Being a Primary Teacher has been a career aspiration since I was half the height I am now, figuratively and literally looking up to my mentors introducing me to every aspect of the real world. I was always a child that loved to learn and soak up knowledge like a sponge; I loved to read, to test myself, to be sophisticated. However, a child’s eagerness to learn is fruitless if not supported by amazing teachers.
My most striking memory of an extraordinary teacher that really touched me was my French teacher, Mrs Rochow. I remember the excitement of starting the new school year as a grown-up Primary 6 pupil, about to embark on studying a foreign language. I also recall being a little nervous as this was going to be an entire new level of challenging – incomparable to numeracy or even mind-blowing science. Now, as I reminisce on Mrs Rochow’s lessons, I realise what was the key to getting 11 year olds to fall in love with French – making the lessons not seem like lessons. Making us jump with excitement at the thought of having French after break time with the hilarious Mrs Rochow. Everyone equally enjoyed all the singalongs to French nursery rhymes, acting out families and café scenes and, of course, having the pride of knowing how to count to 100. Mrs Rochow was where my love of French all started – a love affair continuing all the way to Advanced Higher. Unfortunately, when I mixed with other children at high school, I learned that everyone was not as lucky to have the same experience as me. It wasn’t a fair playing field, you could say.
In my experience, Primary teachers symbolized stability and were true gurus I just desperately wanted to learn more from. Primary school was the foundation for my later learning and I believe it is an essential step in a child’s educational development. All children deserve to have the right setting to unlock their true potential. For this they need great role models, exciting not drill-like lessons and a friendly environment where they can see the joy in learning along with others. I knew early on that I wanted to undertake this honourable role and follow the example set to me.
Primary Teaching is a career I cannot wait to embark on – it will feel surreal to have my own classroom and to be responsible for children getting the most out of their first stage of life. While it’s daunting now, it’s a job I know I was made for.