A “Career” in Education?

As a newly appointed teacher after years of trying to work out what I wanted to do with my life, what my “personal legend” (Coehlo) is I have come across yet another crisis in what I thought I was thinking to be the right thing. If that makes sense.

I should mention that one of my favourite accidental pass times is to constantly challenge my own beliefs and thoughts and if I find one which is more “ego” vs “self” driven or it is based on a misconception about myself or the world I love to challenge it and get to the root of it.

It’s just what I do. That is how I keep learning, keep getting deeper into myself and my spiritual connection with the world around me.

Tangent. Focus.

Recently I attended a term-changing conference that helped me connect with why I chose to be a teacher in the first place. Let me set the scene. Disclaimer: Words may seem far more dramatic than an outsider’s perspective.

The story up until now is one that I shall save for another blog post, but the short of it is that I have been appointed my first job as a full time permanent teacher. I finished my course last June and was having a lot of difficulties in finding work and working casually until I received a phone call offering a position 3 days from the first day of Term 1.

Forward to 5 weeks and I lack sleep, lack nutrition, my eye muscles twitch, my mind is constantly switching focus between 100 items, I am also running around all day, getting my resources, dealing with the spot-fires that occur in the school day/ per class, and of course dealing with things going wrong.

It has actually been a blur. By the time I get my head around one class, it’s already over and I need to think about assessment, creating engaging opportunities, satisfying outcomes, ticking things off, evaluating myself, keeping track of what I have to do… list goes on and not much gets ticked off!

BUT, it takes one smile, laugh or cute gesture from a kid to make it all worth it. Is that sad? is that good? I am not yet decided, but it still is draining. But that positive impact does fill up the batteries a bit and masks the symptoms of exhaustion.

So back to the conference- in all these dealings I realised I had no time to reflect on the purpose of what I was doing. I was doing something, but I had forgotten what the true nature of what I was doing actually WAS. I walked into a room with teachers similar to me and I was a part of an adult community of professionals who thought like me and who had dreams like me, and overall who cared for the kids as much as I did. The issues we discussed were part of a bigger problem that we are trying to solve, a bigger issue that we as teachers feel alone in, such that 30% of all teachers leave the profession in the first 3 (or 5) years. That is really sad- I am sure that all those teachers are amazing teachers. Teachers who are probably alone and just purely exhausted and thus leave the profession.

Lucky for me I have amazing mentors and people to look up to who help to guide me and also to vent to when I need. Already I can see the fruits of such a valuable resources. It also helps that those mentoring are genuinely amazing individuals.

This figure does not seem to reflect the social media world of teachers. Teachers I see posting the things they do in their classroom, or trying these breakthrough things at school or attending these huge conferences or trying to show everyone else the newest idea in education. All of this- I think is great and so amazing, but after a few conversations with teachers and hear-say from students regarding the monitoring and displays to educational institutions on these techniques- I am beginning to wonder; Is it appropriate to call the educational profession a career?

Do all methods and do all participants in these educational ventures truly benefiting our kids in the classroom? (i.e One size fits all so we should all do it for the sake of it?)
After spending 2 days with adults I came home with a fresh inspirational outlook and felt as though I might not quit this “career” path I had chosen.
But now I am thinking…. was I looking at this the wrong way?
I don’t want a career in education if my objective is “opportunities for progress”. Yes, of course I constantly want to learn, and always will be learning and striving to do better- but not for me or my school or my paycheck- They are all second; and yet they take up more time away from planning for, assessing and really providing quality feedback and building rapport with students!!

The first and most important objective is my kids. Each and every individual student who comes to class.

Restructuring the way teachers do things may provide a motivation for some teachers to grow or to progress, but it might also motivate them to take shortcuts, use other teachers and again become recluse in their practice.

In my next mid-term crisis, I am sure I will have a clearer picture, but that conversation I had today really made me question education as a “career”, and how different it is to other professional careers. It is a serious profession; yes, it is severely underfunded even though we are practically raising children to some degree; yes, but we mustn’t forget that it is not a profession that benefits from competition; rather thrives with collaboration. It is the “collective genius” of teachers which allow teachers to create the work/life balance and quality lessons. A balance in the life of a teacher ensures that he/she brings him/her BEST face to class to face whatever issues, to model good, moral, happy behaviour and stay enthusiastic.

I hope for a better future and more mutual support amongst the teaching community. For this we will always say we need more “time”. And then we are back to square one.

Please note: I didn’t edit this- Yes I usually am a perfectionist- that’s why I don’t edit a flow of consciousness.

Have a nice week.

