My day normally starts with an alarm call at 7am and then a wake-up shower. Whilst making a brew I have a quick look on Facebook or Twitter, or TV, to see what the world is doing; quite often I will find some anecdote worth sharing with other teaching colleagues that makes for an ideal starter or tutorial theme.
Getting to work is normally by bike. The cycle ride of 4 miles is a nice way to energise the body and mind.
Once at work the laptop is switched on, quickly followed by putting the kettle on for that all important brew before exchanging office banter and checking emails.
There’s normally time to print off a few resources and double check the time table before wheeling my crate of teaching material to the classroom or workshop. Once the students are greeted and settled in then the serious task of learning takes place.
No two days are ever the same in teaching which makes the vocation (it’s not a job!) so appealing, you never get bored! It can be exhausting, challenging situations can surface without warning, and sometimes you feel beaten. However, mostly you will be riding high on the adrenalin.
Being a teacher is a privilege, you mustn’t forget how important a role you play in shaping their future and outlook on life. As a tutor you also become somebody they can approach for advice and guidance. Sometimes this is not easy for students to do, so feel proud you have their trust and respect.
Once home it’s not always easy to switch off, but that’s teaching. You naturally find yourself reflecting and thinking how to adapt and improve future lessons…oh and that pile of marking that needs attending to. A bit of advice, keep a notepad by the bedside for all those ideas that suddenly come to mind that wake you up!
Teaching is by no means a doddle, and even for a seasoned practitioner it means thinking ahead and aspiring to deliver engaging lessons.
One of the biggest buzzes I get is when people ask what I do for an occupation. When I say I teach, it’s lovely to hear how respected our profession is.
My advice to a new starter would be to ride through the rough times (it’s character building!) and enjoy the rewards of seeing your students making progress and ultimately moving on into employment.
What makes a star teacher? It’s a tough one because we are all stars, but to stand out you need to reflect a lot and not be afraid to experiment and operate out of your comfort zone. New ideas can be positive game changers and optimise the learning experience for the learners, so being innovative is a star quality.