READER REPORT:

Why do I teach? It's not for the faint-hearted

GEMMA LEGG
Last updated 12:00 04/02/2013

Related Links

Why did you become a teacher? Why I teach: To change one life Why do you love teaching? The power to empower Why I teach: There's no job I'd rather do Why I teach: Creating Kiwi can do-ers

Relevant offers

Stuff Nation

Top five reader comments today 'Addicted' to work exchange travelling Puppy channels her inner Christmas bear Pets dressed up for Christmas Finally, some signs of summer Top 10 sports moments of 2014 Pet of the day: At home in the vege patch Review: The Maze Runner Weather photo of the week: Dec 19,2014 'Stop telling people what to do'

Teaching is a challenging career. It is not for the faint-hearted. The heavy work-load, demands and expectations from the government, constant observations and checks on your progress, and interaction with a range of students, parents and colleagues throughout the day mean that the glass of wine we teachers are known for in the evening is well and truly deserved.

You can spend hours planning and marking each evening in preparation for the next day, but the truth is most of the time you will need to think on your feet. You don't always get the outcome you expect and there may be interruptions, complications and difficulties out of your control.

Students work and learn at different rates and in one classroom, you may have 30 students all working at different levels and paces. Creating a collaborative, positive and engaging environment is really hard. It is also an amazing thing when you achieve it.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I'm an English teacher. If I was going to be self-indulgent, I would tell them that I get to discuss and explore a subject I have adored since I was four years old every day. I watch a range of new reactions to a text I might have read hundreds of times. I hear new, exciting interpretations which have never occurred to me before. I talk to hundreds of people every day. I laugh. I am touched by the effort, enthusiasm and intelligence of young people and by the end of the day I either feel a real sense of achievement or I tell myself I will do better the next day. Either way, I deserve that glass of wine.

I am currently unemployed as a result of a frustrating situation. I have five years of teaching experience from the UK and nine months of experience in New Zealand. I was really impressed with the approach to education here and the mature, positive behaviour of the young people I met and taught. Unfortunately, the teachers' council here won't accept my UK qualification. The students, staff and parents at the school I taught at here were extremely disappointed at my necessary departure. They too were bewildered by this meaningless bureaucracy.

I approach this new school year with feelings of uncertainty and frustration. I hope that other teachers can enjoy that fresh, exciting atmosphere I used to relish. Education shouldn't be about redfaces, red crosses or red tape. It should be about creating, exploring and ultimately, smiling.

Ad Feedback

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Can the Black Caps win the World Cup?

Yes

No

It's too early to say

I hate cricket

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content