Saturday, 7 March 2015
thoughts on being a teacher
G of the blog jammen asked me if I enjoy being a teacher and if I recommend it. I'll be happy to share my thoughts on teaching, but first a little background.
As some of you know, I worked as a freelance journalist and copywriter for several years during and after writing my master thesis in media studies. I shared a bit about how I established myself as a freelancer in this post back in 2009 and I regularly shared my work here on the blog.
In 2011 I got a permanent part time position as a copywriter in a small ad agency. I mostly loved being a freelancer, but I quickly saw the benefits of being employed - especially when it came to the money bit.
I was on maternity leave with Sara for nearly two years. (Here are my thoughts on being a stay at home mom.) During this time, I realised that I didn't want to go back to freelancing. I would rather use my energy on being a mother than chasing my next sale/job/pay. I actually didn't really want to go back the ad agency job either. I felt like doing something else, something more meaningful - a realisation and transition that was a slow yet time-consuming process. Being a freelancer was such a big part of my identity and it was hard to see it go. Teaching had been in the back of my mind for a while, so the autumn of 2013 I decided to take the leap and start studying pedagogics and to work as a substitute teacher. I instantly loved pedagogics, substitute teaching not so much.
In early spring 2014 we decided to move from Bergen to Stavanger and I applied for my first full time teaching job. With hardly any teaching experience, I started my teaching career at a local secondary/middle school in August 2014.
Being a fresh teacher (kontaktlærer, ikke bare faglærer) in a full time job is super intense and a lot of hard work. When you combine it with part time studies, house renovation and living with your in-law's/parents, you are rather silly. Being a teacher is not just about teaching, there is so much more to it. Being the leader of the classroom, how to build good relations with your students, how to grade papers, how to make good plans for each lesson, how to give attention to all the students in your class; not just the ones who speak the loudest, how to... do anything! There is SO much to learn!
The good thing is, I actually enjoy it, a lot. I might even come to love it. But I'm really looking forward to finishing my studies and being able to focus on just (more or less) one thing. And I look forward to being a more experienced, confident teacher.
Do I recommend being a teacher? It depends on what kind of person you are. You must like working with people (kids, teenagers, your colleagues) and you must like conveying knowledge - plus everything in-between, which is a part of being a teacher you don't really know about until you have tried working as a teacher.
I'm glad I got into teaching and I hope to continue doing it for a long while.
Any other teachers want to share their thoughts?