camps – I’ve been on camps with students in year 5 to year 10 and I’ve always enjoyed them
  7. 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.

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