Teaching is not my first career; I was a theatre staff nurse and later a registered child minder. I have, however, more than twenty years of experience of caring for children. With six siblings, eighteen nieces and nephews and numerous great nieces and nephews, I have always been surrounded by young children.
Now, with two of my three children having flown the nest and my remaining daughter almost there I found myself at a crossroads, career wise. Pondering what made me happy, I knew that I wanted to work with children. During the NC and HNC Early Education and Child Care courses I spent long placements in classrooms and I just knew primary teaching was the job for me. I had, I realised, been instinctively educating children in my care for years.
During my placements I was struck by the fact that I never noticed the time passing and quickly related the saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. To me that was proof indeed that I had found the right job for me. I believe nurturing and inspiring young minds is one of the most important and rewarding jobs. It is a true privilege to help influence the next generation and it is the joy of teaching to witness that spark of comprehension in a child’s eye when they grasp a new concept or their enthusiasm and excitement about learning. One such ‘eureka’ moment I witnessed came after helping a young boy to learn number bonds. I considered how best to teach this numeracy lesson and after scrolling the internet found an art activity that I knew would engage him. I watched this elated child run up to his mum at home time, waving the said artwork, and exclaiming he got it. The immense satisfaction this gave me confirmed my desire to teach.
Teaching, however is not just about learning. It is far more than that; it is about nurturing and meeting all the child’s needs. Some children come to school happy and ready to learn whilst others less fortunate come with more basic needs. For them, school may be their only safe space, their haven or the only nurturing environment they know. It is the teachers’ role to provide a caring space and consistent approach in which all children are respected and valued.
I believe education is crucial in addressing social inequalities and good teaching vital in helping children reach their full potential and in so doing improve their life chances. This is why I want to teach.