 

 

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Just a FEW things wrong with Society today…(I am sure you will relate)

Hello! I hope everyone has been absolutely wonderful.

I have been quite busy, I have many posts in drafts, but all my energy is being expended on doing my readings and working on my college work. When I get the chance to have a break, the last thing I want to do is look at the computer some more.

Most of the time, I uphold optimistic views. Don’t get me wrong:  I usually see the world through a much better perspective than I am about to portray here. The principle of community seems to be at a loss. I am currently working on a teaching degree, and all that I am learning is telling me wonderful things. Especially the principles of inclusion in a classroom, school as a community providing both academic support and pastoral care etc etc.

AND THEN I THINK OF THIS… What kind of world are we living in. Sometimes people and principles of those who “govern” us makes me sick. Sick to the depths of my soul and the pit of my stomach.  Let’s explore some of these.

Why discuss these negatives? Well because you cannot hide from them, turning a blind eye is just as bad as committing offence. It does nothing for the greater good and in fact, takes it backwards.

(I do apologise for my reference to curse words in the following accounts, while there is no swearing, I am just informing you)

We live in a world where men marry 12 yr olds and don’t get convicted as pedophiles in certain communities. WTF

Recently in the news in Sydney, Australia, a little 12 year old girl went to enrol into school and lo and behold it was discovered that she was MARRIED. Married to a 26-yr old man, and get this; he had parental consent to do so. Firstly what 26 year old man wants to marry a 12 yr old girl- clearly someone who is sick, more importantly what PARENT wants their 12 year old daughter, living in Sydney to be handed over to a 26 yr old man. I cannot even express how this makes me feel. I don’t want to understand the other side, because I just cannot see how taking the innocence of a child and subjecting them to a life and a place where their dignity, respect and safety is compromised. Disgusting. Able to resist your immoral urges or not I don’t care, we live in a world where you can get help to control them. Do something about it or gtfo.

We live in a world  where we eat GMO’s all the time, because anything other than that we cant afford.

I mean let’s be critically honest. There is astounding evidence that the toxins being produced are inevitably causing irreparable damage. With awful long term effects we are sold these products because they save money? Because they sell? Because we are told to? I am sick and tired of companies and big scale corporations selling us CRAP that we could do without. Lies and deceit and withholding information that affects each and every person’s wellbeing. What is our other option? Spending a million dollars on groceries and food? When you have a family to take care of + every other stupid thing you have to pay for that you are made to believe you cannot live without; insurance, registration, random taxes (one day it will be air)- it’s cheaper to just go to the markets and buy in bulk or convenient grocery shopping at your local grocery store or supermarket. At least you can enjoy of what is left to enjoy. It is not practical and while better solutions will exist, big corporations will do anything not to let them happen. Who cares if you’re diseased? You’re just another dollar sign.

We live in a world where every little child may or may not learn respect and consideration in  school but it’s all (for some people) forgotten when they become adults.

You see it in day to day happenings; in queues, when adults get angry, when adults ask for things, when adults want something. Let’s be real, we can count  the number aggressive, angry, demanding, inconsiderate, hostile and disrespectful adults we encounter daily. Not saying the opposite does not exist, but WHY are there so many dwerps?! It’s like at school they couldn’t WAIT to get out of school so they didn’t have to follow any more rules? Get with it. You don’t need to be a jerk, you choose to be. And if you don’t think no one can notice… not only do people notice, but they don’t like you!

(But there are so many incredible people too (especially the people I know 😉 ),and this is not my overall viewpoints, but it’s a rant okay? And possibly an attempt to wake up a random who might read this perchance.)

We live in a world where people don’t FLIPPING indicate when changing lanes.
 
How is this worthy of a rant to be indicative of the moral and social values the majority of the people represent? Oh, let me tell you, it is VERY worthy. It is the Principle with a capital P. How are you not part of a community of drivers when you are on the road.  How do people not understand the danger they put OTHER people when they drive recklessly?  Why not let somebody change lanes- isn’t it possible they made a mistake and need to turn left? What does cutting them off really help you achieve? How can people just change lanes zig-zag through traffic  without any indication to the others driving on the road WITH YOU. How STUPID must you be. ( oh I am so sorry but it just makes my blood boil).
 
There are hundreds of people dying on the roads every day. And it isn’t fair that someone should die because you don’t feel like caring today.
 
