What keeps me awake at night

20th March 2015 at 00:00
Stop complaining - I'm a new teacher and I love it

"Staff quit teaching at highest rate in 10 years," I read in TES as I munch my Coco Pops on a Saturday morning. My Twitter feed tells me the same story every day. Teachers, apparently, all hate teaching. They are overwhelmed by workload stress, Ofsted stress, management stress, pressure from parents, pressure from exams.

At least that's the picture we give the world when we constantly bring up our problems.

I may be new to teaching, but my experience so far hasn't reflected the negativity I encountered when I approached my training.

Before I started my PGCE, whenever I told people what I was planning to do with my life, the announcement was met with raised eyebrows and mutterings of "Aren't you brave?" and "I hope you know what you're getting yourself into!"

No social life, working into the wee small hours, eating Super Noodles instead of real food and generally having every fun thing sucked out of your life: that's what I was told a PGCE was all about.

Thankfully, that hasn't been my experience at all. I love teaching. When I teach a good lesson, I am energised by it. Teaching four in a day? I finish on a high, excited about where I get to take my classes next and how I can do it in the most creative way.

And do you know what? I work in a school where teachers, on the whole, feel the same. Teaching is exciting, and we love doing it.

I'm worried that if we keep wallowing in our sorrows, the rest of the country will get fed up with us. In fact, I think they already are.

They care about our pensions and our pay, of course, but what do we think will make them listen harder: more moaning about the atrocious hours we work or positivity about our profession and stories about what we've achieved?

So, teachers everywhere, I urge you: ditch the negativity, and tell the world how much you love what you do.

J Hawker is a trainee geography teacher in London

Tell us what keeps you awake at night

Email jon.severs@tesglobal.com


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