I suppose a variety of unexpected events and never settling for comfortable have led me right to this point. My personal experience of primary school teachers was always so comforting and positive, they always seemed content and cheerful but surely I wasn’t right for that job?
After leaving school I had a habit of throwing myself into experiences and opportunities, fully immersing myself in the moment, albeit never for more than a year…. art college, full time work in retail, moving to Chester in a flurry of young love then coming home and listening to my gut. My mum and dad had given me such a safe foundation and I was able to watch my mum go back to college and become an Early Years Practitioner. I was so proud. She would sprout off interesting theories about Pavlov’s dogs, Vygotsky’s ZPD, the instinctual need of wee monkeys to feel warmth and love and how it relates to our own attachments. That positive experience stayed with me and drove me to go to college.
Becoming an Early Years Practitioner felt right. There I was after a year of study (great for my attention span) in a room full of under 2s, colleagues that inspired me and a real sense of community. After a year or so of a private nursery I felt I needed challenged, my next step was a downgrade in the career sense, to Early Years Assistant but definitely an upgrade in my character, a learning curve that has led me to the chosen profession in Education. I was working with children who had profound additional support needs, I had never felt so rewarded and blessed. I had the chance to see so many professions first hand in a gritty and incredibly emotive setting. I could relate to them all in varying degrees, Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Pediatric Nursers, families facing emotional turmoil and colleagues who could open my eyes to non verbal communication as well as the importance of positive relationships. That job brought all the skills and information I had learnt at college into the real world. The curriculum applied, highlighted it’s flexibility and inclusion for all children. I learnt that warmth, communication with peers and children alike and empathy even when there was no first hand experience, were key characteristics in helping children reach their full potential. That’s the kind of educator I want to be.
Then BOOM. I was pregnant, I hadn’t planned this massive change to my life and I quickly became a single full time parent. My daughter was and is my profound influential factor in becoming a teacher. The parent I strive to be and the time and effort I put into making her life whole and well is the same drive I want to bring into my professional career. She has shown me I can commit to something (she is 3) when I have heart behind it. No amount of research can prepare me for the changes or effort I will have to put in but being aware of the life experience I can bring helps.
I want to be that teacher who walks into the classroom in the morning and the children’s faces light up. They deserve to feel comfortable and safe in the knowledge that their is an adult in their lives who truly cares and who wants them to be their best. I want to hear “Good morning Miss Muir!!” every day. What a job!!