Parents comment on it all the time - "I don't know how you do it!" "I couldn't stand to have 30 kids in one small space all day!" "How do you stay so calm and patient?" "I bet you can't WAIT until the holidays!"
Well, the reality is that even after 20+ years of getting out of bed at 6am and getting home at 6pm, I still wake up filled with the hope of the day ahead. Why do I love teaching?
The kids. They come expectant. They come filled with an expectation that today will be a different day to yesterday. They come knowing that their friends will be there, their day will be filled with stuff to do and they come sure that I am going to be a huge part of it. For 40 weeks, I am the reason they learn. For 40 weeks, I get the chance to plant the seeds of learning as deep as I can. I get to water and nurture their minds, ever hopeful that the 40 weeks we have will still be a happy memory in 40 years' time.
The colleagues. We share the highs and lows of all that we experience. We giggle at the faux pas of a student, we smile at the AH-HA moments and recount with joy the successes our students have. We form the world's strongest cheer-teams for the underdogs in our classes and we lose sleep over the tricky moments. But we do it all together. We are the best support that each other have and the friendships we form are the kind that seldom come along twice in a lifetime.
The sense of community. A school is the kind of place where communities rise and grow if they are fed in the right way. I have worked in many schools but the thing that sets apart the good from the great is the ones that have a deeply embedded sense of community, where there are no school gates - learning is life and their lives are filled with learning.
The challenge. Nothing has ever or will ever challenge me the way that teaching does. Every day is different. Every child is unique. Every moment is an opportunity to learn and grow and every experience gives us the chance to change and grow more.
Why do I love teaching?
The kids, the colleagues, the community and the challenge. It's all there and there truly is nothing else like it in the world.