I am currently in the brief limbo period between the end of work and the beginning of my Christmas holiday back home in the states. If you care enough to read this, I’m sure you know by now that I’m soon to return to the USA with Sharman for the end of the year. In twelve hours, I’ll be out the door and on my long journey back home! Assuming the apocalypse doesn’t take place before then…
Now marks the end of my first full term working at a primary school. Overall, I’ve been very happy with the decision to work where I do. In a nutshell, my job is helping out 6-year-olds all day long at a school a fifteen-minute walk from my house. Sweet. But from another perspective, I’m gaining valuable experience at a real school and trying to figure out if this is the type of work I want to commit to and foster a career in. I say “real school” because the last school I was at was so unusual in structure (since it is for such small kids) that it almost felt more like a daycare than a school. My current school has students that stay from morning through the afternoon, feed themselves, have one main teacher, play at recess, ride on school busses and so on. My preschool last year had none of the above.
Another huge plus about the primary is the staff around me. I figured this out from the get go, but this school has some very talented teachers and though they may not realize it, they are teaching me as much as the kids, particularly my lead teacher Katie. As our old principal encouraged me to do, I’m looking at this time as almost an apprenticeship before I take steps to become a real certified teacher. Sooner or later, I certainly will advance my education beyond my Bachelor’s and my TEFL certificate. And for the past few months, I've been pondering just when, where and how I may try to do this.
One downside that I’ve found at both the schools I’ve worked at now is the business-like aspect of the organization. Perhaps this is just the nature of the beast, but both schools I’ve been at have seemed to be a bit too motivated by cash. I won’t give any specific examples, but cutting general classroom resource costs, adding student fees at every opportunity and marketing like mad are among the trends. It’s not a perfect world. Maybe one day I’ll work at a school in which quality education trumps financial interest. I hope.
Still, in my day-to-day routine, this isn’t a significant issue on my mind. I love the kids and I love my coworkers, and when you’re surrounded by people you love, life is generally quite enjoyable. There are stressful days now and again for many a reason, but holistically, my full-time gig is a fulfilling one. Merry Christmas!