This is an article I’ve written for the Early Learning HQ website ;
I can remember the moment I first decided to go into teaching. I was waiting at a train station and spotted a poster on the opposing platform. It was for teaching recruitment and featured a wide-eyed boy with the tag line ‘His first Eureka moment!’ It suggested he was about to prove that the learning had clicked. “What if he’s wrong though?” I wondered “and to the question “so ¾ of 12 is…?” he’s about to suggest “Thursday?””
The seed had nevertheless been sown and within a week I found myself at a ‘Train to Teach’ seminar. Casting an eye around the room, it was a healthy mix of age ranges and backgrounds and I wondered who from my peers would eventually become a teacher. I also found myself wondering what kind of teacher I will be. Two years on from this experience I can tell my past self that I’m a dedicated and exhausted teacher.
When I started teaching it coincided with my writing a blog entitled ‘Are you an Alien: Experiences of a Male Primary School Teacher’. I naïvely thought being a male teacher would make my accounts somehow different. In a predominantly female occupation I anticipated being excluded from conversations, kept from social engagements or hopefully preyed upon sexually. Nothing of the sort! I’m not even the first point of contact to lift heavy items. A female colleague recently raised me shoulder-high to prove a match in physical strength!
Despite being a ‘bloke’, I see little worth in any schools endeavouring to reach a 50/50 split in the workforce. The best teacher for a child is the one that teaches best, regardless of gender. Any positive role model will be beneficial for a child, whether the child be from a single parent family or otherwise.
Teaching has provided me with the full gamut of experiences. There have been the inevitable negatives, (the failed observations, burgeoning workloads, long hours and difficult children) but equally lots of positives (seeing improvements, positive feedback, the end of term and of course…the Eureka moments).