Sunday, 19 June 2011

Do What You LOVE

Aug: London
As the end of my year in London quickly approaches I've found that I have become very reflective recently. Thinking back to all of the amazing things I have done and all of the places that I have been and just all of the experiences I have jammed into one year is enough to make my head spin. The one thing that I did not expect, coming over here, is how much my attitude towards my work would change. For the first time in my life, I have found myself often waking up and not wanting to go to work - at all. I realize some of you are thinking, "What?! You've never not wanted to go to work?" Of course I've had my days where I've felt under the weather, or tired or just plain lazy, but I've never had the feeling of not wanting to go to work because I just plain didn't like my job. I've had all different kinds of jobs: babysitting, tutoring, working at A&W, working for the government, teaching French Immersion; and all of them I have loved some aspect of them that kept me coming back each day.

Sept: Oxford
Over here, something has changed.  It's not just the kids - who everyone tried to warn me about before I came. Sure, the kids over here can be a lot tougher to handle. But it is the whole system that I find almost depressing. It is a system where the respect between student and teacher is very different, and sometimes non-existent. A system based on tests and results and standardized lessons that lead to less than inspiring lessons given by less than inspired teachers to practically non-inspired children.  It is the spoon-feeding of facts to be spewed out on tests. It is the separation of children from the age of 4 by ability, so starting in grade 1 they know whether they are in
the 'smart' group or the 'dumb' group, and chances are that is where they will remain for their school career.
Oct: Glasgow, Scotland

Oct: Stonehenge, England

Oct: Bath, England
Oct: Paris, France
Oct: Dublin, Ireland

This is not to say that every day is bad. There are days that I go in to a class full of wonderful kids who are excited to be there and hear what I have to say to them. But these days are all too rare. This does not make me want to give up teaching - though for an instant the thought did run through my mind after a couple of
Dec: Geneva, Switzerland
particularly tough weeks - if anything, this experience makes me want to go home and be a better teacher. To give the kids back home, who want to be there and who are excited to learn, the truly inspiring moments that they deserve to have at school.  To be the teacher that they remember when they grow up as one of the ones that really cared and really wanted to be there each and every day.

And this is what I have come to realize - life is too short to hate your job!

We can get caught up in the daily annoyances and complain about the little
Feb: Paris, France
things, but at the end of the day you need to LOVE YOUR JOB. If not love it (maybe that is my youthful idealism) then at least enjoy going to it.  This is where we spend most of our waking hours, so make it something you love. Bring a positive attitude with you to work and to those that you work with. Wake up in the morning and be happy to start your day.
I might be punching in the hours over here until I can get home. But let me tell you, I have already started planning for next year and looking over the subjects I will get to teach to my new class at my new school, and I cannot wait! I love being a teacher, I love telling people that I am a teacher and I want to be a teacher that my students
Feb: Rome, Italy
love coming to because, at the end of the day, their job is being a student and I hope that I can make it so that they love their job too.

Mar: Cardiff, Wales

Apr: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Apr: Edinburgh, Scotland

Apr: Prague, Czech Republic

May: Krakow, Poland

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