I’ve had quite a long hiatus from posting… I finished up my teaching year in Taiwan in June 2015 & spent 4 months travelling. I was lucky enough to experience Japan, South Korea, China, United States of America, Cuba and Mexico. It was amazing and exactly the break I needed from what had been a difficult year of teaching.
Chichen Itza pyramid, Mexico
Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto, Japan
Statue of Liberty, New York
Street art in Seoul, Sth Korea
Colours of Merida, Mexico
Sunset over the Great Wall of China
Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto, Japan
Ribbons on the border between North & South Korea
I’m now back at my school in Australia – I was fortunate to have been given 18 months leave to travel and teach overseas – and I’m so happy to be back. This year I am teaching years 7 and 9 English and I am also a Year 8 Student Management Leader and our school’s Additional Educational Needs coordinator. It’s a pretty huge workload which is why I am only now, at the the end of the first semester, finding myself even able to think about writing about it all. I’m enjoying the opportunities to really sink myself into different aspects of education, and I feel like I’m able to play a role in promoting and encouraging best practice.
I’m also really fortunate to be participating in an educational leadership program with NESLI (National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative). If you’re passionate about education, improving your own practice and building leadership capacity, I highly recommend it. This course has given me so much to think about and consider, which I am only now really beginning to unpack in my own mind, but hopefully I can set out much of what I’ve learnt here.
Often I think as educators we get so caught up in the chaos of every day – marking, meetings, lesson plans, reports, taking the roll, uniform checks, etc etc. – that it’s so easy to loose sight of why we are here in the first place. People come to teaching for a whole range of reasons, from all walks of life. I think it’s truly a catch-all profession and I love this because I think it adds to the diversity of perspectives that students can be exposed to in schools.
So today, as the school year in Taiwan is drawing to close and I am facing exam marking, grades to enter, and reports to write, I am reminding myself why I teach. And it’s not because I’m a sucker like this guy…
1. To give back.
I benefitted from some truly incredible teachers who had a huge impact on my life. These role-models showed me the potential for education – and great educators – to impact people’s lives in a significant way. I believe that education has the power to change the world & make it an even better place by empowering young people to do great things. If I can pass on even a shred of the positivity and inspiration some of my teachers showed me, I’ll be happy.
2. Love of learning.
One of my very favourite parts of teaching is the fact that I am continually learning! I love expanding my knowledge and learning knew skills and nuggets of information. One of the things I hope to express in my classes, and foster in my students, is this passion for being a life-long learner.
3. Young people are awesome!
Every day I am impressed by the young people I get to work with. They are so interesting and full of so much potential, it’s exciting to be a part of their journey.
So for those of you finishing up the semester, term, or year, I encourage you to take some time to remind yourself; why teach?…
Soldier on educators!
What brought you to teaching? And more importantly, what keeps you going?
Singapore street art – inspiration is everywhere!
This is the only life you get!
I saw this painted on the wall of a little laneway while I was visiting Singapore recently, and it really rang true to me. I think that when we consider the quote in the context of education it helps to really highlight how important it is that every child has access to the highest quality teaching, and inspiring learning environments. If we let any young person ‘slip through the cracks’ the impacts can be significant for the rest of their life. As educators we are extremely priveledged to help shape future generations, but with that comes great responsibility not to let these generations down. That said, I also think that it’s important that we inspire and empower young people themselves to take control of their own lives and pursue what fulfils them.