Trying to pop the bubble

Good Morning! So, the inevitable happened. I lost my life to teaching. As you'll see from the time stamp on my last post, I haven't blogged in over a year! It has been an interesting year, and one that I won't bore you with. I will however, relay the news that I successfully completed my NQT year!

So, what now?

I'm on the eve (inset day) of greeting my Year 2's, fresh faced and ready to learn after the Christmas break. While I have had a relaxing break, it has allowed me to take stock of my career and honestly reflect on it.

Some teachers may say, and have said, "why are you worrying about the future? You're only in your second year of teaching". While these words do ring true. I always need to look forward and ask myself "what next?". Yes, I am only in my second year of teaching and yes, I can't always settle for 'good enough'. What's wrong with that? Let me tell you...

So, I poured my heart and soul into teaching last academic year. I loved it. I worked with a great team, was (and still am) in a supportive school. My children made great progress and I picked up lots of hints and tricks along the way. But OFSTED managed to kick the soul out of my teaching for a good while, I felt physically and emotionally drained and my long term relationship nearly collapsed.

I know that I'm in it for the kids - to provide the next generation the best start in life possible, and in a data driven environment that means APS and consistent progress through the levels! But I have to ask myself, what have I achieved? What am proud of in my career? Until recently, the answer would have probably been that I completed my NQT year, and got great results in the Year 2 SATs and end of Key Stage data. But that's not a personal, career achievement.

When training at University, I was incredibly pro-active and engaged with all aspects of uni life. So why aren't I just as engaged with school life? The truth is I couldn't see the bigger picture at school, uni provided me with a social life too. I felt like I was in a little NQT bubble, where just my class mattered.

What changed?

Then September came. Anyone who knows me, will quickly tell you how much I loved teaching my old class. Perhaps it was the magic of knowing they were my first ever, proper class. So this year, when I waved at them in the big playground (and was ignored by most), I have been able to see past the end of year 2 and look at the school as a whole. My opaque bubble is becoming transparent, and I'm sure it will pop. The transitions between classes, the whole school community is opening up before my very eyes.

This, coupled with the amazing opportunity I've been given to lead science across the school, is rapidly changing the way I view school life and the crucial balance between school and home. A wise man once told me that the best teachers are those with hobbies and interests outside of school. So, with the approach of a new calendar year, I set myself a goal to strive to achieve this balance, to have a life outside of the job I love so much.