There seem to be too many egos but not enough real cheese to cover the pizza, we live in a world where people have lost consideration and all sense of community.
Get a grip, contribute, because one day it might be your child who’s safety is compromised, it might be you who are laying on the side of the road, it might be you who needs a hand. You are a part of this community as much as any one else, and if you think this way, your neighbour will stop caring too. Paying forward works with both good things and bad. Watch what you do, because it will hit you one day.
 
We are not “entitled” to feel safe and happy, we deserve to, everybody does and the best way to achieve this is to be a part of safe families, communities and act on kindness. It’s not that hard. This doesn’t require everyone to be best friends… It is a matter of respect, consideration and affirmation toward those around you. Community isn’t just the people at your work, or on your street, or those at your church or people with the same religious or cultural affiliation with you, it’s everyone you ever come across.
 
Thing Global, Act Local.
Please leave me a comment; together we can make the world a better place…

How to Keep yourself Accountable: the obvious approach

Meeting expectations can be difficult, especially when they are your own.

The reasons for this are :

1) We live in a fast tracked world and want everything to happen as soon as possible.

2) We tend to have a skewed perception of reality and put up high expectations for ourselves.
I believe this often stems from a sheep like societal mentality where just because so and so can fly so can I. But I am a fish… Differences are not often celebrated and high school clique-iness resonates. In adults.

3) Sometimes they are unrealistic like a fish who wants to fly.

However it is possible to reach these heights sometimes encouragement is what helps an individual to carry on.

Social Media Trolls- Hater’s go’n hate

I have noticed people using social media to hold themselves accountable to reaching goals and expectations. You Tube is one of these avenues that I have observed this trend in.

For instance:
Vloggers generally want more subscribers or a personal goal like to get healthy, lose weight or bake a new creation every week.  Thus, they provide their audience with the journey, causing them to feel the need to deliver to the audience either what they want or give them the proof that they have reached one step closer to the promised goal.
And added bonus is, they are often encouraged (exception is the trolls) by their audience as they share their journey. Because let’s face it, most human beings are prone to being too nosy in other people’s lives- on occasion, some more than others etc etc- and want to see how the story is going to end.

You Tube vlogging has  become like show business and the mantra of show biz has always been the show must go on!

What I have also noticed is that sometimes that these goals or expectations reach an entire new level and often some sort of alienation or abandonment. Otherwise known as hateration, by the audience.

This is when we get passive aggressive comments on Facebook regarding people’s “selfies” and hourly updates on their “gains”  and gym activities by the same people who probably liked every post and commented ” Oh you look so amazing” when the subject first began looking emaciated or strangely inflated, but it seems when these people put up too many pics, it is no longer socially acceptable. I use this example because I think it is the easiest to notice, its visual, its physical.

Another instance one can observe hating is through the serial whingers on Facebook. While they aren’t using the media to keep themselves accountable to their goals, any self expression (ironically) annoys the general population.

Then there are those who are aiming to reach academic goals, often do the opposite. Charming us with their interesting ways of procrastination, lack of study, levels of stress, and if you were me, you were posting violent zombie images or “disturbing” Kahlo works (to the untrained eye) as your profile pics. Otherwise known as the more subtle-expressive approach. Quite avant-garde if you ask me.

Gosh there is so much hateration on social media, and often it is appearing to be less and less post driven and often just on it’s own claiming that one type of person is better than another.

On a more POSITIVE NOTE:

I had this post as a draft and I was unsure whether it would be an interesting read or not, however I heard an example today of a positive way to keep yourself accountable and I thought I will share this anecdote with you.

There was a young woman dealing with some rough waters, and so she decided to make a journal of thankfulness. So she posted daily something she was thankful for in order to keep herself doing it by making herself accountable. Her overall goal was to do so every day for one year.

No doubt , there would have been haters who might have said ” Oh gosh not another one” but in the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter. Especially if she made her posts meaningful to more than just herself, I don’t see how your friends at least, have a lot to gain from that. Encouraging a cognition shift for the better should make you feel better too, and heck it might encourage you to do the same.

Whatever the subject matter may be, social media is frequently being used by people to be accountable and stick to their goals, contrary to how the “public” actually feel about it.

I mean even for myself, I keep writing, and posting, and use it to keep myself accountable to my promise to write. Does that mean I think what I have to say is worth reading? Not necessarily but just in case someone gets something by reading it, that is enough satisfaction for me.

I have to say I get so much satisfaction from reading blogs from people’s experiences in fields/jobs/ideas that I am interested in.  A blog is often a primary source to both the perception of an idea and an experience! How thrilling! Right?

But for “other” topics I guess all hope lies with the “hide from my newsfeed” option (i.e IN CASE OF EMERGENCY)

Now that isn’t really hating is it?