Life is so crazy these days
I don’t know how to adjust
Are we the master or slave?
Do we need passion or lust?
New Order – Tutti Frutti
I love teaching.
There, I said it and I really mean it. Like anything, there are days where I don’t love it as much as I could or as much as I should. But I love it. So what is the problem with it?
Now you might find it bizarre that a blog founded by a group of Twitter teachers is taking such a stance but I’ve put it out there now. Twitter is a great space for teachers. It allows a frank exchange of ideas but it doesn’t really allow nuance, even with the increase to 280 characters. If you believe edu-twitter then education is a mess, a poisoned, twisted miasma of embittered teachers who have nothing to do but complain about the complaints. If it isn’t “prog v trad” it is subject v subject or some other such argument; you can probably imagine the main protagonists right now, maybe even dropping in a popcorn-eating GIF (my favourite is the Michael Jackson one by the way)
I love arguments on twitter. They fill me full of hope that there are impassioned educators out there who genuinely want to do what is right in their schools. Some hold deep beliefs in educational theory that I just cannot subscribe to but I admire their passion and I defend their right to say what they think is right. I also love the people who are just standing up to be counted. The disruptors, the mavericks and the brave. I love reading blogs from people who are just doing the RIGHT THING in their schools, no matter what side of the prog/trad divide they camp in. Stories of leaders who display the moral courage to do what is best for their learners (not children, not students – LEARNERS!) at that time, in that space. I love people who go that extra mile, not in what they put up on their classroom walls but in the research they do into getting things right. I admire those who read Sean Harford’s tweets and apply what they have seen in their schools – working within the system to effect change and challenging where appropriate. I actively look for school leaders who are doing the things to reduce workload for their staff, for I firmly believe that this is predominantly school-based problem (I do think there are other legacy issues at play but these are on the wane).
But why the New Order lyric to start this blog? Well life is crazy and I have had to adjust in many ways to this new career. Some of my adjustments are wrong, some are right but I’m attempting to tip the scales in favour of correctness. Master or slave? At times we are both. Masters of our own personal fiefdom but slaves to a curriculum. Slaves to OFSTED but masters of our own destiny?
Passion or lust though? Lust gets us through the day; lust for life, lust for learning, lust for teaching. Slow burning passion will keep us going through the darker times, the times when we fall out of love with teaching, the times we think of quitting to run that coffee shop by the beach.
So when you are down about teaching, make yourself a mental list of all the positives. Look at all the lives you have changed, all the young people you have made an impression upon and think how privileged you are to have been in that position.
This is an amazing career. Learn to love it and it will love you back…