Primary School Teacher
“Primary school teachers, also known as national school teachers, are involved in the social, intellectual, physical and moral development of pupils in their class. A teacher works with one single class for an entire academic year and is responsible for teaching a wide range of subjects on the National Curriculum.”
Tell someone you are studying History and they won’t bat an eyelid; tell someone you are studying Psychology- they’ll smile maybe raise an eyebrow; tell someone you are studying medicine and they’ll reply wow! But tell someone you are studying Education and that you are going to become a Primary School Teacher they’ll say ‘really?’- they’ll ask you ‘why are you going to doing that?’
I am now studying to become a Primary School Teacher, and replying to that question is more difficult than one might think. My instant honest reaction is I love kids, and I love being able to make them think, and I love being able to see them think. That electric flicker in a child’s eye when they begin to understand something is a reward that I don’t think other professions can match. Throughout my twenty-two years I have wanted for many things, and been down different paths in search of them. Although teaching may have always been in the back of my mind, it has only recently made its way to the front. When fifteen year old me was faced with the guidance interview in which I had to answer the question ‘What do you want to do with your life?’ I wasn’t sure what to reply. That age is far too young to know what I wanted to do with my life- but I knew that I wanted of me to continue my studies. I was interested in Modern Studies (I had a particular love for debating and could be argumentative- and I was interested in Drama. I applied to University and chose the Modern Studies route instead of the Drama route- and I spent a year (four years ago) beginning to study Politics and Psychology. What an awful year. I hated my studies (bar one tutorial class) and ended up addicted to narcotics, lonely, in debt, malnourished and like many before me- depressed. I completed my exams but became a ‘Beauty School Drop Out’- and moved home.
I’ve always been active and never did like being idle- I’ve had more jobs than you’ve had hot dinners; from working in the bank, to pulling pints; from delivering your Chinese food to working with Transport Scotland; from chopping in a sweaty kitchen to working in children’s theatre. I understood that I wanted to continue in Education, and probably rather hastily (but without any regrets) I started my HND in Acting & Performance. I had always been a performer and knew that I liked making people think- I liked writing and the political part of the Art was so attractive to me. I adore Acting and found it very natural. Something I fell into very naturally, and something adored as part of my course was the community module. We created a curriculum around raising the confidence of young people- and used drama games and exercises to do so. Going out to the schools was magical. The ease and the joy I felt when working with those classes wasn’t like anything I’ve experienced before; the hilarity of the children and their absolute transformation inside an hour was heart warming. At this point I think the idea of teaching began to move forward in my mind.
The political part of theatre was (and still is) very important to me. I was lucky to be chosen for a brilliant Fringe opportunity. I and seven others were given the opportunity to work with a great director and create a piece of politically driven theatre. This dream of making a difference was real. This is an extract of something I wrote for the play:
Welcome six year olds to your first careers appointment. Now I know you’re young but pretty soon your gunna have to be making some tough decisions
What do you want to be when you grow up? What’s your dream? You dreaming of building a rocket bob? Don’t dream of that your fucking snob, be more realistic dream that you might eventually get a job that pays enough for you to eat, sleep, drink, live, clothe, socialize, Christmas, holiday, entertain yourself, commute, blah blah blah blah blah blah
So chase that dream, something that fulfills you as a person 6 year olds.
Too LATE TIME DOSENT WAIT IT DISSIPATES WELCOME TO THE 21st Century mate, can’t get money you fucked up now shrew, don’t you dare join the claiming class crew. Don’t want to end up like sharon, her mum can’t even get her new clothes and she’s in actual poverty HAHAHAHHA
You turn on angry but it’s rightfully on.
Cos they tell you to Work the night shift instead of signing on
It’s No more than the social gives you true
yeah you’ll Losing your days and your social life too
but that’s how you get on, that’s how you become part of society and that’s how you get strong
They tell you That’s how you get stable so you can lead the life adults have
Do some shagging name some kids or try your heart at love
So we get pissed because we’re pissed, because our generations the first to be worse off than our parent is. Less opportunities than they had this is true, and that’s just us being selfish too.
What about sharon, her family has no food, barely has shelter let alone opportunities
The show was a success, but was it? Although I enjoyed it I had a sense that we were tickling our own ego’s. That we were appeasing a small amount of middle class, leftist theatre folk- and that although we could create something powerful there was no actual change, no impact on anyone’s lives. After this worked, as well as being in the catering business at the time I was helping run a small children’s theatre group. We put on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Those two hours a week were magnificent. That group of twenty-five children had an incredible time, and so did I. Although it was difficult at times, creating this enthusiasms and seeing the way the children responded was just incredible. Here I was making a difference, here I was in my local community center, playing Splat and this had been what I was looking for!
I decided that I would try my hand at teaching, after completing my CELTA course I headed to Milan, in response to the first job I was offered. I began Teaching all over the city- I worked hard, I commuted hard and partied hard; but I fell in love. I fell in love with my job. There were difficult classes, challenging things to teach and challenging children but I felt very alive in my classes. There is one student that will always stay with me- Arianna, only four years old. She had no English and I had no Italian and she was a little rouge. She was the ‘bogey’ child of the school, I had She would hide under the tables, she would run out the class and disrupt herself and everyone around her- fighting other children and even self-harming, at four years old. I tried so hard with her, and I began to see a change. She was by no means perfect but she was able to sit at her desk, and even able to do her work- and able to connect with her fellow class mates and communicate with them. I really felt like I made a difference to that four year olds life- and at that point I thought; ‘yeah, I’m going to be a teacher’.
I applied for MA Education at Dundee University; attended the interview and managed to get in. I want to continue to be politically active, to write and to make theatre and film- but I want to be a Primary School Teacher. Here I am now in the library; thinking to myself if I can have an impact on more children’s life in the same way I did with Arianna- then I will be a happy man. This has been a long winded and ungraceful blog post. Completely off task and more about my life rather than my reasons, but I hope if you read this you get a sense of who I am and why I want to become a teacher.